Introduction: Duct Tape Chess Board Mat

Sometimes we play chess outdoor. There are many places with usually concrete tables with a chessboard printed on them. Sometimes their condition is very poor and we need to take our chess set to play. Some players have their own travel chess sets with a mat so the board can be just rolled out.

I wanted to create one using duct tape. Here are 2 approaches on Instructables:

"square by square" way: Duct Tape Chess Board and Chess Set

"shifted stripes" way: Duct Tape Game Board

Here is my approach to build a chess mate out of a duct tape - "interweave" way.


  • 2 duct tapes of different colours
  • scissors or sharp knife
  • measuring tape if needed

Step 1: Preparations

Select a flat surface from which it is relatively easy to peel off a duct tape. Clean it and You are ready to go.

A chess board size is 8 x 8. But we need an extra stripe on each side as a margin. So we need to make a 10x10 mat. My duct tapes are 50mm wide. It means I need at least 50cm stripes to make it.

Cut a first stripe and stick it on a surface as straight as possible. Do the same with other stripes as pictured. You can put all 10 horizontal stripes at once and then start interweaving with the other colour, but I started with just 3 and I was adding more later.

Because we will be sticking and peeling off a tape many times, it's goodd to secure ends of a horizontal stripes so they don't stick to the surface all the time.

Step 2: Interweaving - 1st Vertical Line

Interweaving a first vertical line is a little bit different than the others. We peel off a black tape on the left and we try to put white stripe under it, trying to be as precise to a guideline as possible.

We are continuing till we reach 10 rows.

Step 3: Interweaving - 2nd to 10th Line

This is the part where most of the work is done. You need to interweave white and black stripes.

Try to keep horizontal stripes to fit to the next one.

Step 4: Peeling Off a Whole Board

Peeling off a whole board can be a difficult task. Don't be too fast. Try to do it gently. Be careful to not to touch sticky sides to each other. It's really hard to peel them off again and it may mean You need to start from the beginning.

Step 5: Securing a Back Side

This task is even more difficult than peeling off the board. It's very easy to destroy the board as we need to stick board and a tape, both on their sticky sides. Be carefull!

I used a white tape to secure a back side of the mat but any other colour will fit as well.

Step 6: Cutting the Board

Now it's time for cutting 8x8 chess board from our 10x10 mat.

As a guidelines, I used a tape used to secure furniture when painting a wall - it's easy to peel off. It's approx 2cm wide.

I used a sharp knife to cut along the sides.

Step 7: Result

The result is really nice and it fulfills our needs as a travel outdoor chessboard mat.

Possible improvements:

  • You can use another tape (e.g. red or use the black one) to cover a borderline. so the board is visually separated
  • Add makers for files (A, B, C..., H) and ranks (1, 2, 3..., 8) using a permanent marker or stickers.
  • Add another game board on the back side, e.g. Backgammon or Mill)
  • Add a flat magnets or a piece of ferromagnetic metal for each field placing them between stripes. You can then use a chess pieces which will be attracted to fields.

Step 8: Folding

A board looks very robust as it's made out of 3 layers of duct tape sticked together. Because it's a little bit "heavy" - it doesn't bend. It lays flat so a chess pieces don't tip over.

The mat can be easily folded in many ways so it doesn't occupy a lot of space. After unfolding it becomes flat very quickly ready to play.