Introduction: Make a $5 Tile Chess Board Christmas Present

For Christmas, I decided to make a chess and checkers set for my two kids. Since my two kids are still rather young, they have a habit of being rough on toys so I decided that I should make a set that will be able to stand up better than a cardboard chess board would.


  • 18x18" Ceramic tile
  • 1.88" Masking Tape
  • Flat black spray paint
  • Matte clear spray paint
  • A good old #2 pencil


  • Razor utility knife
  • Spare razor blades (Fresh sharp blades will make the process easier)
    • Square with a straight edge
    • Pencil sharpener

    Step 1: Cover the Tile in Masking Tape

    The first thing that we need to do, is cover the tile in masking tape. Overlap the strips slightly to help keep the spray paint from bleeding through where we do not want it. Make sure there are no air bubbles or crinkled areas in the tape

    Step 2: Mark the Outer Borders

    Using your square, make the following marks from the outer edges along the top, bottom, and sides of the tile:

    • 3/16"
    • 5/8"
    • 13/16"

    There should be two sets of marks on each of the four sides

    After all the marks have been made, draw lines connecting each mark with the corresponding mark on the opposite side of the time (see picture).

    Step 3: Mark Out the Tile Borders

    Lather: Place the ruled side of your square along the top of the tile, just below the top border (I centered between 1" and 17", to make things easier) and make a mark every 2 inches.

    Move the square to the bottom of the tile, just above the bottom border, and mark a mark every 2 inches.

    Rinse: Draw a vertical line between each of the marks made above and the corresponding mark on the opposite side of the tile.

    Repeat: rotate the tile 90% and repeat the instructions above (See pictures for clarification)

    Step 4: Cut Borders and Prepare to Paint

    Using the square and razor utility knife, cut along each of the marked lines. Make sure to cut through the tape completely as you go along.

    After you have made all the cuts, peel off the masking tape where you would like to apply the paint (See picture for areas to remove).

    Step 5: Paint, Final Unmasking, and Clear Coat

    Take the tile to a well ventilated area (outside or in a garage) and coat the tile with the flat black spray paint. make sure to cover the whole top of the tile, and the sides if you so choose.

    Once the paint is dry, carefully cut around the remaining masking tape with your razor utility knife. once you have cut around the remaining masking tape, carefully peal off the remaining masking tape.

    Take the tile back outside or to the garage and coat the tile with one or two coats of the matte clear spray paint

    Step 6: Success! Time to Enjoy

    Congratulations! you have now completed your $5 chess board. Keep an eye out for a how-to on making chess and checker pieces.

    Make Chess Pieces Out of Mosaic Tiles

    Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

    Participated in the
    Homemade Gifts Contest 2015