Using Adhesive-Backed Floor Tiles to Make Print & Play BoardGames

Introduction: Using Adhesive-Backed Floor Tiles to Make Print & Play BoardGames

As a frequenter (obsessor?) of, and a notorious cheapskate, I love print and play board games.  One of the best places to start is FNH1's Print and Play Podcast at

FNH mentioned this idea, and once I used it my mind began to spin with possibilities.  I wanted to describe the process in detail on boardgamegeek, but thought I should create an instructible, and link to it.

So here is: How to use Adhesive Backed Floor Tiles with your Print & Play Board Games.  Specifically to add some thickness and heft to playing pieces (sometimes called "bits" other times "chits", but I can't tell them apart).  You could use spray adhesive and cardboard, but it's messier, more expensive and you have an empty can to throw away at the end.  My way, you've just got a piece of wax paper, a bunch of little scraps, and some annoying white dust on your table.

Pictured are some of the expansion pieces from Gottard Zancani's beautiful "Space Infantry" which is a "free, solitaire game of squad-level combat in the future."  You can download this game--no, you SHOULD download this game.  You can get it at his website:

Step 1: The Supplies - Adhesive Backed Floor Tiles

I got these from Lowe's (a home improvement store in the Western USA).  They come in 30cm squares, for less than a dollar each.  I guess for their intended purpose, you would peel the contact paper off the back, and stick them on your bathroom floor.  But that's not why you came here.

Step 2: How to Do This Isn't Really the Point of This Instructible.

This is not rocket science.  If you go out and buy this stuff, it's totally self-explanatory.  I made this instructible so people could see what I'm talking about and decide whether they want to go to the effort of finding 88 cents, putting their shoes on and heading down to the hardware store.

First Image
I've cut out the artwork that I printed on Cardstock.  I guess you could print on paper, but I didn't.  I didn't have an entire page worth of art to mount, so I cut out all the empty white space, to conserve on tile.  I've peeled back the wax paper backing, and placed the cardstock onto the back of the tile.

Second Image
Placing Cardstock onto the Tile.  Notice how I use my fingers, rather than just letting gravity pull the cardstock down.

Third Image
I recommend pressing the artwork firmly onto to the adhesive.  I'm actually only pretending to press it down in this picture, but I'm a really good actor, that's why it looks so realistic.

Image Four
I let the wax paper flap back down over the artwork before I started the broad-stroke cutting.  I think it was just because it was getting in my way before, and I wanted revenge.

Image Five
Here's where we start the precision cutting.  Try to plan your cuts, so you don't have to do a lot of long cuts.  If you need to do long cuts, use a metal straight edge, and razor blades.  You can borrow mine if you want, but don't put any gouges in my table.  For short cuts scissors are way easier.

Step 3: Finished Bits (or Are They Chits?)

Here are the pieces that I constructed today, and the fourth image is a picture of the game all set up and ready to play Mission 001: Rescue the scientists that are trapped on the surface of some planet that was taken over by Mutant Humanoid Aliens.

Well, in the time I've taken to create this Instructible, I could have played about 3 missions.  But I did this for you, and if you appreciate the effort I put in, you will kindly keep your "Too much time on your hands" comments to yourself.  I value my free-time, and work very hard to make sure I have more of it than you do.

Have fun.  I think I'm going to make an entire set of Settlers of Catan out of this stuff.  I think I can produce it all on about 10 sheets of paper.  Color Prints are 8 cents, and the tile is 88 cents, so I'm up to about $9.60 for a game that usually costs $40.

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5 years ago

I found a game here on Instructables but did not want to make paper pieces. Making them this way will preserve my game-making efforts. Thanks for the great idea.


7 years ago

Amazing! All the print and play I've been doing the hard way. I just printed out a playmat for Dice Masters; I'll make that my first one. Thanx for the great idea.


8 years ago on Step 3

ok just reread it, haha! perfect! got some new plans for today :D


8 years ago on Step 3

definately going to keep this mind, thanks for sharing! I haven't touched any of this stuff before but i imagine that theirs some sort of sticky surface on either the sheet you printed it on or the floor tile itself so i'll just look into that a bit before bothering you with it..hehe

now i just need some a cool little tool to punch out circular shapes. :D


13 years ago on Introduction

 Intro:  Of course they are not "NEW" scissors, they are scissors for M3N that you photographed upside down!

Intro:  Did not know about print and play games for adults.  Very exciting.  Is this one of those tricky copyright infringement areas or is this something supported by the original game designers?

Step One:  Love the Hollywood analogy!

Step Two; image three:  Congrats!  Hitting 23 years soon and heart still skips a beat!

Thank you for this!  My son enjoys the Catan game you mentioned. . . possible gift plan here!


Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for your kind words.  I have 3 different answers to your question about copyright. 

1. The Print and Play games are totally legal, in as much as the designers post them, and share them for others to print and play, often for free, if not, for very cheap.

2. The game I mentioned, SPACE INFANTRY was available for only a short time, before the designer got an offer from a publisher to create a professional version (Lock N Load games).  So he had to take down the free version, but everybody who already had it, could continue to enjoy, and all the other suckers, I mean, unfortunate souls, will have to wait for the Pro Version (and pay $40+!)

3. As for the Settlers of Catan, I did finish my set yesterday, and it turned out great.  But I think what a designer can copyright is the text of the rules.  And a publisher can copyright their particular artwork.  So if you already know the rules and can recreate the artwork, I'm told it's all legal--but I don't think you can sell it.  But if you just scan your existing pieces, and print out a new set, that may be crossing over into the illegal realm.

This is not to be taken as legal advice, just my recollection of what I've heard from sources I thought were reliable at the time.