The goal of this Instructable is to create a board that will function for both chess and checkers. It is a fairly simple design that requires little to no skill and inexpensive materials. Two of the materials, the exact-o knife and the scissors, are dangerous if used improperly and care should be taken.
Step 1: Materials
1) At least one wide-tipped Sharpie
2) A 12 inch ruler
3) Exact-o knife
4) A white foam board that is at 15 inches by 20 inches
5) Erasable pencil
6) 1 sheet of blank paper
7) 1 pair of scissors
8) A quarter (or similar sized circular object)
9) 2 different colored markers or pencils
Step 2: Making the Squares
- With your board, create marks along two intersecting edges that are 1.5 inches apart. Make sure you start from the same corner. This is the beginning of the outlines of the squares, and will space them evenly. Both sides should have eight marks, creating the outer edges of the board as well
- Once you have defined the outer edges, pick one side of the board and place the ruler along one of the marks that is farthest away from the corner and measure 12 more inches of the board, placing marks every 1.5 inches. When this is finished, you should have three edges of the board marked for square placement. Repeat the process for the last remaining edge. Make sure each mark is equidistant from the marks on the opposite side of the board in order to have a perfectly square board layout.
- Using the ruler, draw a straight line from the marks directly across from each other. Do this for all marks.
Step 3: Tracing the Lines With Sharpie
- Using the ruler again, trace over each pencil line with Sharpie. It is important to not make a mistake when doing this in order to have a neat and clean board. If a mistake is made, simply turn over the board and start again on the bottom side.
Step 4: Filling in the Squares
- For both chess and checkers, every other square is a different color. For the purposes of this Instructable, we chose the standard black and white of chess and checker boards. As a preventative measure, place a dot in each square that will be filled in. Refer to the final picture product if you are unsure which squares are to be filled in.
- Wherever the dots are placed, use your wide-tipped Sharpie to completely fill in the respective square. Once finished, wait at least 5 minutes for the Sharpie to fully dry. Any smearing would make the board messy.
Step 5: Cutting Out the Game Board
- Place the ruler along the edges that are connected to the excess poster board in order to maintain a straight line. Carefully, using the exact-o knife, cut an incision along the outer line of the board. You will likely need to cut along this line more than once in order to fully sever the two pieces. Repeat this process for the remaining edge. This will finish the board.
Step 6: Creating the Checker Pieces
For chess, there are 32 pieces in total. For checkers, there are 24 pieces in total. In order to optimize the materials, we will only make 32 pieces and use both the top sides and bottom sides.
- Using a quarter or similar sized circular object, trace 16 circles onto the blank sheet of paper with one of the two colors of markers or pencils.
- Repeat the process, creating another 16 pieces with the other color marker or pencil.
- Fill in the circles with the respective color. This will create 32 total pieces of two separate colors.
Step 7: Creating the Chess Pieces
- Turn the piece of paper over. You should be able to see the colored circles from this side.
- There are 6 different types of pieces in chess: 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, 1 queen, 1 king, and 8 pawns. Using the same color that you colored in the circles with, label each of the circles on the bottom side with these names. All of these should add up to 16 pieces per color.
- Repeat the same process for the second color.
- Once this is completed, you will have created both the checkers pieces and the chess pieces.
Step 8: Cutting Out the Game Pieces
- Using the pair of scissors, carefully cut out each individual circle. If you make a mistake, it is easy to just create another circle, fill it in, and write the corresponding chess game piece name on the back. This step may take awhile but should not be too difficult.
Step 9: Setting Up the Game Board
- Both chess and checkers have relatively easy set-ups. Separate the 32 pieces into two piles of the two different colors.
- For checkers, simply place 12 pieces one color along the black squares in the three right-most columns of squares you created on the board. Place the other color on only the black squares in the three left-most columns. Refer to the above picture if there is any confusion.
- The set-up for chess is a little more complicated. As before, separate the two colors. Along the right-most column of squares, place the following labeled pieces in descending order; 1 rook, 1 knight, 1 bishop, 1 king, 1 queen, 1 bishop, 1 knight, and 1 rook. In the second-most right column place all 8 pawns.
- In the left-most column place the other colored labeled pieces in descending order; 1 rook, 1 knight, 1 bishop, 1 king, 1 queen, 1 bishop, 1 knight, and 1 rook. These pieces should lay parallel with the pieces along the opposite side. Place the 8 pawns in the second-most left column.
- Congratulations! You have now made your very own game board that functions for both checkers and chess!