Checkers From Bottle Lids

Introduction: Checkers From Bottle Lids

This Instructable will show you how to make checkers using simple items that can be found around the house. This is also a good way to re-purpose items that might otherwise be thrown away. Nothing fancy, just for fun.

Step 1: Items You Need

Items you will need:
- Glue
- A good pair of scissors (or knife)
- 24 bottle lids (I used medicine bottle lids from Walgreens)
  -- one bottle lid smaller that the one being used for the checkers
- A whole bunch of used-up gift cards (or cardboard, or whatever you can think of that would work)
- Sharpies (or any permanent marker, or pen if you're using a surface that it will write on) to make cut-out markings
 -- Also, I didn't have any paint that adheres well to plastic, so I simply colored my checkers with a Sharpie. Not the best looking, but it works. Use whatever you have/prefer.
- NOT PICTURED: Something to cover the bottoms of the lids with - I used vinyl (felt, duct tape, etc. would work too)
- Checkerboard (duh) (to play on when you're done)

Step 2: Cutting Out the Fillers

I wanted to make my checkers more substantial and weightier, so I decided to use old gift cards to do that. You could easily use cardboard instead. Having something inside the lids also helps if you want to add a bottom to the checker. I used 8 small circles (this is where I used the top of the small medicine bottle lid) and 10 big (top of the big medicine bottle lid) circles per checker. I found that, using my method, you could get 3 small circles per card, and 2 big ones per card. That's roughly 192 small circles, and 240 big circles - more or less depending on the thickness of the cards used. All of the cards I used were consistent in thickness. That comes to about (again, depending on the thickness) 64 cards for the small circles, and 120 for the big circles.
   To prepare for cutting out the circles, place the lid flat side down (or small side down), holding it against the card with your thumb and index finger, while taking your marker and encircling the lid. Do your best to cut right on the line you make. Once you have all of the circles cut out, start out by putting a layer of glue on the bottom inside of the lid, then put in a small circle, put a bit of glue on that, and continue adding the circles and glue until your lid is full. Don't put glue on the the last circle until you're ready to attach the bottom (vinyl, felt, duct tape, or whatever you use).
   NOTE: Cutting gift cards isn't the easiest thing to do. I would recommend spacing out how many you do per day, as it takes a toll on the wrist and could possibly result in things like Carpal Tunnel. Also make sure that you have strong scissors, as weak scissors that work on paper may break or get worn out very quickly.

Step 3: Coloring or Painting Your Checkers

As I said, I didn't have any paint that would adhere well to plastic, and since I wanted to do this project with what I had laying around, I decided to use Sharpies. Not the most amazing looking color job, but it worked. Originally I was going to use Black/Red as that seemed to me like classic checker coloring, but I decided on Blue/Red because it reminds me of the classic 1Player vs. 2Player feel. Anyway, color or paint however you wish - the only important thing being that the sides obviously differ from each other.

Step 4: Add the Base

For this step, I didn't have much to work with, and was going to use Duct Tape until I was given some leftover vinyl just before I finished. I traced the bottom of the large lids onto the back of the vinyl, then cut on the line, tested the size, and trimmed them down a bit. I put a nice layer of glue on the last circle (pay special attention to the inside edges), pressed the vinyl down, and placed weights on them (heavy books work well) and let them dry overnight. I would recommend using self-adhesive felt (mainly because of the 'self-adhesive part), which I would have used had I had enough left. But again, whatever works.

Step 5: Go Play Checkers!

Here I have my completed checkers set up on a board I made previously (picture A), and on a marble board I also own (picture B). Enjoy.

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    4 Discussions

    Great idea and a very well put together instructable. Gonna have to do one myself soon.
    It's so simple it would be a great rainy day project for kids too.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    They stack decently. Not the best, not the worst. :)