Hi Friends!! If you’ve been following my blog, you know that we have been making our backyard more fun to hang out in. One thing I wanted to do was have some outdoor games for anyone to play. I am working on making a Jenga set and will let you know when I finish! A super easy and cheap thing I made was an outdoor checkerboard. So I thought I’d share with you my DIY large checkerboard tutorial that I made from things I had on hand… so it was free… woo hoo! It ended up fitting perfectly on top of an end table I have outside already and we had some old plastic poker chips that ended up working great for chips!
There are other tutorials out there that can show you how to use painter’s tape to make it but I ended up using my Cricut. ( I make everything with my beloved Cricut! If you don’t have one and want to know what it can do, check out my blog here!)
I used a spare piece of 1 inch thick wood that someone had given me. Spare wood is always great to keep around for random projects!! I sanded it down and painted it with cream chalk paint.
For the stencil, I used contact paper. Oracal 631 or contact paper both would work fine for this. Vinyl sticks a little better so you are not having to push it down but it’s also more expensive so I decided to use some contact paper.
For the design, I googled a checkerboard pattern and uploaded it to Cricut Design Space. My board was about 21×22 so I made the design about 19 inches long. I just spliced the checkerboard in half by putting a large rectangle exactly in middle, clicking both objects, and then hitting the slice button. so it would cut on a 12×24 mat evenly. This is what my screen looked like.
Once you cut out the two sections, weed out the empty space. Apply transfer paper to one and place on dry board. Make sure it is centered. Then I use a piece of painter’s tape to secure one side of transfer paper in place. When you lift up the other side and remove the backing paper, it will still be stuck to where you want it. Once you have one side on, line up the other side and again tape the transfer paper to one side, lift up the other half, remove the paper backing, and then gently lay the transfer tape with the vinyl/contact paper down on the board. Scrape it all down and then remove the transfer tape. If using contact paper, it might not remove too quickly. I just held down a corner with one hand and peeled the transfer paper with the other.
Once that layer is dry, peel off the all the vinyl/contact paper. I use a weeding tool but you can use a box cutter. Just try not to scrape the paint! If you want it rustic looking, you can sand off some edges. Apply a top layer of poly or varnish and you’re done!
Mine sits in between two comfy chairs inviting people to play! (SShhhh…I know the checkers are on wrong, but for picture purposes, it stood out better this way!!:) While we’re using the table as a checkerboard board, we can put our drinks and food on the coffee table storage bench that I just made! Check out my tutorial here on how to make your own!
What kind of outdoor games would you love to play??