February 11, 2015

Tutorial: Magnetic Scrabble Board

Wally and Jules

A few years ago, one of my besties and I decided to start a DIY Christmas tradition. Instead of heading out to the mall to buy our gifts for each other, we arm ourselves for some crafty fun with glue guns, paper punches, glass etching cream, super glue, and usually glitter. Lots and lots of glitter!

I love this tradition more and more every year. Not only does it give me a chance to really research creative ideas and projects (and admittedly, it also gives me a chance to meticulously stalk her Pinterest boards without judgment), but there is something special about receiving a gift that someone has made just for you.

As I was doing my research this year, I noticed that she had pinned a few magnetic Scrabble boards on her Pinterest account. Brilliant! And a super fun concept - just hang the board on your wall and have an ongoing game with your roomie or significant other. I knew this was the perfect gift idea for her...and a great puzzle for me to solve. How could I get a Scrabble board to hang on a wall, have the pieces be magnetic, and allow the players to keep score easily? After having to go "back to the drawing board" a few times, I came up with my final plan. And honestly? It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. So, fellow board game addicts - here's how you can make a Magnetic Chalkboard Scrabble board for your own home!

Items You'll Need:

- Scrabble Board w/ Pieces
- Picture Frame (I used a 22"x28")
- Extra strong magnets (neodymium work best)
- Gorilla Glue or Super Glue
- Chalkboard Paint and Primer
- Metal Sheet
- 3M Strips
- Chalk
- Eraser

Now that you have all the necessary items, let's get started!

1. Take your metal sheet and, if necessary, cut it to size. Be careful! Metal is VERY sharp after it's been cut! For those of you searching for a metal sheet that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I went to Home Depot and grabbed one of these. Great price and perfectly magnetic! Also, very easy to cut with my tin snips.

2. Next, it's time for some spray painting fun! I did not prime my metal sheet, but if I did it again, I think I would take the extra time to do so. It's up to you! I ultimately ended up doing about 4 coats. Make sure to let it dry well in between.


3. While the paint is drying, you need to glue the magnets to the back of each scrabble tile. This is a little bit time consuming, but I have found that binge watching Netflix while completing this step makes it go much faster (did someone say Dawson's Creek marathon?)  Be warned: these magnets are VERY strong. If you have the tiles sitting too close to one another while you're gluing, they can easily snap together. When that happens, you have to attempt to pry them apart, while getting your poor fingers caked in super glue. It can be a pretty messy operation! Moral of the story: keep the magnets a few inches apart from each other until the glue dries well. Also, I highly suggest using a gel-like super glue. Gorilla Glue is great or thicker consistency super glue will work, too. Let these dry completely before using them! I gave them 24 hours.



4. Once your painted metal sheet has dried well (I let mine sit until the following day), place it and secure it in the picture frame but remove the glass (or plastic) panel that is normally on the front. You will not need this piece.

5. Next, you need to prep the chalkboard paint. To do this, take the side of a piece of chalk and rub it vertically across the entire sheet. Then, repeat the same thing, but rub it horizontally. This step is VERY important whenever using a new chalkboard surface! Once you have finished doing this, you can erase the chalk with a regular chalkboard eraser, or if you like the "super clean" look, you can use a damp towel.


5. From here on out, it is smooth sailing. Decide how you would like to layout your Scrabble game. I decided to have all 4 trays below the board, and allowed for a few inches on each side of the game for keeping score. Once you decide a layout that you like, use the 3M strips to attach the game and letter tile trays to the board.


6. Optional step: I decided to attach a magnet to an old button from a pair of my jeans to use for hanging the tile bag. If you don't want the bag to hang from the frame, you can always just set it nearby instead.

7. Once everything is attached, you are ready to hang your board and get started on a game!



I hope you have a great time making one for yourself! Please feel free to ask any questions if you need clarification - I'm always happy to help. Or, if you make one of your own, please share! I would love to see your final product!


 photo b3b2c609-aa06-4f64-89b3-367957f19d2f.jpg

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