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How to Make a Checkerboard

Checkerboards can be as big or as small as you need.
checkers image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com

A version of the modern day checkers game was played as far back as 3000 BC in Mesopotamia. Today, checkers is played on the computer, in tournaments and at home. Make your own checkerboard to use. Any small items can be used as the playing pieces, from candy to buttons to coins. Make your checkerboard out of a simple piece of plywood and paint. You can also make a travel version with felt or other fabric.

Cut a piece of plywood 14 inches square. Sand the board so that it is smooth with no rough edges or corners.

Paint the board in a light solid color; white, cream or light brown looks very natural.

Draw straight lines two inches in from each side using a pencil and straight ruler. You should now have a 12-inch square in the middle of your wood.

Draw 1 1/2 inch squares within the newly drawn square. You should have eight squares across and eight squares down for a total of 64 squares.

Paint the squares in two different colors; a light color and a dark color. In the top row, paint the first square one color and the second square your second color. Repeat this pattern down the row. For the second row, begin with your second color, followed by the first; continue alternating throughout the entire board. The typical colors are black and red, although you can choose any colors you like.

Paint a sealant on the checkerboard once the paint is dry. This will protect the board from any damage.

Things You'll Need:

  • 14-inch square plywood
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint, three colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Waterproof sealer


Make a checkerboard out of felt squares for a travel version.

Paint a large checkerboard on the ground outside to play a game with people as the game pieces.

You can also use your checkerboard to play chess.

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