Magnetic Wall Chess or Checkers

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The project I have for you today is not quick, but I do think it’s a fun way to incorporate some cute, functional decor into your living space and it comes together very easily using Silhouette Stencil Vinyl and some of the specialty media.  As you may remember from this post, I have been working on filling up some of the blank walls in my newly finished game room.  Since it’s not a huge space, I liked the idea of some of the decor playing double-duty.  This magnetic checkerboard piece can serve just as a “painting” or be used right on the wall for extended game play.  The bonus is that if you wanted to play chess or checkers normally, you can also take it down to place on a table.

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  1. I started out by cutting a piece of three-quarter inch plywood down to 17″ x 17″.  (I wanted my squares to be about 2″ x 2″ and it just so happens that the American Checkers Federation calls this “standard”.)  Since I would be using this as a showpiece too, I added quarter round moulding and sanded the complete panel well.
  2. I next painted the piece with several coats of Magnetic Primer from Rust-Oleum.  A hard foam roller and several smooth, thin coats of paint are recommended for maximum magnetic attraction.  Since the primer is a dark gray color when dry, I only needed to apply one coat of black satin spray paint (not pictured).
  3. The checkerboard stencil was cut from Silhouette Stencil Vinyl.  Since the board is larger than 12″, I needed to cut the design in half and stitch it back together on my wood panel.  After taping the edges up with some painters tape, I painted the piece with a few coats of white satin spray paint.
  4. After removing the tape and stencil, I was left with a beautiful magnetic checkboard panel.

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  • My game pieces would be cut from both Adhesive Magnet Paper and Printable Cotton Canvas (I thought printing them on the canvas would add a touch a class).  There are a couple of good choices for chess piece designs in the Online Store but no checkers, so I decided to design my own simple checkers.
  • Starting with a 2″ circle, I made 4 consecutive internal offsets at 0.2″ each.  Then I filled the group of shapes with one of the pre-set gradients found in the Fill Gradient window.  The result is a shiny looking checker.

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  • The Nesting feature perfectly placed all 24 of my checkers within the printable and cuttable boundary of my sheet of cotton canvas.

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  • Peel the backing off of both types of media and adhere together.  The chess pieces look difficult to get the alignment perfect, but if you line up the bases first they come together nicely.

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  • Here is a detail shot of my chess pieces stuck to my wall checkerboard.  I used the same Fill Gradient technique in the chess piece designs to make them look shiny.

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Of course, the board still works for normal table play if your friends just can’t get used to wall checkers.  If you’re not interested in woodworking, an alternative approach would be to just stencil the checkerboard directly on a wall (but I prefer the portable option).  I hope this inspires you to use your Silhouette in unexpected ways!

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