As Anne and I get ready to leave for Greece (8 days!), I’ve decided that our packing list should include games we can play on our trip. Playing cards are a no-brainer, but I was curious how I might go about creating a travel-friendly backgammon and checkers board. Backgammon is widely popular in Greece, so learning to play is something I’ve been very interested in. Checkers I already have down pat.
After scouring the Internet and a local art supply store to get ideas on how to make this vision a reality, I ultimately settled on a design that is freakishly easy. So easy that creating a blog post tutorial on it is almost cheating. I wanted to use materials I already owned, though, so creating two board games for $0 is a win in my book! The supplies are few, and the steps quite easy.
This board game takes up virtually no room in your travel bag, and is sure to be fun no matter where you are: a local taverna, the beach, your room, a long plane ride, etc.
DIY Travel Backgammon
- 8.5″ x 11″ chipboard (I purchased mine here)
- Sharpie marker
- 30 buttons, 15 each in two colors (or any other checker-type object)
- 2-4 dice, depending on what style backgammon you are playing (or download this dice app if you’ll have wifi on your trip)
Step 1: Using a pencil and then a Sharpie, draw a thick line down the short side of the chipboard at 5 1/2″. To make this as accurate as possible, make a tick mark at 5 1/2″ on either long edge of the board. Then, connect the dots.
Step 2: Working outward from either side of the thick line, use a pencil to make six tick marks every 7/8″. There should be 24 tick marks in total.
Step 3: Use the ruler and Sharpie to begin creating the backgammon points (or triangles). Place the board in landscape position. The long edge closest to you I will call Side 1, and the farther long edge will be called Side 2. Connect the farthest left tick mark on Side 1 to the second most left tick mark on Side 2. This should create a diagonal line. Continue this across the board to create 12 parallel lines. Next, go back and create 12 more parallel lines going in the opposite direction (i.e. connect the second most left tick mark on Side 1 to the farthest left tick mark on Side 2).
Step 4: Create the two-toned backgammon board by filling in every other point with stripes. The points facing each other should be opposite colors.
DIY Travel Checkers
- See above! This board requires the same materials as backgammon, except only 12 checkers each.
Step 1: Turn over your brand-new backgammon board to the blank side of the chipboard. Create an 8″ x 8″ square using the ruler, pencil, and Sharpie.
Step 2: Make tick marks every 1″ along all four sides of the square. Create smaller squares by connecting all opposing tick marks. There will be 64 squares total.
Step 3: Create the two-toned checkers board by filling in every other square with stripes. No striped square should be touching another striped square.
P.S. Have you seen my DIY Scrabble game? It was the subject of an early blog post on Scissors & Sage, but it might be one of my favorite projects ever.