How to Build Tabletop Game Boards

Difficulty: Easy  |  Estimated time: 4 hours  |  Help needed: 3 volunteers

Games like chess and/or checkers can be played by people of all ages, and providing this opportunity will encourage youth, teens, adults, and seniors to frequent the playspace. These games can also be a perfect catalyst for playspace programming! They can also add to the beautification of a playspace. Ideally, this project involves adding a twist to existing, ordinary picnic tables.

Download Instructions

Materials and tools

Quantity: Materials:
1 ¾"x4x8' sanded plywood board
Adjust as needed Paint supplies
Adjust as needed Sandpaper sheets
Adjust as needed Primer
½lb 1 ⅝" deck screws
Optional Yard stick
Tools needed:
Circular saw
Tape measure
Chalk line
Exterior paint
Painter's tape

Preparation instructions

  1. Sort all materials into piles by like items to ensure you have materials needed to complete project.

  2. Measure the surface that the table-top game board will be attached to.

  3. Using the measuring tape and chalk line, measure a rectangle on the plywood board with matching dimensions to your table-top surface.

  4. Using the circular saw, cut the plywood down to match your table-top measurements.

  5. Sand all edges until smooth.

  6. Prime both sides and all edges.

Build instructions

  1. Before building, inventory and sort all of your materials.

    Quantity: Inventory:
    1 Prepared plywood piece
  2. Decide what type of game board you would like to make. Popular choices are chess/checkerboards, Chutes and Ladders, tic-tac-toe, or Dots.

    • If you are making a board for a game that requires players to write or draw (ex. Tic-tac-toe), use chalk paint on the game board and provide chalk for players!
  3. Use the yard stick, painter's tape, and pencils to create the outline for your game.

  4. Fill in your game using exterior paint and painting supplies.

  5. When the piece is dry, attach it to the table top surface using the 1 ⅝" deck screws.