bowdacious | create. craft. accessorize.

wall mounted magnetic scrabble board – a tutorial

My kids love games – all games. Card games, board games, dice games, you name it! I enjoy games, but sometimes I struggle with being patient while we play a game that might be beyond their capabilities. Recently we decided to create a huge, wall-mounted scrabble board to hang in our kitchen so we can have ongoing scrabble games. Scrabble lets the kids work on vocabulary, spelling, learning new words, all kinds of good stuff. And they love that it’s hanging right where all the action is!

If you want to make your own wall-mounted game (a similar approach would work for many games), here’s what I did…

1. I googled and downloaded a printable scrabble board from here:

2. I made the image black and white since I didn’t want all those bright colors hanging on my kitchen wall. After the fact, I thought sepia might have been nice too.

3. I resized the image to 28×28 and uploaded it to print at Staples Copy Center. Select oversized print and then engineering print. If you’re only using black and white, this will only cost $1.99 to print.

4. I wanted a nice, thick frame so I found one I liked for a reasonable price in the size I wanted here:

5. Things got a little more challenging at this point…. I needed a magnetic surface behind my paper game board. You could easily purchase magnetic paint and paint the picture frame backing or even a thin board to put behind your game board, but magnetic paint is pretty expensive. I decided to buy a thin metal sheet at home depot. This was not so easy. After much searching, the Home Depot staff and I found out that thin magnetic sheets can be found by the register covers in a long, skinny version and by the mailboxes in a 2×3 foot version. I chose the later and hoped my husband would cut it for me. I ended up paying more than I wanted for the metal, but everyone at Home Depot was running around trying to find the right thing for me so I didn’t feel like I could tell them no when they found it!

6. My husband used a dremmel to cut the metal sheet so he ended up with a 28×28 piece by cutting and putting pieces back together in the right shape. He taped the pieces together to form one large piece.

7. I was going to mod podge the game board print to the metal, but I didn’t. I guess I just didn’t think it was necessary. But we did use a little double stick tape to hold it on place.

8. Next we put the metal-backed game board in the frame, with the plexiglass cover, and hung it on the wall. As a note here, I was planning on an open frame and then using mod podge over the entire surface, but the magnets stuck through the plexiglass, and since it seemed like that would protect it more, that’s how we did it.

*As I’m writing this, I also just thought that you could cut a board the size of your print, magnetic paint your board, spray mount your print to your board, and mod podge the top. Then you could forego the frame all together, which might look really cool too. Just a thought…*

9. My original plan was to buy a regular scrabble game and put magnets on the back of each letter. But I realized at this point in the project that those letters would be really small compared to the squares on the board. Never fear! As it turns out, you can buy 1.5in wood squares here (buy your magnets here too!):

10. You can download printable scrabble tiles here (very fun site):

11. I printed the tiles at home, so I had to work with the sizing a bit. I think I ended up printing them at about 73% to get them just smaller than my 1.5 in wood squares. I cropped the page in half so I printed one half of the set at 73%, then the other. It may take some trial and error, but it’s not too hard. If I had saved it, I’d just give it to ya!

12. Next I cut out all the paper tiles and mod podged each letter to a wood tile, then mod podged over the top to protect them.

13. Then I took the magnets I bought from Annie Howe’s on Etsy (see wood squares above) and used E6000 to glue a little magnet to the back of each tile. Toothpicks and a papertowel are useful when doing this. It’s also worth following the directions on the E6000 by letting the glue set for a minute or two before you stick the magnet on, and then letting it dry for about 24 hours. I’ve used this glue a lot and it does make a difference!

14. After they’re dry, you’re ready to play scrabble! I think we are going to build a small bench to put on the floor below the game board so the kids can reach better, and we can also have a little box there to store the tiles.

This has been a hit so far! Please share if you make one of your own, I’d love to see it!!

Comments are closed.