The holidays are all about togetherness with friends and family. And I’m making a serious effort to unplug as much as possible in the coming weeks, after work, to really get into the holiday spirit. So I thought it would be fun to create a giant board game and have a game night holiday party with the girls this year.
I partnered with Chambord to create a quirky cool way for us all to stay entertained this holiday season with a giant DIY chess board, that I’m pretty excited about. Because why not?!
After a few games of chess, we made some cocktails: Chambord and champagne + Chambord spritz. I highly recommend them both, but if neither of those sound appealing to you, no worries! There are a bunch of additional cocktail recipes right here. But back to the DIY chess board! To make your own giant chess set, you’ll need the following…
– two pieces of plywood that are each 20×40 inches (I had mine cut to size at the home improvement store)
– three 1 1/2 inch hinges with screws
– interior house paint or acrylic paint (in 4 colors)
– paint pen marker
– paint brush
– painter’s tape
– drill (with phillips bit for screws and drill bit to get the holes started for your screws)
– measuring tape
– two sets of large plastic animals (mine are from Amazon – here and here)
1. Start by painting the front and sides of both pieces of plywood in a base color (this will be one of the two colors of your chess board, so choose wisely). I used a paint that is paint and primer in one to save the extra step of priming beforehand.
2. Once the plywood sheets are completely dry, place them together on their sides (right sides facing outward). Make sure they are precisely lined up to one another as well. Lay the first of the three hinges about 5 inches from the inside of the edge, with one side of the hinge flush with the bottom and the other side flush with the side of the wood. Trace the holes with a pencil.
3. Repeat the hinge process from step 2 with the other board (making sure that the hinge is precisely lined up with the first board).
4. Next, drill pilot holes in the center of each traced circle (on both boards). Then, screw each hinge to the board.
5. Then, repeat the hinge process of steps 2 through 4 for the remaining two hinges. The hinges will make it more compact and allow you to store the chess set easily, folded in half.
6. Next, it’s time to paint the other color of the chess board. Lay the chess board flat (painted side up) and pencil in graph lines every 5 inches (in both directions). Then tape off those lines into squares, as shown in the photo. *You’ll have to tape each individual box that’s been created, as opposed to creating taped graph lines, so that you don’t have to re-tape over and over again.
7. Paint the full squares that have been created from the taped boxes, as shown in the photos. paint a second coat if necessary.
8. Remove painter’s tape. Touch up in areas if necessary.
9. To create the chess pieces, paint two sets of giant plastic animals. Each set in a different color. Once dry, write the name of each chess piece on the animals, with a paint pen marker. And get ready to play!
Photography by Rachel Brewer and Brittni Mehlhoff
Assisted by Amelia Tatnall and Anissa Saxton
Concept and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff
What do you think of this giant chess board? Think you’d DIY your own for the holidays or a game night with friends?
This post is in partnership with Chambord and Refinery 29. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running. Happy holidays! Audiences 21+