Friday, May 21, 2010

How To Make A Velcro Game Board

I use a lot of paper craft models in my gaming, which I'm sure will be the subject of many other postings on here, but to start it off let me talk to you about how I constructed my Velcro Game Board!
This is essentially two 10 in. x 20 in. game board from a 3'x5', $5-6,  piece of foam core board that you can pick up at any Office Max/Depot , Wallgreens, Rite Aid, or Michaels Hobby and Crafts.  If you go to the office supplies or craft stores you can pick out various colors and thickness where as the other locations you'll likely have to choose from your 1/4 in. thickness in white and maybe 1/4 in. black if your lucky!  I'm using black with black Velcro but it doesn't really matter as the board gets covered up with dungeon tiles that you secure to the board, its just nice to have a dark color so no white shows through if your tiles don't line up perfect.  Now, if you're at said craft or office supplies stores wander over and find the Velcro section, typically in the craft stores its near the knitting/fabric isles.  There you will find either Velcro in long strips or you can get them in precut squares about an 1in in size.  I use the long strips and cut them into about 1 in. by 1 in. squares.  The 1 in. squares yields 4  1/4 in. squares so if you make a big board (20 in. x 20 in.) like I did you need to have 400 squares total, so divide that by 4 and you get 100 1 in. Velcro squares or a 100 in. strip.  Once you get your Velcro in whatever form you have you just have to sit down in front of the tv and cut it into 1/4 in. squares.  What you need to do is separate the "fuzzy" Velcro from the "hooks" Velcro.  More or less they should be already joined when you buy it but if not just make sure you put the two into two different areas as you'll use the fuzzy side to place onto the game board and the hooks side you'll put onto whatever you are going to stick onto the board.  The reason for this is that the fuzzy side won't stick to itself of course and while the hook side will attach to itself its not a good grip as the correct way of attaching the Velcro fuzzy>hooks!  

So while cutting them and after separating the different sides, I used a small container to place the cut squares into so I won't lose any, you can also use a sandwich bag or paper bag.  After awhile you'll notice your scissors getting gunked up with adhesive.  So you'll need to get some goo gone (or wd-40 but it doesn't smell as nice) and apply some to a paper towel then wipe down your scissors until the gunk is gone and they are cutting clean again.  You can get goo gone at most any place these days craft, pharmacies, hardware, grocery, and it smells of oranges!

Once you've got all your squares cut out use a utility knife with a sharp blade, if you're unsure if the blade is share replace the blade as a dull blade will tear the inner foam core of the foam core board and leave you with nasty jagged edges, and cut the foam core board into two 10 in. x 20 in. pieces.  Then lay those pieces adjacent to each other so it forms a 20 in. x 20 in. square. Using the duct tape secure the middle seam between the two boards.  Now you've got the start of a folding game board.  If you have the room you could even add a third panel and have it fold back to back like this |\|, though you'll have to duct tape on top of the 3rd board seam.  Now using a yard stick or another long straight edge, mark out 1 in strips on both axis using a pen or pencil. When you're finished you'll have a nice grid pattern.  

Sit down, again best to do in front of the tv, and remove the backings from your little 1/4 in Velcro squares and place them into the center of each of the 1in squares on your board.  Its just that simple.  It'll take some time for the larger board but its worth it!

Now any dungeon tiles, or other terrain you have,  stick the 1/4 in hook Velcro squares to that side and you'll have a fully functioning game board that is very secure!  I've only done the corners of my models but the heavier your terrain the more attach points you should use. Once you've got enough completed you can drop terrain into the mix at a moments notice.  You also don't have to set up the map ahead of time, which gives the players too much information!

So that's it! I made up a few add on boards, 10 in. x 10 in., and use them to put on the ends or edges when needed.  I'm thinking of even going smaller 5 in x 5 in for even more customizing and fitting them in some tight spots on my game table.

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!

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