Customized Chinese Checkers

 

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This project was a pretty quick one. Since we have six people in our household, I wanted to personalize a six-person game. The first to pop into my head was the classic Chinese checkers. I had originally planned to have each of us make marbles out of polymer clay colored to each one’s liking. Maybe we’ll do that another time. We went with our pictures instead this time.

The Pieces

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First we bought some glass pebbles from the dollar store (the consistency of size and the clarity weren’t great, but the price was). Using powerpoint, I circularly cropped headshots of each of us, sized them to be a bit smaller than the cross section of the pebble, and printed them. I could have gone smaller; the pebble magnifies and the smaller version may look better. If I would have reduced the photo size I might have made a colored ring around the picture to make it stand out. I’m sure a photo-quality printer would have been nice too.

From there I just glued the pictures I had cut out onto the pebbles with white glue.

Especially because we have two girls who look very similar and, at a glance, it wasn’t so easy to recognize the images, I wrapped each with a small rubber hair tie of a favored color. I used a little smear of glue on them as well.

And that was it for the “marbles;” some tedious (60 total pebles) cutting and gluing and such but nothing challenging.

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The Board

I used this template to make the board. I made the diameter of the circle match the size of the larger pebbles. I used powerpoint and simply created a circle the right size and then resized the template to match. I also cropped the image to just one point of the star.

I then taped it on my cardboard and made shallow cuts with a utility knife for all the circles. I moved the template, overlapping one row to make the next star point. And again for all six points.

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I peeled the top and corrugation layers from the cut circles. I then lined out a hexagon for the top of the board. My top cardboard piece was pretty flimsy, so I glued it to a slightly larger circle, making the corrugation of the layers perpendicular.

And it was done.

We tried to play a six player game with it, but the 2 year old wasn’t interested for too long and eventually siphoned off the five year old and later then six year old. Maybe in a couple more years.


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