Anniversary Chess Set

I’ve been brainstorming for months about what to make my guy for our one year anniversary. Here are the two important questions I had to ask myself, to zero in on my gift idea:

1. What do we both like?    

  • Exploring
  • Photography
  • 80's [almost] anything
  • Caves
  • Chess
  • The beach
  • Whiskey

2. Should I use buttons?     

     Obviously.

Okay, clearly the only answer is a chess set made of buttons. Done.

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This isn’t a typical tutorial – the process description won't be as in-depth because, this being a gift, I wanted to focus more on the construction and less on recording it. Either way, I thought it would be fun to share :).

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I started by gluing little stacks of buttons for the pieces. I found a button "cap" for each piece, so it was clear which piece it was.

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After the pieces were all made, I went on a hunt for board materials. Jo-Ann Fabric for the cork board and all-surface paint, and Home Depot for the tiles and polyurethane. Chess boards are approximately 16”x16”, so 64 2” white tiles (priming and painting 32 of them black) worked out great!

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Word to the wise: If you choose to make your own chess board, learn from my mistake and don’t mount your tiles on a cork board - the surface isn’t quite sturdy enough. If I had it to do over, I’d use wood instead. Just so ya know :).

The cork board was 17”x17” so I measured an inch in, painted my tiles, and built my grid.

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I placed the tiles on first, and then glued them in place.

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Once they were all in place, I brushed on a coat of polyurethane to protect the paint. 

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After that I just had a few details to add! I glued some ribbon on at the edge of the tiles and base of the cork board...

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And buttons at the corners. Just to cute them up.

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And done!

It’s ready to give to my honey to say “Yay for one wonderful year of us!”

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