A Magnetic Scrabble Board
Scrabble, it’s not only on a board! We’re scrabble players in our family and have been for years. We individually play against the computer, one on one, and as a family…sometimes fiercely, for prizes, and momentary bragging rights! That’s why this Magnetic Scrabble Board from The Twice Remembered Cottage seemed like the perfect thing to create. It’s a perpetual scrabble game anyone can play as they pass by…no score keeping…just plain fun.. and vocabulary building. For 13 years we homeschooled our daughter (aka… Sweet Pea…now a college girl majoring in grad school English) and even though those years of schooling sadly are over, learning and words never cease.
Through no fault of this craft or The Twice Remembered Cottage, this came about with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears!
~ See the complete Details Below ~
Here is what I did:
- I followed the directions that The Twice Remembered Cottage gave, but had to make a few adaptations with supplies.
- I didn’t have any molding lying around, so instead I bought a frame from Hobby Lobby for 50% off.
- I hunted at GoodWill for a yellowed page dictionary. I couldn’t find one, but came across an encyclopedia and for under a dollar grabbed it.
- I learned the hard way when buying sheet metal! (I’ll explain more in the helpful hints).
- I got my scrabble pieces at one of my favorite vintage stores (this is one complete set – I plan on adding a second set).
- I purchased my Earth Magnets (strong little things) from Amazon. However, I see that these are currently unavailable. Amazon has a large selection in the way of earth magnets, so keep searching, or find yours on Ebay as the tutorial suggests.
- I used Gorilla Glue to adhere the magnets to the tiles.
- I used Krylon Low Odor Matte Clear Finish over the paper.
- Lowes sells their aluminum sheets mixed in with their sheet metal and they both look very similar. Yes, I grabbed the wrong one! Yes, magnets DO NOT stick to aluminum! Yes, I glued all the pages on before realizing it was not sheet metal! Yes, I let out a huge sigh when I realized this, and yes, back to Lowes I went!
- Lowes has 24″ X 36″ flat sheet metal for $9.34 if that size works for you.
- Before buying your “sheet metal” go two aisles over and find magnets to do a “test stick” to make sure you are purchasing metal and not aluminum. Don’t rely on what the price sticker says.
- Tin snips work well to cut your sheet metal. Be careful the cut edge is very sharp!
- When gluing your pages to the metal, using a tool to flatten wallpaper will be helpful in getting the bubbles and creases out.
- It’s hard to say how long this project takes given my wasted time. Once proper supplies are purchased, and if you buy a frame rather than make one, I would say from start to finish it would take about 2-3 hours depending on your frame size and number of tiles etc.
- Make sure your clear protective coating can be sprayed over paper. Some can not. I bought the right one the first time!
- This is a project with lots of other possibilities: Use it for school spelling practice or poetry writing, as a message board or menu board, or for love notes to your family.
* So, what did I end up doing with my sheet metal dilemma? *
My Sweetheart (aka…Mr. Build It/Fix It) suggested, before spending more time gluing more paper on the correct sheet, I try placing the metal directly behind the papered covered aluminum to see if the magnets were strong enough to adhere through the different layers.
So, where did the blood come in?
Just before setting the sheet metal in the frame, I had it sitting on the garage counter, right outside my door. After enthusiastically wanting to finish this project, I flung the door open, raised my hand abruptly, to gesture something to My Sweetheart, and yes, the sharp corner of the sheet metal pierced the top of my hand. You know that vein they normally put IV’s into? Well, you guessed it, blood came squirting out all over the floor, my arm, and hands. I’ll spare you the pictures!
However, thankfully, no stitches were needed, and the magnetic board, and my white pants were saved in the process. Some projects come about through patience and perseverance, don’t they?
Thanks to Alfred Mosher Butts for his perseverance and creativity in developing such a fun game that has lasted the test of time. To learn about the interesting story of the birth of Scrabble check out, http://www.scrabble-assoc.com/info/history.html
* Neither Hobby Lobby, Good Will, Amazon, Gorilla Glue, Krylon, or Lowes has paid me for my endorsements of their stores or products.