Today I am sharing a project that I have been dreaming up for some time now. Ever since I got my very first iPhone and downloaded Words With Friends, I have totally been into these word games. While I do love to play on my phone, I still find an old fashioned board game to be a lot of fun and it reminds us to unplug and enjoy each other in person!
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And we all know games are more fun when they are GIANT 🙂 Now, Restoration Hardware does sell a Giant Wall Scrabble, however, it comes with a hefty price tag too. I personally cannot afford to spend that kind of cash on a board game, giant or not. So I did what I normally do and found a way to DIY one! And for all you Scrabble and Words With Friends addicts out there, I am going to show you how to do it! Ready?
To make this DIY Giant Word Game the same way I did you will need the following items.
Wood Squares – 2 pkgs
Round Magnets – 1 pkg
Letter Stickers 1 inch – 3 pkgs
Number Stickers 1/4 inch – 3 pkgs
48×36 Magnetic Dry Erase Board (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby but they are not sold online)
Chalk Board Contact Paper
1x3x8 (I only used 60 inches)
Chalkboard Spray Paint
Cup for Chalk (I found mine at Dollar Tree but they are not sold online)
Double Sided Tape
30×30 Board Game Download
Step 1 – Choose a 48×36 inch board to mount the game to. As I said above, I used a 48×36 inch magnetic dry erase board with a faux wood frame which I found at Hobby Lobby. They don’t appear to sell it online, but it was on sale for $40. I contemplated making my own using plywood and magnetic paint, but with very mixed reviews, I wasn’t sure if it would be magnetic enough. So I chose the easy way and bought one that was already framed and magnetic. 🙂 If you could find a magnetic chalkboard this size that would be even easier.
Step 2 – Make wood letter tiles. In a game of Scrabble there are 100 letter tiles. Again, I contemplated making my own to save some money, but the idea of cutting and sanding 100 tiles with four sides each made me want to hurt someone. So when I found these wood squares on Amazon I was totally in. No sanding involved!
For the actual letters and numbers, I chose to use stickers. I was not about to hand write all of these or stencil them. I suppose you could use a Circuit machine if you have one, but I don’t. Over the course of a month or so, I bought a sheet of these every time I went to Hobby Lobby and used my 40% coupon you can get on their website. Note: I chose to use the uppercase “i” for all of my “1” point values so I didn’t have to buy even more sheets of stickers. I also used chalkboard stickers for the blank tiles. This way you can write your letter on it with chalk.
If you play both Scrabble and Words With Friends you know the distribution of letters and point values are not the same. I chose to use the letter distribution from Scrabble since there are only 100 tiles verses 104 in Words with Friends. And I chose the point values from Words With Friends. Below is the break down I used.
Step 3 – Glue on your magnets. Once all your tiles have a letter and a point value, glue on the magnets. I used Gorilla Glue for this because it is quite strong and less messy than hot glue. Word of caution, the magnets I used left a black film on my fingers when I was gluing them, so be careful not to touch the front of the tile with your dirty hands. I let these dry for 24 hours and then wiped off the magnets with some Windex.
Step 4 – Download and print word game board. I created the game board for this project and am offering it as a free printable! Sign up below and you will receive an email with a link to download yours.
This game board is 30×30 inches so I had mine printed as an engineer print at Staples.
Step 5 – Mount the game board to the magnetic board. I used double sided tape to attach my game board.
Step 6 – Add chalkboard contact paper to the magnetic board. Technically, you could just use the white board here but I liked the look of chalkboard better. I trimmed the contact paper to fit on the right side of the game board and the excess was enough to cover the bottom below the game board. I used a credit card to smooth out all the bubbles, but know this part is easier with two people.
Step 7 – Paint and cut trim pieces for the edges of the game board. I lightly painted mine with some left over paint from my Ikea bar cart hack and then wiped the excess off with a wet sponge. I did this to try and match the frame of the board the best I could. Once they were dry, I measured the length and cut off the excess. I attached these to game board with magnetic strips.
Step 8 – Make tile holders. I used scrap 1x3s we had left over from when we made our bed. Each player is distributed 7 tiles and each tile is 2×2 inches so I cut my 1x3s to 15 inches. Then, I lightly sanded them and spray painted them with chalkboard paint. To make them magnetic, I used a long strip of magnetic tape on each tile holder. This will hold each players’ letter tiles during a game and it will stick to the board when not in use.
Step 9 – Chalk holder and eraser. I found my eraser and chalk holder at the Dollar Tree, but you can’t buy them online. The chalk holder is actually just a manual pencil sharpener that I removed the lid from and added a magnet to the back. The eraser is technically a white board eraser but it works just fine with the chalk. I also added a magnetic strip to the back so it would stick to the board.
Step 10 – Add tiles to bag and play!
For now, I have my giant word game sitting on our fireplace, but I plan to make some sort of stand for it so we can play in other rooms or outside. I originally wanted to use an art easel but it wasn’t sturdy enough to support it. So stay tuned for building a stand. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to make your own giant word game and it inspires you to spend more time playing games with your friends and family! Know someone who loves word games? Share this post on Facebook or hover over an image and save it to Pinterest! And don’t forget to subscribe to get your free printable game board!