Handmade Checkerboard

My kids love Melissa & Doug Wooden Toys.  They are such high quality toys and we always seem to ask for them for gifts.  Each of the sets come with a wood crate that stores the set.  While I love the crates they really could use a top on them in order to make it into our playroom (I am not a fan of pieces everywhere). So what has happened over the years of receiving Melissa & Doug toys is we have amassed a collection of these wood crates.

I used one of them to make a checkerboard for our family game collection.

checkerboard DIY

I have reused a couple of them already.  One is in my nightstand holding lotions, books, pens, chapsticks, book lights, etc.


Another two I turned into a backgammon game for our family (this idea was even featured in the book Mod Podge Rocks!– on sale for $6.18 on Amazon).


This month I was challenged by Michaels to ReLove something in my home.  So I pulled out the crate from one of the bead sets Kayla got for her birthday and began repurposing it into a checker game.


Old square Melissa & Box wood crate

Mod Podge (I used satin)

Two colors of cardstock

Silhouette machine or paper cutter


Spray Paint & Primer

Foam Brush

Bottlecaps to use as game pieces

sanding sponge

1.  I lightly sanded the crate and wiped it clean.  Then I spray primered and painted it a Berry Pink.

make your own checkerboard

2.  Next I measured the inside length and width of the crate and divided each of those numbers by 8 to determine the width of my checker spaces.

3.  I cut the squares out with my Silhouette machine.  If you don’t have a Silhouette machine you could totally use a paper cutter but using a Silhouette machine gave me perfect accuracy.

4.  Then I used my foam brush and Mod Podge to adhere the cardstock in place.  Once dry, I gave it two coats of Mod Podge over the top of the checkerboard to seal it.

checkerboard tutorial

making a checkerboard

5.  I had some bottlecaps in my stash (you can also purchase them at Michaels) and used those for game pieces.

make your own checkers

handmade checkerboard

Kayla is still a little young to play but she pretends.  She is usually on “my team” and we beat Isaac every time.

kids playing checkers

Question for you: “Do you let your kids win at games or do you play fair and try to win?”


Check out the Michaels Lookbook to find inspiration so you can RE-Love something in their home, too!