Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Scrabble Table

I made my husband a tiled "Scrabble-like" table for his birthday a few years ago. It was an easy weekend project. You do have to remember what the colored squares represent, but it's easy: the fewest one (dark blue, how I made it) is triple word score; the second-fewest (dark red) is double word score; the next most common (grey-blue) is triple letter score; and the most common (pink) is a double letter. Details below.

Materials: backerboard (for tiling), sheets of 2" white or off-white tiles; 8 dark blue (in my version!), 12 dark red, 20 light blue, and 17 light red 2" tiles; 15 edge pieces; 4 rounded corner tile pieces (which need to be cut, so you'll need a way to do that - we have a tile saw); and a thin sheet of light-colored wood paneling

The Scrabble table is a sheet of backerboard atop an old wooden spool that we were already using as an outdoor table. Buy the thicker backerboard. I bought the 2" off-white tiles at Home Depot - they were the kind that are already in a sheet with about 1/8" spacing between tiles; I cut out the holes for the colored tiles and placed them in the appropriate places. When you cut the backerboard, leave room for the edge border tiles:

15 x 2" tiles = 30"
14 x 1/8" spacing = 1.75"
1/2" x 2 edge tiles = 1"
Total = 32.75" square

Working on the Scrabble table.
To make the tiles, I bought a thin sheet of wood paneling at Home Depot, and cut it into slightly smaller than 2" squares. The letters and numbers were decals, larger for the letters and smaller for the numbers, from a hobby store. Now trust me, you're not going to want to buy enough sheets of number decals to get enough "1"s for all the one-point letters, so I also just cut some of the unused letters into straight line "1"s. The next most common number isn't "2", as you might expect, but "4", of which there are 10. In other words, get enough of the small number decals to give you 10 "4"s. As for letters, usually the decal sheets have varying amounts of each letter depending on common frequency, so how many of them you'll have to buy will depend on that. Bring a printout of the Scrabble letter distribution with you to the hobby store just to be sure. You can look up how many of each and what value they have.

After applying the decals, I sprayed the tiles with a spray sealant. 
The sealed tiles laying out to dry.
The Scrabble table lived outside for a while after it was done.
The finished Scrabble table. 
Eventually we moved it into the greenroom:
The beginnings of a good game.
Keeping score.
Most of the time, the table just gets used like a
normal table.