DIY Cricut Tabletop Vinyl Chess Board

Growing up, my sisters and I used to play chess all the time. We had a civil war chess board and after briefly having the rules explained, we played constantly. We’d even set up brackets and have single and double elimination tournaments. Of course, none of us were really any good and we certainly didn’t know fancy starting moves or anything like that, but we definitely had our fun. 

I’d kind of forgotten about the whole game until my sister texted me the other day asking if I could make a chess board sticker for her coffee table. The idea was to have the black squares be a vinyl sticker and the white squares be the exposed surface of the table. We did a little research on chessboard sizes and decided to go with 2-inch squares with a ½-inch border to differentiate the board from the tabletop. (A standard chess board has 2-2.5 inch squares.) 

With a solid plan, I excitedly opened Design Space and got to work. The total size of the chess board would be 17 inches by 17 inches. This meant I’d have to break it into 4 pieces as I only have a 12 inch by 12 inch cutting mat. 

I began by inserting a 2-inch square into the design space and duplicating it 31 times for a total of 32 black squares (half the board). I manually set the locations of the squares, working in quarters of the board, so they were perfectly spaced. This ensured the squares were exactly lined-up (not just eyeballed) and the corners would meet exactly as they should. 

With the squares in place, I used two squares, one 8-inch and one 8.5 inch and the slice tool to obtain the border. Then, I duplicated the border and rotated it so it matched up appropriately. To make sure the quarters of the board cut as 4 pieces, I welded each quarter to itself. Then, it was time to cut.

The chessboard was my first attempt at cutting vinyl using the Cricut and honestly, it could not have been easier. I trimmed each piece of vinyl before adhering it to the cutting mat to minimize waste. Then, I let the Cricut do its thing. Each piece of the board cut perfectly and was exceptionally easy to weed. I applied a piece of transfer tape to each of the 4 quarters and was thrilled with the result. (Side note: the LightGrip mat that came with my Cricut is incredibly dirty and gross and I haven’t wanted to venture down the cleaning it road, so I bought these off-brand replacements and I love them. I don’t think I’ll go back to the Cricut brand.)

Since I made the board for my sister, she was the one that applied it. She claims her alignment game is strong and I definitely agree. She managed to line up the quarters of the board perfectly.

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