Quick Creating with Children: Checkerboard

April 7, 2011

As life is slowly returning to a more normal pace, the boys have begun asking for our crafting time to return. The other day Jacob, who is obsessed with playing chess and checkers, asked if we could sew him a portable checkers set like the backgammon board I had made him last summer. Part of me really wanted to go down into my sewing room and put something amazing together, but the more realistic part of me knew that there was no way that I was going to be able to cut out dozens of 1.5″ squares of fabric and piece them all together. 

So the world’s easiest checkerboard was born. A 12″x12″ piece of outer fabric, a 12×12″ piece of duck cloth, one ribbon, and a set of small square stamps is all that you need to make this set. 
With right sides together and a 1/2″ seam allowance, simply sew the edges together, leaving a 2″ opening to turn.
Turn right side out and press. Top stitch, making sure to catch the opening that was left. Mark out where you want each square to go, and stamp according to a model checkerboard. 
We used one of our snack bags to hold the checker pieces, and then simply placed it inside and rolled the entire thing up. 
It may not be the most gorgeous sewing piece I have ever made, but I am learning that all my kids really want is for me to take the time to create with them. Perfection is never something that they expect, only something I place on myself. Now we are off for a few fun games together in this gorgeous spring weather. 

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

valarie April 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I really like the simplicity of this. How fun for Jacob to help create a travelling checkerboard and it's something that was done so quickly he could be used right away. Thanks for sharing this Heather. It's great.

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rae April 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm

love it! toys that roll up and go with are the best!

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Angela April 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Adorable, you rock! I need to take some lessons from you!

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Anna April 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I think that is just wonderful. He asked you to make him something and you found a way to give him what he wanted while still maintaining your own sanity. It is simple and perfect. Nicely balanced Heather.

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Kristi aka FiberFool April 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Sometimes simple is best. And the lesson on perfection is one I'm sure we all could stand to remember more often. At least I know I could!

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lacey April 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

simple & brilliant! I love it. Sometimes the less 'amazing' creations get the most loved…

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SugarMama April 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Love: "Perfection is never something that they expect, only something I place on myself."

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angie April 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm

perfect in every way! Nice work mama.

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Gao April 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I find that the best ideas are really the most simple anyways…love the idea! :)

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Larissa April 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Great project! Love a craft that the kiddos can help complete and use quickly – at least before they get bored and go off to play leaving mama to finish up on her own! This will get so much use.

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Megan April 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I love that idea! When I initally saw the first photo I thought those black checkers were Oreo's. Then I was really excited about an Oreo checkerboard!! Now I am hungry….

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Home Baked April 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

This is such a clever idea – I love how portable it makes a game that is usually bulky, too.

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Nicola @ Which Name? April 13, 2011 at 3:55 am

Very clever! Sometimes it is the simplest of ideas and creations that prove the most useful time and time again!

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Melinda Taylor Kelly April 14, 2011 at 12:23 am

I Love this idea! I also like that it is so easily made and you can take it anywhere. Great for dinner out, it will give the children (and adults) something fun to do while waiting! Thank you for sharing!

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agambroult April 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

that's a great birthday gift idea! And totally up my alley–simple sewing, quick project.

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Shivayamama April 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm

We use it for those dinners our where the boys can get a bit restless, and it works like a charm :)
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Shivayamama April 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Those simple and quick ideas are really the ones that leave you feeling pretty darn happy. Happy Easter Nicola :)
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