Creating: Custom Scrabble Boards

In tournament Scrabble, and serious play in general, most people play on custom or semi-custom round boards. These and many square boards spin on a base so that each player can easily see his or her tiles...but round boards eliminate the problem of inadvertently knocking tile racks off the table with the corners of boards.

So, earlier this year I made a custom Scrabble board for Brad, our club's director, as a gift commemmorating the club's third annual tournament. Although I have some pretty decent experience with woodworking and crafting in general, this was the first time I'd tried to make a Scrabble board. And I learned a lot! Mainly, I learned all the things that needed to be improved and all the things that needed to be totally changed. Still, it gave me the chance to create something artistic.

Then, back in the early fall, Joe Larson asked me if I wanted to make him a board and trade it for a piece of his Scrabble tile art (specifically, a cool T-Rex I adored). I jumped at this chance because: (a) Scrabble dino is awesome; and (b) I could also put together the board I'd been planning for Martha.

As the promised date of delivery approached, I gathered and prepared all the right materials for the new boards. I'd been thinking about and researching the right materials and methods for months (and even ordered the perfect wood from another state). Wandering through Michael's one day, I came across some scrapbook paper that inspired me with the idea for my own, personal Scrabble board.

A few weeks later, and I've completed the three boards. I'm very happy with the result and I think Joe and Martha are, too. There are a few small tweaks I'll incorporate into the next project but nothing major will change.

This is the board for Joe Larson:


And this is Martha's board:


And this is my very own board:


So now ideas for other board designs are swimming all around in my head. Of course, I'm open to creating boards with specific designs for players (and would love to make enough money to finance the occasional Scrabble tournament). Still, I see myself making at least a few boards without a specific owner in mind. You never know when the same thing that inspired me will inspire someone else!

7 comments:

Deadpan Alley said...

Facts:

1. You make the most beautiful boards I have ever seen!

2. I have the nicest board in all the Scrabble community.

3. I am so very lucky to have you as my friend.

Melissa said...

These are GORGEOUS, Tina!!!

There's got to be a market for these right? I'm thinking you're the new Martha Stewart of Scrabble boards.

Seriously. Gorgeous. Not only are you a Scrabble Goddess, you are a Crafty Scrabble Goddess.

Even better!

Tina said...

It means so much to me that you really love your board, Martha. I'm very lucky to have you as a friend so it makes me feel good to see you playing on something I made.

Melissa, you're right...I hope! There is definitely a market for custom Scrabble boards. I'd love to make enough to finance, at least in part, tournament attendance. Thanks so much!

Carolyn said...

wow! your boards are stunning! i just did a search for custom scrabble boards, and landed here... how much are you charging?

(art)nonymous writer said...

Hi! I am so curious to know how you formed your own grid. It looks like you made it yourself. I would love to make one as a gift for my brother ... would you mind sharing your genius with me? Thanks! (Even if the answer's no.. they look great!)

Melissa said...

I am looking to have someone create a custom board with an image superimposed (or painted) on the board. Would you consider creating one and selling it? Email me if you can at mlucchesi@comcast.net. Thank you! You're a crafty genius! :)

C said...

I tried to post a comment and think I screwed up so if this is a duplicate just delete it! These boards are lovely! I found your blog when looking for a custom scrabble board for a gift for my sweetie who plays in tournaments (so do I, but only locally and my role is to ensure that everyone else has a chance to win!) Are you still thinking of making them for sale? If so, I'd like to hear from you with details of price and so on. I'm CJ at woodendoor @ truthandfiction dot com. In Edmonton, Canada.