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How to Make a DIY Chess Board

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Challenge your friends on this awesome DIY chess board.

Need to make pieces too? Here’s how to make an awesome hardware chess set.


  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • One 1⁄4″ x 12″ x 12″ sheet of cork
  • One 1⁄4″ x 12″ x 12″ piece of plywood
  • Fine-toothed saw
  • Four 1″ x 2″ x 3″ pine blocks
  • Two 1″ x 2″ x 12″ pine boards
  • Two 1″ x 2″ x 13 1⁄2″ pine boards
  • 16 1 1⁄4″ wood screws
  • Eight 3⁄4″ wood screws
  • 3⁄32” drill bit and countersink bit
  • Drill
  • Wood putty
  • Wood glue
  • Paint or stain and brush


1. Cut the sheet of cork into 64 1 1⁄2″ squares.

2. Paint or stain 32 squares, so they are a different color than the remaining 32 squares.

3. Cut out the 12″ x 12″ piece of plywood and glue on the cork squares in alternating order.

4. Cut the four frame boards and the four blocks to size. Screw and glue the blocks onto the bottom of the plywood. Screw and glue the wood frame in place. To keep the wood from splitting, drill and countersink all the screw holes before screwing the frame together. Fill the recessed screw holes with wood putty.

5. Paint or stain the frame.

Your chess board is complete! Need to make pieces too? Here’s how to make an awesome hardware chess set.

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12 Comments on How to Make a DIY Chess Board

  1. nice

  2. Naruto Umazoki // April 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm // Reply

    That’s really cool and I can’t wait to build it.

  3. Slimjim WARFARE // June 16, 2017 at 9:11 am // Reply

    Redneck chess set

  4. cool

  5. I’m making that for a weblos project

  6. its really cool

  7. I built a simpler version of this as a project in middle school, and everyone loved it. My teacher liked it so much that she made it a project for that class after I started high school. I got the original idea from here. Thanks Boy’s Life. 🙂

  8. Interesting. Ill try it out!

  9. monkeymaster // February 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm // Reply

    the knight and the bishop are switched. LOL!!!!!!

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