checkerboard DIY1

My kids love Melissa & Doug Wooden Toys. They are such high quality toys and we always seem to ask for them for gifts. Each of the sets come with a wood crate that stores the set.

While I love the crates they really could use a top on them in order to make it into our playroom (I am not a fan of pieces everywhere). So what has happened over the years of receiving Melissa & Doug toys is we have amassed a collection of these wood crates.

I used one of them to make a checkerboard for our family game collection.

checkerboard DIY

I have reused a couple of them already. One is in my nightstand holding lotions, books, pens, chapsticks, book lights, etc.


Another two I turned into a backgammon game for our family (this idea was even featured in the book Mod Podge Rocks!.


This month I was challenged by Michaels to ReLove something in my home. So I pulled out the crate from one of the bead sets Kayla got for her birthday and began repurposing it into a checker game.


  • Old square Melissa & Box wood crate
  • Mod Podge (I used satin)
  • Two colors of cardstock
  • Silhouette machine or paper cutter
  • Ruler
  • Spray Paint & Primer
  • Foam Brush
  • Bottlecaps to use as game pieces
  • Sanding sponge


1. I lightly sanded the crate and wiped it clean. Then I spray primered and painted it a Berry Pink.

make your own checkerboard

2. Next I measured the inside length and width of the crate and divided each of those numbers by 8 to determine the width of my checker spaces.

3. I cut the squares out with my Silhouette machine. If you don’t have a Silhouette machine you could totally use a paper cutter but using a Silhouette machine gave me perfect accuracy.

4. Then I used my foam brush and Mod Podge to adhere the cardstock in place. Once dry, I gave it two coats of Mod Podge over the top of the checkerboard to seal it.

checkerboard tutorial

making a checkerboard

5. I had some bottlecaps in my stash (you can also purchase them at Michaels) and used those for game pieces.

make your own checkers

handmade checkerboard

Kayla is still a little young to play but she pretends. She is usually on “my team” and we beat Isaac every time.

kids playing checkers

Question for you: Do you let your kids win at games or do you play fair and try to win?


Check out the Michaels Lookbook to find inspiration so you can RE-Love something in their home, too!


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  1. What a cute idea! I agree, they need lids! The girl I nanny for has the magnetic doll set and everytime she pulls it off the shelf, everything falls out.

    I always play to win. If I’m winning a lot, I sometimes let them win because I don’t want them to never play. All kids need to learn to be a good winner and a good loser. 🙂

  2. If my kids ever win against my husband, they are proud as peacocks-they know it was for real! I always play to win, but when the kids were small, I allowed myself to “play distracted” so they had some chance to win.

  3. Beckie,

    I did both. I won sometimes and she did sometimes. That way (I hope) my daughter learned to handle disappointment at losing but being glad for the winner and feeling the elation when she did win and being empathetic for the loser. The only game I didn’t have to really try to lose at was Candy Land. 🙂 It also kept her wanting to play again or more. It’s no fun if you lose all the time.


  4. Would love to make this for my niece! But I was wondering if you would share your wood box dimensions as well as your scrapbook square dimensions since they fit the bottle caps perfectly! Thanks for the help!

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