This Valentine’s Day checkerboard is a fun project you can make with the kids. This simple homemade craft project is the perfect gift for kids to give to Mom, Dad or even their Grandparents! It is simple to make and you and the kids can spend hours playing checkers when you have finished. Overall this project should take you about 2 hours or less. You should be able to make this simple Valentine’s Day checkerboard for $25 or less.
Now, to make a Valentine’s Day checkerboard you will need:
Air Drying Clay
Mini Heart shaped cookie cutter (about 1 inch by 1 inch)
Mini X Shaped cookie cutter (about 1 inch by 1 inch)
Acrylic paint (optional)
Paint Brushes (optional)
Now the first step is to cut off a huge slab of your clay. You can do this by tying a piece of twine to two different pencils. Pull the string through the clay, just like a cheese slicer.
Go ahead and measure how tall and wide your mini Valentine’s Day cookie cutters are. Each square of the check board will need to be this size.
Now, use your rolling pin to roll the clay out. You should make this slab about ½ inch thick. You can make the Valentine’s Day checkerboard as large or as small as you want. Just remember, there are 8 squares on a checkerboard.
I recommend making you board either 10″X10″ or 12″X12″. This will allow you to have a boarder around your clay checkerboard.
Now, break off some more clay and roll it into a slab. Cut four strips. These will be to build a boarder up on your Valentine’s Day checkerboard. So, make it about 1 inch wide if you use one of the suggested sizes from above for your checkerboard. Lay it on the top of the checkerboard, framing the edge of the checkerboard. Smooth the strip on with your fingers and make them look seamless with the board.
Now, you can use that same slab to cut out the squares for your Valentine’s Day craft project checkerboard. You could also trace them into the clay with a toothpick, needle, paring knife, or even a pencil pint. This is up to you.
I recommend buying your air drying clay in two colors. I find it in traditional clay, Mexican clay, red, white, black, and even pink or purple. You can make the two alternating colors on a checkerboard by cutting these small squares out of the clay.
If you want though you can do the drawing method and use paint to fill in the colors once the clay has dried.
Anyway, lay your alternating checkerboard pattern out inside of the boarder you made. I like to paint some water onto the flatter surface and also scratch in some lines into the clay. Then lay on your clay colored squares. Go for red and pink for Valentine’s Day!
Gently press the squares into place.
Now, once again you will need to roll out a slab of clay. This will be to make your Valentine’s Day themed checker pieces with. So, again, you can use two different colors of clay or paint the Valentine’s Day heart and X shaped clay checker pieces once they have dried.
Roll the slab to about ¼ inch thick. Press the miniature Valentine’s Day heart cookie cutter into the clay to make the game pieces. Make sure this checker piece will fit on the squares you made for the board. Repeat this step with your miniature X shaped cookie cutter.
Now, you can use your toothpick or the needle to carve designs and indentations into the clay chips. You decide.
Now, let all of your clay dry and you are finished if you used colored clay.
If you used one color of clay then you need to paint your Valentine’s Day checkerboard with acrylic paint. Throw on a coat of clear acrylic spray paint to protect the acrylic colored paints. Let the checkerboard and Valentine’s Day game pieces dry and you are ready to play!
Tip: If you want you could cut out arrows instead of X’s, I just have not seen any cookie cutters in an arrow shape.