Make the perfect bulletin board puzzle game board
Did you know I’m into (affiliate link) puzzles lately?!
My new puzzle habit transpired shortly after our ‘stay at home’ mandate. I was pining for a puzzle to work on as a way to get my mind back into the land of the ‘present moment’ for mental mini vacations.
That’s when I started scrolling a local Facebook group where someone was generously giving away puzzles. Wow! What timing! I didn’t hesitate… I picked up a puzzle with a picture that really resonated for me (around 500 pieces and an easy picture LOL) and ended up really enjoying the mindless activity, which immediately brought me the peace I had been searching for.
Sharing my new puzzle habit on social media, someone asked to see the puzzle board I was using.
Hmm… Truth be told? It wasn’t an official puzzle board at all. I had simply plunked the puzzle pieces on top of a bulletin board as a means of carrying it around. But I admit, as I worked on the puzzle, I was dreaming up ways to refine the board itself to better suit.
So this request became the perfect challenge! I already loved using a bulletin board, so I set out to flip a good idea in into a GREAT one!
And what you’re about to see transpire is certainly one-of-a-kind. I ended up creating the perfect bulletin board puzzle game board that provides hours upon hours of entertainment after the fact!
This is a fun one! It was made with a standard bulletin board, paint, scrap wood and a few stencils.
Since this is a double sided board, I’ll separate the steps that way for easy reference.
This post contains some affiliate links.
How to make the perfect bulletin board puzzle game board
I revamped this previous project to make this new game board!
Supplies I used:
Stencils: from Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils
Fusion Mineral Paint products (find a merchant HERE)
3 x 3 post
How to make the puzzle board side
1. Masking tape around the frame of a bulletin board, then paint the cork surface with a colour of choice.
I used Fusion’s Ash because I liked how rich the dark background looked against a puzzle!
2. Remove the masking tape, then coat the painted cork and wood frame with Fusion’s Beeswax.
While Fusion doesn’t require a topcoat, I desired a surface that felt a littler smoother to the touch vs. the matte finish Fusion leaves. A light coat of Beeswax was perfect!
The Beeswax also helped to enhance the wooden bulletin board frame as well.
How to apply Beeswax:
- Apply Beeswax to your chosen surface with a rag.
- Leave for a few minutes, then buff off the excess.
- Repeat if you’d like to increase durability or sheen.
I LOVED the outcome… but desired to add a tiny bit of personally to that scrumptious wood frame…
3. Using the Shipping Crate Stamps stencil and Fusion’s Ash, small areas of the frame were enhanced by stenciling random pallet styled lettering on the wood frame.
I was tempted to stencil something tone-on-tone in the middle of the board, but I ultimately decided to leave it plain so it didn’t compete with a puzzle picture.
How I stenciled the frame:
- Position stencil in place, then hold or use masking tape.
- Load stencil brush with paint, then off-load most on a rag to create a dry brush feel.
- Tap the stencil until desired effect is achieved.
You can learn more about how to stencil from THIS POST.
How to make the game board side
4. Flip the bulletin board over to the other side, and either coat the surface with paint or leave as-is.
I choose to leave it as-is, although it would be more washable if it was painted.
5. Two stencils were used to create a Checkers board and Tic Tac Toe game!
6. Stencil a stylish checkerboard using Buffalo Check stencil.
Although this stencil is not originally designed to be a checkerboard, the scale works excellent and is easy to modify! Click below for the video to learn how.
7. Stencil just the main lines of Tic Tac Toe.
Learn how to checkerboard with Buffalo Check in the video below!
Checkerboard Video How-to
Visit full Checkerboard Game tutorial HERE
8. Once the game boards were complete, Shipping Crate Stamps was used to detail the game board and frame to give it a pallet style!
How to make the game board pieces
9. Make checkers by slicing a wooden closet dowel to 3/8 thick. Stencil to design checkers if desired.
10. Make X and O game pieces by slicing a 3″ x 3″ square post 3/8″ thick. Stencil Xs and Os from the Tic Tac Toe stencil.
See how the pieces were made for both games through the tutorials below:
Turn the board into a table
So, your game board is now complete! You are free to carry it around wherever you desire to use it! And I’ll show you more ways to use it below. But first…
This is when I pulled this little metal framed table out of my own stash. It worked perfectly for a game board base and doubled up as a coffee table as well!
Overall table measurements:
17″ deep x 28″ wide x 22.5″ high
The bottom shelf was made from two cut reclaimed wood planks, then set loosely in place on top of the bottom framework.
Puzzle table reveal
Tadaa! Isn’t this puzzle board the coolest?!
It’s the right height, offers enough space, and is totally portable to wherever I desire!
A framed bulletin board is so lightweight and the frame helps keep the pieces on the board when you move it to another location! It works so well!
And the puzzle looks beautiful on the plain dark backdrop!
Various surfaces such as baking pans, muffin tins, pie plates, etc were used to organize and move around puzzle pieces. You really don’t need anything fancy!
Tip: consider a cutting board so one has the ability to slide built pieces off.
Visit many other puzzle table ideas on Amazon HERE
Game board side reveal
Done with your puzzle? Flip the board around and let’s have a game of Checkers or Tic Tac Toe!
The game pieces are stored in a baking pan and some other metal container on the 2nd shelf of this little table. Works great!
I love the neutral, rustic design! Fits right in with farmhouse decor!
Now… which one to pay first…
I choose BOTH!
What a fun piece!
But I have one more bright idea to share…
Create an instant coffee table on top
If you use two bulletin boards, you can have an instant coffee table while working on a puzzle!
Place blocks of wood in all 4 corners of the puzzle board, (or closer as shown if you wish to use a tray) then place another bulletin board on TOP.
Then it’s truly a game board AND coffee table all-in-one without removing the puzzle. What a perfect way to leave a puzzle out long term without actually being in the way of regular living!
Then add a cute tray, and you have the perfect… puzzle game board coffee table!
Now I can’t decide if it’s puzzle time, coffee time or time for a few games…
But it sure is nice to have the option…
Think you’ll create a bulletin board puzzle game board? Which part inspires you the most?
Other game boards:
Visit many other creative stencil projects HERE
Shop for Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils HERE