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Canvas Checkerboard

Kids who learn how to play checkers will always have something to do on a rainy day. Making a portable checkerboard ensures they can play almost anywhere. Collect bottle caps in opposing colors (you'll need 12 for each side), or use tempera or acrylic paints to paint the tops of mismatched caps with a color of your choice. Bottle caps stack easily, making for very regal kings.




  • Pinking shears
  • Canvas
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Knife
  • Plastic art eraser
  • Ink pad


  1. Step 1

    Using pinking shears, cut a square of canvas that's about 12 by 12 inches. (The shears will protect edges from fraying and give the board a decorative flair.)

  2. Step 2

    With a knife, slice a plastic art eraser into a square that's 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches; this will be the stamp. Begin by stamping a single square in one corner of the board; stamp a second catercorner to the first, then add a third square along the border, catercorner from the second and a full square-space from the first. Continue to fill the board; your finished board will have eight squares (four stamped and four blank) in each row and column.

  3. Step 3

    Continue to fill the board; your finished board will have eight squares (four stamped and four blank) in each row and column.

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 1 2001



Reviews (12)

  • cantikandy 3 Mar, 2013

    Love this checkers game idea - eco-friendly with the '2nd life' use of bottle caps and white fabric. It's easy to make with minimal tools and expense.

  • thebusybeaders 27 Jul, 2011

    That's true be careful with little kids and Magnets!!
    -E :)

  • thebusybeaders 27 Jul, 2011

    This is such a cute gift. I am going to give it to my sister for Christmas. She will love it. Using magnets are a great idea but I think I will just do it Martha's way. On the inside of the bottle caps it wouls be a good idea to put the pictures of chess figures on the other side so you can play both.
    -E :)

  • wyndmoor 24 Mar, 2011

    Please be careful with magnets around small children.

  • tlklempel79 25 Jul, 2008

    You could make a cute chess set out of this by printing out small chess piece clipart and placing it on the underside of each bottle cap, then seal with epoxy. If clipart is too hard to distinguish at that size, maybe just placing the words (the name of each piece) in/on the cap would be fun too!

  • heidicookie 23 Jul, 2008

    Do you think that it would be possible to stamp the squares with magnetic paint and have the small disc magnets stick?

  • quiltingmama 23 Jul, 2008

    I put two pockets on the back with velcro closure and handles of canvas too. That way it can be folded up and carried with ease.

  • momdig 23 Jul, 2008

    Another way to make the square stamp is to cut adhesive backed craft foam. If you cut two or three squares and stick them together you'll have a stamp that is thick enough to hold it's shape. You can also make checkers from the foam by using two sticky-backed pieces and topping each checker with one plain foam piece. The foam can even be cut with some large punches.

  • craftyfingers 23 Jul, 2008


  • leaavon 23 Jul, 2008

    This will be perfect for my Pre-K class. Four year olds love to play checkers!

  • mohamed 23 Jul, 2008

    this is veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery good some thing

  • RCTaylor 24 Jun, 2008

    This is a great idea! If you add magnetic tape to the back of the board and a small disc magnet inside each piece this could be used on the side of the fridge (or any other magnetic surface) for an ongoing game.