I grew up playing lots of card and board games and it breaks my heart that my kids don’t share the same love of games. Games not only provide an awesome time to connect with family and friends, but can also develop both social and academic skills (depending on the nature of the game). I’m pretty sure I learned my math facts playing crib with my dad! I can’t say that Rummoli involves much strategy or mathematical skill, but it is fun and one of the few games my kids really enjoy.
I recently bought a cheap Rummoli game from the Thrift Store, complete with a bag of pennies (so I actually made money on the purchase). The kids really enjoyed playing, but we were taping the edges down so that the plastic mat would lie flat while we played. The game is one of those classics that I played as a kid. I looked into buying a “nicer” version of the game for Christmas, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. In the end, I decided to make my own. I wouldn’t do this for just any game, but figured that it’s such a classic that it may with stand the test of time and be used for generations to come and would therefore be worth the effort.
I picked-up a “lazy-susan” from the thrift store for a couple of bucks and then found this table on Kijiji for $15. Just realized I never took a before shot of the lazy-susan. It was basically three circular pieces of wood (of varying sizes) that were sandwiched together with the appropriate hardware to make it spin. The small circle on the top had a recessed circle in the middle and some small circles around the outer edge. Here is a shot of the table I purchased for the project.
- I decided to leave the table assembled until the very end. This kept it at a nice height and stable during the transformation process. The first thing I did was sand the table top and edges.
- With Tim’s help, we carefully divided the circle into 8 sections and then traced out where the circles would be cut for the “pots” to drop down into the board.
- Tim used an attachment on his drill to cut the holes for me. I then sanded the edges of the circles to create a smooth finish. (The pots I bought had a small lip on the top edge, so the circles had to be large enough to fit the base of the pot, but small enough for the lip to sit on the edge of the wood.)
- I then sanded off the pencil lines, leaving only a few guide marks for taping.
- I taped off the sections in preparation for staining. I decided that I wanted to divide the sections by using two tones of stain, so I taped off every other section. (Be sure to score the edge of the tape that will be receiving the stain to avoid bleeding.)
- I applied two coats of the darker stain to the taped off sections.
- Once the stain was dry, I removed the tape and carefully applied tape over the dry stain, so that I could apply the lighter stain to those sections that were not previously done.
- I also sanded and stained the original top section from the lazy-susan.
- Once the stain was all dry and the tape removed, I began the process of preparing the text/graphics for the game. At first I wasn’t sure how to pull this off, but ended up finding a program called Art Text 2 that allowed me to create text in a curved shape. The lite version was a free download. Yay! Although I can’t say that the shape of the curve matched that of my game board exactly, it was close enough. I was also able to find symbols for the “suits” within the program, so this was super easy to do. Once I created the text/graphic, I simply exported each title to my desk top and then used exactly the same template for each title, by simply changing the word/suit in the text box. Once all of the titles were exported, I dragged them into a Pages document.
- To transfer the titles to the board, I used the freezer paper transfer method. I had never done this before, but it was super easy to do. I followed the tutorial on Little Bit Funky with the only change I made being that I used spray adhesive to instead of a glue stick. In a nut shell, you basically adhere freezer paper to cardstock (waxy side up) and then trim the freezer paper to fit exactly. You place the prepared paper in your printer (mine prints on the bottom of paper, so I placed mine in the tray with freezer paper facing down). You then print your document using best quality and choosing the layout option that automatically flips the image horizontally creating a mirror image.
- The ink basically sits on top of the waxy paper and thus is super easy to smudge. I had to cut-out each title so that I could ensure that the curve was properly placed along the outer edge of my game board in each section. So for me to complete my project, I had to make three pages of freezer paper/cardstock.
- Once you have your title/graphic cut-out, carefully place it in the exact place/position you want to transfer it. YOU CAN NOT MOVE IT ONCE IT HAS TOUCHED THE SURFACE, so be very carefully when doing this step. Once you set it in place, firmly press and hold the image in place while scoring the image with the edge of a spoon. Ensure you rub every section evenly. I checked the transfer by peeking under a corner while firmly holding the image in place. If it needed a bit more pressure to the image I simply replaced it and continued to score it with the spoon. This was super fast and easy to do, you just can’t move it or it will smudge. When you are finished pick it straight up to avoid smudging.
- I let my images sit for a few hours because I didn’t want to take the chance of smudging them at all. I then applied a thin layer of spray clear coat. Once the spray layer was dry, I applied two coats of urethane with a sponge brush. I’m not sure, but I think the spray urethane is important because the sponge would probably smudge the ink.
- Once the table top game board was completely done, we removed the screws holding it to the base and Tim assembled the lazy-susan. Basically we took the bottom and top from the original and replaced the larger middle circle with our new game board.
The finished board turned out great! The graphics aren’t super bold against the stain, but I really wanted more of a vintage look, so I’m really happy with the result. The lazy-susan works great, so you can spin the board to ante or claim your winnings. We let the kids open this gift on Christmas Eve and enjoyed a fun evening of Rummoli!