December 2019 archive

DIY Felt Backgammon Board

| Christmas, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Family Bonding, Gifts, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Playrooms, Tween to Teen, Yarn & Fabric

We had a backgammon set growing up in the 80s. It was brown pleather with tan and white triangular spaces. I loved everything about that set…I loved the snap of the clasps, the smell of the felt interior, and the smooth perfection of the playing pieces. Mind you I never played the game (I didn’t know how), but I loved to carry the set around like a briefcase holding important papers.

diy easy to make backgammon set holiday gift

I finally learned to play the game during my senior year in college and gradually all of my roommates and close friends learned to play as well. We took our board everywhere…to the quad, to bars, on spring break, and to this day we still play when we’re together.

But now I’ve passed the love of the game onto my daughter Sommer. At only 7, she doesn’t have the most strategic moves and whenever I roll doubles, she declares that she’s going to lose. Whenever she sees a board at a friend’s house or restaurant, she insists on playing. And I’m always down.

portable backgammon board game

I’ve seen lots of gorgeous backgammon boards, and I’ve always thought it would be the easiest of the classic games to make. Since the board itself is a lightweight bag, this DIY version is a perfect travel set. Your pieces can be virtually anything, but as I was crafting I wondered why I had never seen pieces that weren’t solid-colored circles. I thought about making ombre pieces, or patterned pieces, but then I settled on these charming, smirkish faces. And why Shrinky Dinks®? Basically because I am obsessed with them!

diy backgammon tiles shrinky dinks

This is a great project to make as a gift or for yourself before a trip of any sort. Once the playing pieces are shrunk, they have a slightly rough texture which grips nicely to the felt board so no sliding.

diy backgammon board set

What you’ll need:


  1. Cut a piece of felt about 1/4” smaller than your bag on all sides. Hot glue it in place.
  2. Download and print this template and cut 24 triangles from felt, 12 in one color and 12 in another.
  3. Cut the strip that becomes the center “wall” of the game from a fourth color of felt.
  4. Glue spaces into place, alternating colors with the center wall down the middle.
  5. Print the pieces onto inkjet shrink film (here’s a free download!), and let the ink dry before cutting out.
  6. Use a 1 3/4” paper punch to cut out the circles, or just cut with scissors.
  7. Shrink the pieces in the oven or toaster over according to package instructions.
  8. Glue the 16th extra piece, to the top of a matchbox—use the matchbox as the receptacle for the backgammon pieces.


diy backgammon board easy to make kids

Have fun and here’s to a lifetime of double 6’s!

backgammon board in a bag easy craft

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DIY Elf Ornaments

| ad, Christmas, Decor, Early Elementary, Family Bonding, Grown-Up, Holidays, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen, Uncategorized, Yarn & Fabric

This post was sponsored by P-touch Embellish ELITE.

Making Christmas ornaments is one of my favorite craft pastimes…they are like little artful  sculptures, each one with its own personality. Snowmen, angels, elves…when you make these tiny little characters, you have so much opportunity to add little details that make them super special. And that’s why I was so excited when my friends at Brother asked me to use the new P-touch Embellish Elite to make a holiday craft for my blog this year.

bead diy elf ornament craft

When you hear P-touch you may automatically think of just a label. But the P-touch Embellish ELITE is SO not just a label maker…it’s a memory-maker, a craft-maker, and a gift-maker! First it prints on ribbon (from ~1/2″ to ~1″ wide) which is super-innovative. Next, you control it from your mobile device using the free P-touch Design&Print App, so you don’t have to type on a tiny buttoned keyboard. And lastly, you connect via Bluetooth® so it’s super slick, easy, and compact.

p-touch embellish elite elf ornament craft

Have fun playing with all of the different ribbon and tape colors and printable patterns, fonts, and symbols that the P-touch Embellish ELITE has to offer. Definitely make this project a family affair…while you’re printing ribbon, your kids can be cutting felt or painting. And together you can bring some little elves to life to live on your Christmas tree this year!

how to make a diy elf ornament

What you need:

  • P-touch Embellish ELITE
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Permanent markers
  • 1” raw wood bead
  • 2” raw wood bead
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • White pom-pom
  • Hot-glue gun

Make It:

  1. Paint about 2/3 of the larger bead white. A nice trick for painting a bead is to put it on the end of a paintbrush so it can rest untouched while drying.
  2. Once the white is dry, flip the bead over and paint the other half pink (or any color of your choice). Let this dry.
  3. Use a black, red, and pink permanent marker to make the face of the elf. 
  4. Cut hair from felt and hot-glue it to the sides of the bead. Remember that you’ll have a hat on top, so it doesn’t have to be perfect!
  5. Roll a piece of felt into a 1.5 to 2” cone and hot-glue the end to make an elf hat. Glue this on top of the doll’s head. Glue a white pom-pom to the point.
  6. Cut 2-by-1/4” strips of felt to match the hat for the legs. Fold the end of the strip over and glue, then bend that folded end up and put a dot of glue to hold that part at a right angle. This creates a foot. Repeat for the second leg and glue to the bottom of the body (the non-white side).
  7. Cut two thin 1-inch pieces of white felt for the arms. Cut out a small heart from red felt and glue it to connect the arms. Glue a thin white strip of felt around the base of the hat.
  8. Glue the other ends of the arms to the top section of the larger bead. Glue the head to the body.
  9. Print the scarf on the P-touch Embellish Elite using the thin ribbon. You can do a pattern, symbols, or vertical text and a frame, as shown here. The scarf should be about 5 to 6 inches long.
  10. Print a 7 to 8-inch long wide ribbon on the P-touch Embellish Elite as the hanger. Fold ends over one another and glue the back of the elf’s hat. 

diy elf ornament craft

This post was sponsored by P-touch Embellish ELITE.

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