DIY Quirky Wood Block Game

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 -
How to make a simple Quirky wood block game using scrap wood and a POTATO

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product or payment in exchange. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

I've told you guys before about my grandpa. He was a woodworker and made the most beautiful things. One of my favorite projects of his were these little wooden tic-tac-toe boards he made for all of his grand kids. I still have my set and one I stole from a sibling. 

There is something so nostalgic and sweet about handmade games. Paper pieces and store bought kits just don't last. That was the motivation when I made simple Mancala game boards for Christmas gifts last year and a desktop football goal for Father's Day the year before that. So, today I'm back making another DIY wooden game, this time for my twin boys. 

I made a knock-off version of a game called Qwirkle. I changed up the design a little bit, so I'm calling mine the "Quirky Block Game". It's a really fun and simple game. You get points for matching colors and patterns printed on wood blocks. It reminds me of Scrabble or Dominos. Here is a video explaining how the game is played.

Materials List:
  • (2) 1 x 2 x 96" hardwood  (or scrap wood)
  • (3) potatoes
  • (6) colors of craft paint
  • clear coat 

I made a video of the whole building process. I go into detail about cutting, stamping and finishing the game pieces.

The first step was to cut the 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" blocks to size. I had a good sized chunk of scrap poplar, so I ripped that into 1/2" thick strips, but 3/4" thick, 1X stock will work just fine. The game pieces will just be a little thicker. 

 I highly recommend setting up a simple stop block to make the repeated cuts since you need a total of 108 squares.

Once the blocks are cut, the edges need sanding or "broken". I was really stupid and sanded each edge of EVERY. SINGLE. SQUARE. Don't do that!

I could have saved half the time by sanded or routing the edges of the long strips of wood before cutting them into blocks.

Sanding 108 of anything is ridiculous, and sanding them in them in the middle of an Arizona summer is straight insane! My garage is much cooler than outside, but it's still pretty toasty. No matter where you live, it's important to stay hydrated while you work.

Lately, I've been filling up a Husky 9in lunch cooler with ice and cold water bottles before heading into the shop.

This little cooler is the perfect size to grab and go. It's soft-sided but very heavy duty and really well insulated so it keeps everything cold for hours. Having chilled water right next to my workbench is a good reminder to stay hydrated.

So once the blocks were all sanded, it was time to put the pattern on the wood blocks. You may have read the materials list and thought "what the heck is the potato for?" Well, that's how I printed all 6 designs quickly and cheaply.

I used small cookie cutters, a straight edge, and a pairing knife to cut 6 unique shapes out of potato halves (they can be any shape you want). Then, I dug through my craft paint collection and found 6 different colors.

I very lightly dipped the potato patterns in the paint and stamped 3 blocks of the same color and pattern (for example: 3 red diamonds, 3 yellow triangles, etc.) Although it sounds like a lot, it went really quickly.

Here's how the full set looks for you visual people.

Once the craft paint was full cured, I sprayed 3 coats of clear enamel on the blocks and let them dry. Then, it was time to play!

So, my husband asked me why I went through the effort of making this game set instead of buying one. I do prefer the natural wood and more muted colors. And even though an official Quirky game isn't overly expensive, I was able to use all materials I had on hand, so it didn't cost me anything. But saving a few bucks wasn't really my motivation.

My boys LOVE their new game and seeing their cute little faces while they play with something I made for them melts my heart.

Isn't that why we all make things? So people we love will use them and feel the love that was put into creating it.

Like this idea and want to save it for later? Feel free to pin the image below.

diy how-to wood wooden qwirkle game board craft video tutorial.

If you like this project, you'll love these ideas: 


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