DIY Magnetic Scrabble Board Game

This project came about when a friend of mine was searching for the special item for their new home! Not only was it her birthday but it was also a house warming present.  The request was a “magnetic scrabble game”. What we created was just that but with a chalk board for keeping score and adding any messages. Here are the step by step instructions.

Let’s start with the supplies:

  1. Tools – miter saw, circular sander with 60 grit paper, drill, 1/8″ drill bit rated for steel, #6 or #4 screws (qty 30) 1/4″ long.
  2. Mirror hanging wire and dry wall screws of other heavy-duty method for mounting.
  3. Chalk board paint
  4. Stain and sealer you like (red chestnut and semi-gloss is my choice)
  5. Paint brush and a rag to be used for staining and sealing
  6. Burlap or other fabric to be used for making the tile storage bag (I’ve seen others use a Crown Royal sack or other little bags if you rather not sew)
  7. Small 1/4″ magnet sticker circles
  8. Bag of letter tiles
  9. Copper cap 1/2″
  10. Copper 1/2″ 90-degree elbow
  11. Wooden dowel plug 1/2″ (this will go inside of the copper elbow to provide a hook point for the tile bag)
  12. Large 1/2″ circular magnets Qty 8
  13. Super glue
  14. Small 1/2″ by 1″ wood rectangles 1/8″ thick (these are to be used for the tile holder where the large magnets attach proving an offset to hide the tiles)
  15. Qty 4 pieces of 1″ by 8″ long 1/4″ thick wood (this will be the tile holders)
  16. Steel plate 22 gauge 24″ square
  17. Qty 4 steel strips 6 inches long by 1/2 inch wide (these items I have cut for me at our local Metal Super Market’s store they are wonderful)
  18. 30 inches of wire rope (1/16″ gauge is what I use)
  19. Wire cable sleeves Qty 2
  20. Qty 2 washers
  21. Select pine 1″ by 2.5″ (actual measured dimensions are different from the “lumber designation” actual measurements are 0.75″ thick )
    • Qty 2 – 24″ long
    • Qty 2 – 22″
    • Qty 1 – 12″ (this will frame the board game)
    • Qty 1 – 14.5″ (this will frame the board game)
  22. Scrabble board game print (this is 12” by 12” for the tile squares to be the right size be sure your printer does not scale  downloadable  with four color options for you)
  23. Scrap wood ½” by ½” about 2-3 inches long (this will be the chalk holder)
  24. Spray glue

First thing I am starting with the assumption that if you purchased lumber, that you have now used your miter saw to cut it down per the above supply list. If not, then please comment below and I’ll work up the detailed cut list.

Lets get started.

Assemble the tile plate.

To do that you’ll need the 4 pieces of 1″ by 8″ long 1/8″ thick wood (this will be the tile holders) Qty 4 steel strips 6 inches long by 1/2 inch wide, the 1” long wide four wood pieces. Center the one steel strip on each of the wooden strips and super glue them in place. Then add to each end the 1/2” by 1” rectangle. Super glue these too. Then add one large circle magnet to each end again super gluing that in place. Let dry. Add the sticker magnets to each of the letter tiles and set aside.

Now we will start on the game board. First paint the chalkboard area with chalkboard paint. You Don’t paint where the gameboard will be and you don’t need to go all the way to the edge. These areas will be covered. Let dry and check the surface, you might need to do 2 coats.


Make the chalk holder. Cut a small piece of scrap wood that is 1/2″ by 1/2″ by 3 inches long. Get your circular sander and hold the sander to sand down a divot where the chalk can rest.


Now pre-drill 1/8” holes around the perimeter about 1 inch from the edge and around the perimeter of where the board game as well. Here, I use the steel plate to attach the wood framing. At this time, if you wish to personalize the tile holders (like I like to do with a branding iron) do that now. It’s easier to do that before stain and sealing, so that if you accidentally hold the iron for too long in place you can sand down around the letters and make them nice and crisp.


Prep the framing by staining and sealing them with your favorite color. Allow them to dry completely. Also go ahead and stain and seal the tile holders as well as the chalk holder, at this time so everything dries together per the stain and sealer instructions.

In the meantime, assemble the “hook”. Insert the wooden dowel plug in to the copper elbow. Super glue in place and attach the cap. Sew the burlap sack if you are making your own to store the letters.

Now to the tricky part. Attaching the game board. Here be sure not to get any of the spray glue adhesive on your hands. If you DO NOT TOUCH THE GAME BOARD.  You will mess up the print. First, align the framing around the right upper corner of the game board. Make sure that the framing will barely cover the paper edge. This was when you are done, the framing prevents the edges from being seen. While keeping the board game in position, lift one half, spray with adhesive and attach. The repeat to the other side.

Align the framing around the game board first. And secure in place with #6 screws. Do the same thing with the rest of the framing. But leave two holes without screws directly across from one another. These will be where you mount the wire for hanging your board game in the last steps.

Now take a look at your board and decide where you wish to have the chalk holder and the hook. Pre-drill two 1/8” holes for the chalk holder and 1 for the hook. Use the #6 or #4 screws to attach both.


Now last but not least, attach the heavy duty mirror wire rope across the back of the board using two screws. For this you might want a washer and a wire aluminum sleeves.  I created a loop on either end of the wire rope using a wire sleeve. Then, I screwed the loops in to the back of the board. You might need a washer if the loops are large and the heads of the screws are too small.

Scrabble Magnetic DIY Board

And that’s it!


4 thoughts on “DIY Magnetic Scrabble Board Game

  1. Sasha says:

    This is why we do this, we received an AMAZING review from the customer who inspired this post. Thank you.

    “Loved! Seriously it is one of my favorite things in my home. My husband and I constantly have a game going. The details are what make this special, the ample chalk board with the groove to hold the chalk, the names burned onto our letter holders, the burlap bag hanging from the pipe. This is a fantastic item in every way” – Etsy Customer

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