Life, Clue, Hungry Hungry Hippos: we’ve never met a board game we didn’t like.
Still, Scrabble’s our favorite.
We’re not alone in our Scrabble obsession, either. Some folks memorize Scrabble-admissable words like uey, muhly, and zo, but have no idea what they mean.* Some even earn their bread on the Scrabble tournament circuit.
Sadly, Scrabble sets are often abandoned due to missing tiles. Fortunately, an unplayable game can be salvaged by turning it into a kickass picture frame/bulletin board/slice of awesome.
Whip out the old X-acto knife and transform that subpar board into a superlative piece of wall candy — we’ll show you how.
* uey: a U-turn
muhly: any of several types of grass native to North and South America
zo: a Himalayan cross between a yak and a cow
What You’ll Need
- An old copy of Scrabble
- Cork (in roll, tile, or discarded-bulletin-board form)
- X-acto knife or utility knife (or mat cutter)
- Velcro tabs
- Flat thumbtacks
Step 1: Glue Tacks to the Tiles
Let the glue dry while you get on with the rest of the frame.
Note: if you don’t want to use tacks on your frame, you can use double-sided tape to stick the tiles on it instead.
Step 2: Cut Windows in the Board
Use the X-acto knife and ruler to cut out a few windows in the Scrabble board. Make them any size you want, keeping in mind that the windows need to be 1/4 to 1/2 inch smaller than the size of the prints you want to frame.
Board games are made to last, so cutting through the board will be harder than you expect. Make a series of shallow cuts along the same line rather than trying to saw all the way through in one go.
Keep your fingers well out of the way when you’re cutting, and be careful with that knife!
Step 3: Tape Photos to the Back of the Board
Repeat until all the frame windows are filled with lovely photos.
Step 4: Make a Cork Back
Note: if your cork is thin (1/16th to 1/8th inch) cut two pieces the same size and glue them together to make one thick piece. This will keep the thumbtacks from sticking through the frame into your wall.
Step 5: Attach Velcro to the Cork
Having an easy-to-remove back will allow you to change the photos in your frame as often as you want.
Step 6: Hang That Baby Up
Once you’ve got your frame where you want it, spell something out by sticking tiles onto the board.
Since the board’s so sturdy, it’s a good idea to make guide holes with a small nail before sticking in the tile-tacks. (We pushed too hard trying to get the tacks in, and popped some of our tiles right off their tacks!)
Extra Credit: Play More
Actually, any game with a great-looking board will work for this project. If you see Parcheesi or Monopoly hanging around the thrift shop, snap ‘em up quick-like and make ‘em into frames.
- Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis looks into the world of the professional Scrabble circuit. It’s funny and you should read it.
- Wanna know what a professional Scrabble player looks like? Watch Word Wars or Scrabylon.
- We used the Spanish-language version of Scrabble for this project. The 29 different language editions of Scrabble include Bulgarian, Malaysian and Icelandic. The highest-scoring letter in Finnish and Norwegian is “C”.