**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**
Disposable plastic bottle caps. How many times have you thrown them away and felt guilty about doing so? Here is a fun way to recycle a handful of them.
For this project, you will need felt, 4 contrasting fabrics, 10 plastic water bottle caps, 19 craft magnets, disappearing marking pen, cardboard, tacky glue, fabric glue (optional), Heat n' Bond Ultra, embroidery thread, iron and pressing surface, ruler, sewing needle, and scissors.
To create the game board:
Cut three 7" squares from felt. Using a disappearing marking pen, draw a grid consisting of nine 2-inch squares in the center of the first felt square. Mark the middle of each square by placing a small dot in the center.
Place a magnet in the center of one of the squares in the grid using the dot as your guide. With disappearing marking pen, trace around the magnet. With scissors, cut out and remove the circle from the felt square. Repeat with the other 8 squares. Discard the circles or save them for future project use.
Place the first felt square on top of the second felt square. Using the first piece as a pattern, trace the 9 circles onto the second piece of felt. Cut out each of the nine circles. Again, discard the circles or save for future use.
Leave the 3rd felt sheet as is.
The next step may be a bit messy so I recommend that you work on a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Spread fabric or tacky glue onto one side of the first sheet of felt. Glue this onto the second sheet of felt, taking care to line up the holes evenly.
Glue the piece with the holes onto the third sheet of felt.
Add a fair amount of tacky glue into each of the 9 holes. Place a magnet into each hole. Place a sheet of waxed or parchment paper on top and weight with something heavy (a book works well) until it is dry.
To create the playing pieces:
Using something round and small like a thread bobbin or a coin, trace circles onto cardboard and cut each one out.
**The goal will be to stack as many cardboard circles as needed to boost the magnet flush to the top of each of the bottle caps. I used the cardboard from a box of Frosted Flakes Cereal. This cardboard is very thin and it took 12 circles per (Dasani brand) bottle cap to raise the magnet flush with the top. Using thicker cardboard will help to speed up this process. It is better to have the magnet protruding a smidgen above the bottle cap than below it. This will allow for better magnetic contact between the playing pieces and the game board.**
Glue each of the circles together using tacky glue.
Glue the magnet onto the top of the cardboard stack.
Glue the cardboard/magnet stack into the bottle cap with the magnet side facing up. Set aside. Let dry completely. Repeat these steps for the remaining 9 bottle caps.
Completing the game pieces:
Cut ten 3-3/4" circles from fabric, 5 of each print. (If you are using bottle caps other than Dasani brand, you will need to measure your bottle caps to determine what size fabric rounds to use.) With needle and thread, take a 1/4" running stitch around the perimeter of the fabric circle, folding in the raw edges 1/4" as you sew.
Place a bottle cap, magnet side down, onto the wrong side of the fabric circle.
Gather fabric tightly around the bottle cap, knot securely before cutting thread.
To complete the game board:
Cut nine 2-1/2" square pieces from fabric, five from one print and four from the other.
Sew into a 9-patch using 1/4" seams. Alternate fabrics to achieve a checkerboard pattern. Press seams flat.
Cut a 6-1/2-inch square piece of Heat 'n Bond Ultra and fuse it to the wrong side of the 9-patch. Remove the paper backing.
Place the felt piece onto a pressing surface with the magnet side facing up. Place the 9-patch on top of the game board, right side facing up, making sure that the magnet is centered in each of the 9 squares. (Note that there will be an extra 1/4" around the perimeter which will be trimmed away in the next step.) Fuse in place with an iron.
Using a rotary cutter and ruler, square up the piece to 6-inches square.
With 6 strands of embroidery floss, take a running stitch 1/4" in from the outside edge around the perimeter of the game board. A blanket stitch may be used instead. If you are a quilter, you may wish to add a bound edge.
This makes a wonderful traveling game as the magnets will hold the game pieces in place while the game is in session.
I hope this tutorial makes sense (I'm tired!) and you are able to make a Tic-Tac-Toe game of your own.
Everything is going as well as can be expected with James. He will be seeing the surgeon on Friday for a follow-up. We hope to receive the all-clear at that time and start our journey back home early Sunday morning. Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers. We both appreciate it very much.