Maker Team member Jenny of @olivethisfelt makes beautiful handmade items for children. Today she's sharing her twist on a classic game that is sure to delight all ages. We love that it's functional but also stylish enough for the coffee table. Grab your felt and let's follow Jenny to the beach!
“I’m bored.” Two words that haunt even the most seasoned parent. While it is tempting to turn to screen time (I am quite literally using this tactic to have a moment to type), it is helpful to have an electronic free boredom buster on hand. Cue this travel friendly, magnetic tic-tac-toe board. This beach themed game is perfect for long vacation car rides or lazy summer afternoons. It is sure to provide hours of entertainment, as well as hours of crafting fun with its multiple stitching techniques and lush felt colors!
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 5 hours
One 8" Embroidery Hoop
One 12 x 18” sheet of Shortbread Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Coral Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12” sheet of Julep Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12” sheet of Salt Water Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12” sheet of White Wool Blend Felt
Embroidery Thread - DMC 3851, 501, 3706, 347, 519, 436 and B5200
Two sets of 1/2” Super Strong Magnets (20 total)
Iron (or hairdryer)
Beach Tic-Tac-Toe Pattern
1. Start by cutting a 9 x 9” square out of Shortbread felt. Position into 8" embroidery hoop and tighten with the screw top to keep felt taut.
2. Trace both wave pieces and all of the starfish and clamshell pieces onto their corresponding felt colors using the pattern and Frixion pen. Cut out pieces and use an iron (or hair dryer) to remove Frixion markings.
3. Position White wave piece on the right side of the hoop. Separate DMC B5200 floss, using only one strand to stitch down with running stitch. Place Salt Water wave over the White wave, making sure to line up to the edge of the hoop. Use one strand of DMC 519 to stitch down with running stitch.
4. Time to add embroidery detail to five starfish! Use Frixion pen to draw stitching guidelines through the middle of each arm.
Separate DMC 347 floss, taking just two strands to stitch. Bring the needle up through the middle of the starfish, and use stem stitch to continue down one arm. Once you reach the end, come back through the middle and repeat stem stitch for each arm. Try not to pull the thread too tight when ending an arm and stitching back up through the middle, or your starfish will pull inward. Once the arms are done, stitch one french knot in the middle of each vertex. Repeat embroidery detail on remaining four starfish.
5. Time to add embroidery details to five clamshells! First use a Frixion pen to draw four lines radiating outward from a central point at the bottom of each shell.
Then separate DMC 501, taking two strands to sew. Use the split stitch from the bottom to the top of each line, repeating for all four lines. Repeat embroidery detail on remaining four clamshells.
6. Remove one stack of 1/2” super strong magnets from the package. Keeping the stack facing upwards, separate and lay down each magnet onto five starfish backs and five clamshell backs (blank pieces). This ensures that the magnetic pull will all be the same direction and magnets won’t repel each other when playing the game. Use E6000 glue to adhere each magnet to the felt pieces. Let glue set for a minimum of 24 hrs or up to 72 hrs for maximum bond strength.
7. Separate DMC 3706 so you are using just one strand. Stitch together embroidered starfish top to a magnet bottom using the blanket stitch. Ensure that you stitch the starfish so that the magnet is on the inside of the two felt pieces.
8. Separate DMC 3851 so you are using just one strand. Stitch together embroidered clamshell top to a magnet bottom using the blanket stitch. Ensure that you stitch the clamshell so that the magnet is on the inside of the two felt pieces.
9. Cut out 4.5 x 4.5” tic-tac-toe board from the pattern. Using a Frixion marker, trace border onto sand area of the hoop, centering as well as possible. Then cut out the 1.5 x 1.5” individual tic-tac-toe square. Using the Frixion pen, trace nine squares within the border dimensions, dividing equally into three squares on each of the three rows.
10. Separate DMC 436, taking four strands. Use the back stitch to sew the tic-tac-toe lines onto the hoop. You will not stitch the outside square border. It is just for positioning guidelines. Run an iron over the Frixion markings (or use hairdryer).
11. As on optional step, create “sprinkles” of sand around the outside of the tic-tac-toe border by separating DMC 436 and using two strands to make sporadic french knots.
12. Flip over hoop. Remove the other stack of 1/2” super strong magnets from the package and determine which side of the magnet attracts to the starfish/clamshells. This is the side that you will glue face down onto each tic-tac-toe playing square on the back of the hoop. This will ensure that the playing pieces pull to the square instead of repel. Once you determine the magnetic pull, place a magnet onto each of the nine squares. Use E6000 glue to adhere each magnet. Let glue set for a minimum of 24 hrs or up to 72 hrs for maximum bond strength.
13. Pull and adjust Shortbread felt square so that it is tight across the hoop. It can become loose from stitching. Flip over and trim excess felt, cutting flush against the hoop.
14. Trace hoop backing from pattern onto Shortbread felt with Frixion pen. Cut out and iron (or use hair dryer) to remove markings. Using E6000 glue, make a thin line of glue around the inside of the back of the hoop. Use fingers to press circle into glue. Let dry/set for a minimum of 24 hrs or up to 72 hrs for maximum bond strength. When not in use, you can store the clamshell and starfish pieces on the back of the hoop.
You are now armed with a handy game, sure to banish even the worst case of boredom blues. I hope you enjoyed stitching along with me! Be sure you take pictures of your new game and share it with us on Instagram @benziedesign!
Thanks to Jenny for designing and writing this tutorial! You can follow her on Instagram @olivethisfelt or visit her website. Stay tuned for more tutorials from the Benzie Design Maker Team!