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Subject: Best way to make DIY tiles? rss

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Not really Ryan Leaf
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I wanted to make a tile-laying game, but i don't want to spend much money. The game will be made of about 120 different tiles that I plan to design with gimp. Once I have the design, I wanted to go to a local store like Staples, Office Depot, etc... and have them printed on a durable medium.

What is my best option for this? The tiles are going to be shuffled around in a bag quite a bit, so I'd like them to be somewhat durable... but then again, I don't want to spend a bunch of money on wooden squares, and I certainly don't want to sculpt 120 tiles.

So, what are some options for me? Are there any stores that print on foamboard/cardboard?


Thanks!
 
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Mike Kollross
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One solution is to print on full page label sheets and then have the sheets laminated back to back. When you trim away the edge you have two sheets with a stickered back and laminated front. Cut out art board and stick them on.
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Brandon Pennington
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Adhesive backed linoleum floor tiles work great IMO. They can usually be found at a dollar store as well.
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Drew Spencer
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RyanLeaf wrote:
Are there any stores that print on foamboard/cardboard?


I think the answer to this is a flat "no," unfortunately. Tiles are typically made by printing on paper, mounting the paper onto cardboard, and then cutting the tiles out. In my experience this is one of the most arduous and repetitive DIY tasks, but the end result is quite nice.
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MK-Ultra71 wrote:
One solution is to print on full page label sheets and then have the sheets laminated back to back. When you trim away the edge you have two sheets with a stickered back and laminated front. Cut out art board and stick them on.

I would take this a step further and paste them down to art board (or mat board, used for framing) BEFORE cutting them out. Everything lines up better that way.
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Jack Neal
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banyan wrote:
RyanLeaf wrote:
Are there any stores that print on foamboard/cardboard?


I think the answer to this is a flat "no," unfortunately. Tiles are typically made by printing on paper, mounting the paper onto cardboard, and then cutting the tiles out. In my experience this is one of the most arduous and repetitive DIY tasks, but the end result is quite nice.


Actually, Staples down the road from me will mount to foam board and print it out. I'd rather have the linoleum and/or full page label to cut out, but it's another option.
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Square wood (or plastic or cardstock) tiles might be cheaper than you imagine at a craft or home supply store (or the teaching-supply section of an office-supply store). Here's a thread I just posted that might be of interest: "Nice tile/board material in bargain-bin at Target" -- http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3675408

Gorno

 
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F H
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TGov wrote:
Adhesive backed linoleum floor tiles work great IMO. They can usually be found at a dollar store as well.


+1
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Another super-cheap backing option is sticky-back foam craft sheets ($.50 @ at Walmart in various colors, also at craft supply stores) -- I made a very nice Carcassone set with these. The tiles are surprisingly durable. The tricks are: 1) after affixing the paper facing, score the tile boundaries before you cut through the backing underneath, 2) cut the foam with a sharp paring or carving knife to get perfectly straight lines, hence, square corners.

Gorno
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Alan Monroe
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TGov wrote:
Adhesive backed linoleum floor tiles work great IMO. They can usually be found at a dollar store as well.


Is this a regional/seasonal thing? I didn't see any in my local dollar store. Of course a sample size of one doesn't say much.
 
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They seemed to have disappeared from dollar stores of late. Slightly higher priced ones can be had any home improvement store like Home Depot.
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Carc >> BSG
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My method involves printing out on full-sheet sticker paper (Hobby Lobby - $10 for 15 sheets) then affixing it to chipboard (Scrapbooking store - 55 cents for a 12x12 sheet). I use a rotary cutter to slice apart the tiles (if you don't have one, get one... you'll find it much easier to cut through the material than with an X-Acto knife - easier, quicker and a better cut). It's possible to make double-sided tiles this way, too, but lining up the sticker sheets is very difficult, so if you attempt that one suggestion I have is to make the 'back' of the tile not position-critical.
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Somebody (e.g., somebody less lazy than me! ) should dig up and post a link to one of the detailed tutorials posted here on making counters/tiles.
ejcarter wrote:
My method involves printing out on full-sheet sticker paper (Hobby Lobby - $10 for 15 sheets) then affixing it to chipboard (Scrapbooking store - 55 cents for a 12x12 sheet). I use a rotary cutter to slice apart the tiles (if you don't have one, get one... you'll find it much easier to cut through the material than with an X-Acto knife - easier, quicker and a better cut). It's possible to make double-sided tiles this way, too, but lining up the sticker sheets is very difficult, so if you attempt that one suggestion I have is to make the 'back' of the tile not position-critical.
I always looked (unsuccessfully) for mat board (and/or chipboard) in the art supplies aisle, but I never looked in scrapbooking. Thanks! That's a good price.

If one had really good skills, a plausible idea to make double-sided tiles would be make separate, thinner front and back tiles in this usual fashion that one later glues together to make a two-faced tile -- the adhesive backing (or Super-77 spray) to smoothly apply the visible faces and the messy but temporarily repositionable craft glue hidden inside.

Gorno
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Tom McThorn
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Depending on the size and how much time you want to spend:

Find a local teacher/educational supply store. they'll have thin plastic or foam tiles in various sizes. Print out the counters as labels and stick them to the plastic/foam tiles. You could probably spray on some sort of clear coat to help protect the printed part; just use a dull/matte finish.

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Mark Boyd
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This is a bit of a stretch since I have connections, but I am in the process of designing a board game and needed hexagons. I went to a local woodshop that I used to work at (hence the connections) and worked with my friend to design a pattern of hexagons to have his CNC machine cut out. He used a sheet of MDF, no warping if painted, that was sanded down to the 1/16" standard height. A sheet of 1/4" MDF runs about $20 here and if you don't have a friend with a CNC machine, you would have to pay for the labor involved, but they turned out great. A few of them were thicker, but I sanded them all down to be even.
Now, we are designing a board for my prototype that will also be made of MDF. CNC machines are very precise and the board should look great when it is finished.
I realize that this is not something that every woodshop would do, but it is definitely worth a try. It was for me.
 
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