My husband and I both love playing games, especially board games. We have a games bookcase that's full of our favorites, but the one we play the most is Go.
The game of Go originated in ancient China, and the rules are fairly simple — players take turns placing colored stones on the board, attempting to capture their opponents stones by surrounding them with their own. However, the game itself becomes pretty complex. I won't get into all the intricacies, but there's a great tutorial that will quickly and easily teach you how to play here.
One of the reasons why we love Go so much is because we made our own game set. We wanted to be able to toss the set in our pockets or my purse and go to coffee shops or the park to play. It was one of the easiest projects we've ever done, and also one of the most useful. Here's how we did it.
All you need to make your set is some glass stones, sometimes called vase filler gems, fray check to apply to the cut edges of your boards, and sturdy (canvas or similar) polka dot fabric. The only catch here is that the dots on the fabric have to line up exactly in both rows and columns for the fabric to be usable.
Once you have your fabric, use the dots as your guide to cut it. A standard go board would be 19 dots, by 19 dots, but you can also play on a 13×13 or 9×9 board. We cut boards of all three sizes, and use them all regularly, depending on how much time we have to play.
Use the leftover fabric to sew two drawstring bags for the florist beads to go in. (Or just toss the beads into ziplocks, if you're not the sewing type.) And that's it!
This would make a great last-second gift — it only takes a few minutes to make. Swing by the bookstore and pick up a book on how to play Go, or just refer them to this website in your card, and you're all set!
Do you have any games that you've made? I just made a tabletop shuffle board set as well, and I'd love to hear about what other people are making and playing.