My son learned how to play Othello/Reversi at his Grandma's house. Every time he goes there, the two play together, and he's gotten pretty good at it. Up until now, it's been a special "Grandma's house only" game, but Lee has wanted his own game to play at home.
I contemplated buying a set for him, but upon further thought, decided against it. Why buy an expensive game (unfortunately all games are extremely overpriced where I live) when I can make it myself? Reversi is a pretty simple game- composed of just a grid and two toned game pieces- such an easy thing to make on my own.
Near my house, there is a carpentry shop. They often toss scraps of wood there into the trash, which I've used for projects before, like my homemade checkers set and my upcycled toy kitchen. I went there first to look for a board for my Reversi set, but I must have looked exactly at the wrong time, because there were absolutely no scraps of wood in sight, only lots and lots of rain soaked cardboard.
I almost turned home empty handed, when I saw these big plastic jerrycans in the trash. Why not take those, I mused. I'm sure they could be used for the game, I said....
When I got home, I cut the jerrycan so I had rectangle sheets of thick plastic, which I soaked in soapy water, and then scrubbed to get clean. I trimmed these so they looked decent, and decided each flat side would become a Reversi board. (I made more than one set. More on that below.)
Once cleaned and dried, I took a permanent marker and drew a large square board on the plastic, to be the outline of the playing grid. It helped that the plastic specifically had a square indentation in the middle, the perfect size for this grid.
I checked online and discovered that there are 64 squares in a Reversi grid- an 8 by 8 square grid. To make a relatively even grid, I first drew one horizontal line cutting the grid in half, and a vertical line cutting the grid in half. I divided these "half sections" into further halfs, and then those halfs in half, so that I had an 8 by 8 grid. I used a ruler to help keep the lines straight.
Once I had my grid, I needed to make playing pieces. Usually Reversi pieces are one color on one side, and another color on the other side, but I wanted to make my job as easy as possible and not need to color pieces with anything to make two distinguishably different pieces.
And then I decided to go with cereal boxes! Because one side of the box is colorful, and the other side is plain cardboard. When playing, one player ends up being color, one player brown, instead of the typical black and white.
I just cut 70 little circles of cereal box to fit within the grid that I drew. (Why 70? Because you need 64, and I wanted there to be some extra.)
I needed something to store the pieces, and decided that an old cassette tape holder would be the perfect thing to hold the playing pieces. I have cassette tape holders in my home and have no need for them- tapes have pretty much become obsolete, so now the cassette tapes would be put to good use...
I used superglue to glue the cassette tape to the playing board, and then filled it with the Reversi pieces. I saw, though, that the pieces were slipping out between the cracks in the case, so decided to use superglue to make a barrier to prevent the pieces from sliding out. I just made a thicker line of glue a few millimeters away from the open edges, far enough away from the edge that the case could close.
I wrote "Reversi" at the top of the board, and voila, we're done.
Here's instructions on how to play Reversi.
So, why did I make a bunch of sets?
Well, because this is the perfect, frugal gift!
Firstly, because it's all free- the only cost is a bit of glue gun glue to attach the cassette tape case to the board, and a bit of permanent marker.
Most people enjoy playing games. Board games and other similar type provide lots of wholesome, bonding experience with people you enjoy, and give you the ability to relax. There's few people who don't appreciate a good board game...
So, what do you think? If you got a Reversi game that looked like this as a present, would you every play it? Are you a fan of Othello/Reversi?
Have you made any homemade toys ever?
What was the most creative upcycle you ever made?