I have wanted an X-wing playmat from the moment I invested in the game. I couldn’t justify the cost of buying a mat when there were cheaper alternatives to marking a 3 ft x 3 ft play area; our favorite was guesstimating a 3×3 area on our dinning room table.
I had researched and reviewed a lot of posts regarding DIY X-wing playmats and playing areas. Let me preface this brief review of other DIY projects by stating that I am constantly blown away by the innovation, creativity, and skill of people involved in this hobby. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a project that I wanted to recreate. Anything made with linen or felt just looked cheap or too lightweight to me. Additionally it didnt provide the grippy and stable surface I was searching for. The bright side to linen and felt is that it is cheap, widely available and comes in variety of colours and patterns. Plywood 3×3 areas seemed cumbersome, and didnt add anything to that thematic feel I was searching for. Custom ordered low static polyester fabric with open cell sponge rubber, or simply mouse pad material, yielded some of the best looking custom mats that I had seen. After finding the mouse pad material in an appropriate size and colour, the cost of materials and shipping was comparable to buying an officially licensed play mat from my FLGS.
While shopping at our local big box store I discovered a non-adhesive grippy shelf/drawer liner in black (CAN amazon/AMER amazon) that came in a 20 in x 4 ft roll. The material is nonporous and features non adhesive grip on either side. Its incredibly easy to cut, and is even machine washable. I purchased two rolls in order to create two 18′ x 36′ rectangles that combine to equal a 3 ft x 3 ft square. Even after being rolled up the material is heavy enough that settles into laying flat quickly, while being light enough to roll back up and pack around with out being cumbersome. The only draw back to this project was having to attach to two separate pieces together, which created a crease line across the center of the field.
Materials & Cost
Easy Liner ($8.99 CAN)
Self healing cutting mat ($21.15 CAN)
Preferred cutting tool (scissors, X-acto knife, utility knife etc.) ($4.99 CAN)
Square ($9.99 CAN)
Ruler ($4.05 CAN)
Paint ($3.49 CAN)
Tape ($4.99 CAN)
Total Cost not including taxes: $66. 64 CAN + taxes.
Cost of an officially licensed mat: $86.99 CAN + taxes + shipping.
The only thing I needed to purchase for this project was the easy liners. All the other materials I had on hand before beginning this project. This meant that my investment into this was much smaller than the indicated in the total cost. This project could be made even more cost effective by forgoing the use of cutting knives and a cutting mat, and just using scissors.
Project Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Step by Step Process
- Lay out material
2. Measure and mark 2 in x 36. This removes 2 inches from the length while marking the width that you’ll need to achieve the desired 18 inch x 36 inch rectangle.
I’ve used silver acrylic paint to make my markings on the black surface. FYI this material and acrylic paint take well to each other, meaning that custom paint in the future is a viable option.
3. Measure twice & check with a square.
I cannot stress the importance of using a square enough. If you want straight cuts, get a square.
Cutting along the length of the square from either end of my measurement left uncut material in the middle. I folded the cut material down and set a ruler between the cuts, resting against the folded material to ensure my cut was straight and clean.
5. Measure and mark 36 inches.
6. Measure a second time and check with the square
8. Lay the finished piece over the next roll. Make sure your marked side is face up.
9. Mark the uncut piece following the edge of the finished piece.
10. Check the measurements
11. Check them again and verify with the square.
12. Cut the second piece.
13. Stick the two pieces together in whatever way you prefer. I used funky duct tape I had laying around.
A 3 foot by 3 foot playing area for x-wing or any other tabletop game your heart desires!