I was playing Azul with my husband when I came up with the idea for this project. Well, actually we’d finished playing and were adding up our final scores. I thought, “this must be my highest score yet!” but I really had no way of knowing. I came up with an idea to have something to keep track of each of our personal best scores, and maybe a few other things as well. Could I have done this with an app? Sure, but that would have been a lot more work and besides, one of the nice things about playing board games is that I don’t need a phone or computer to do it (usually).
I bought a laminator years ago and now I’m pretty averse to writing on actual paper anytime it’s something I may want to change/update, without laminating said paper first and using a wet-erase marker instead. So my idea was to draw up a grid where people could write their high scores, print it, laminate it, and then use it with wet erase markers. I figured this would be a quick project I’d do over a weekend and have a stack of these I could stick in my games.
Then I got the idea to make them prettier and this project became a lot more complicated. I wasted a lot of time trying different paper options. Either it was too big for my printer, or too slippery and the print would smudge, or too busy to read the text on the card once printed.
I even explored the possibility of stamping my own patterns on paper (maybe even making my own custom stamps). Turns out stamping paper is a lot more work than I wanted to sign up for. If you want to do both sides of the paper, you have to let one side dry before you can do the other side. You have to devote a bunch of space to letting them dry so it’s hard to do a lot of pages in one sitting.
I ended up just using some plain blue paper. It was cheaper and a lot less hassle. I used a corner punch to round off the corners because otherwise those laminated corners can be kind of sharp.
Now I can play against my own high score as well as my friends and family. Plus I filled the space on the back with other questions of interest. So I can also track when we played last, how long it took, who went first and who won.
Possible Future Improvements
I’d still love to find some nice suitable patterned paper to use for this. Or maybe I will get a printer that can handle larger sizes.
I did end up ordering some material to laser-cut my own stamps, so I will probably try that out in the future. I just didn’t want to commit to the amount of stamping this project would require.
I’m selling these on my etsy store if you’re interested in buying some.
Here are the tools I used for this project.
For a full list of tools we use, check out our Toolbox.
Here are the materials I used for this project.
For a full list of materials we like to use, check out our Materials page.