On a whim, we picked up a board game we had never heard of before: Neuroshima Hex!, which turned out to be a really great choice. (I'll probably write up a review later)
It did have one noticable flaw, though: you need to draw units from a deck during gameplay. Turning all the chits facedown and then stacking them into a deck was tedious and time-consuming, considering the only other set up component was unfolding the board. I decided to make some custom drawstring bags to hold the chits, which were big and opaque enough to draw out of.
I followed this tutorial for drawstring bags by Jeni of In Color Order.
BagSupplies for the bags:
- Sewing necessities (sewing machine, pins, scissors)
- 1/4 meter of satin for the outside of each bag (I got four pieces in four different colors)
- Same amount of fabric for the lining (I used some black fabric I had on hand)
- Coordinating thread. The stitching for the drawstring casing will be visible.
- Cord or string for the drawstring. For four bags, I think I used around 6 meters, but I made a mistake and had to restring a couple.
For each bag, I cut one big piece of the satin, measuring 15 inches by 8 inches, and I cut two pieces of the lining at 7.5 inches x 8 inches each. I ditched the contrasting fabric on the outside (mostly because the black lining I was using actually had a flower pattern on it, which I didn't want to draw attention to), so I only had lining and exterior pieces. After that tweak, I followed the tutorial without modification.
StencilingSupplies for the stenciling:
- Freezer paper (Freezer paper is butcher's paper that is lightly waxed on one side.)
- Craft knife and cutting surface
- Black paint (I used acrylic)
I used the awesome and simple trick of using freezer paper for one-time fabric stenciling.
Brief explanation: Draw your stencil on the unwaxed portion of the freezer paper, and cut out the stencil with a craft knife. Then, position your stencil wax-side down over your fabric. Lightly press with a medium-heat iron. (If using satin, put a thin cloth between the stencil/fabric and the iron, otherwise you'll irreparably damage the satin!) The stencil should now be lightly bonded to the fabric. Paint the fabric using the stencil. Wait for the paint to dry, and then carefully peel off the stencil.
If you've never done it before, here are more detailed instructions on how to stencil with freezer paper, including some helpful images!
I actually scanned four unit pieces so I could get a high-res version of the armies' logos (You can get them here and here). I then printed them and taped them to my freezer paper. Then I just followed the lines and cut through both layers of paper with my craft knife. Three of the army logos had "floating" bits in their center. I cut these out and set them aside. When it came time to stencil, I ironed the small center bits onto the fabric first, and then positioned the rest of the stencil around it. For the green army, I had to make a little "bridge" to connect the small plus and minus signs to the rest of the stencil, because they were too small to iron on independently. After I removed the stencil, I filled in the bridge by hand with a paintbrush.
The result was very crisp, clean edges and an extremely accurate logo!