Game Play Mats

We had to make some portable game play mats for the tournament we run at conventions. So we decided to take a few pictures of the various steps and materials required so others can make them as well. Enjoy!


You will need the following materials to make the game play mats. Different colored fabrics (Tan for the base, blue for water and green for parks), try to get them all te same type of fabric. We made our mats approximately 3′ x 4′ which gives a good size for battles with 1 to 4 squads of miniatures on each player. You can make yours bigger or smaller depending on the table you have available to play on. You will also need, a can of matt black spray paint to paint the roads onto the tan fabric base. Plus some newspaper or paper and masking tape to mask out the areas not to be painted on the tan fabric. Also, a can of spray mount glue, if your making a town with river and parks to glue the blue and green onto the tan fabric. Lastly, some good scissors and/or xacto blade to cut the fabric and paper.

Step 1:

Layout your tan fabric on a table to work on and try to get it as flat as possible. If you have a iron available then iron the mat to get all the folds out be masking the fabric. Plan where you want the roads to go and then using the masking tape put down the tape onto the tan mat on each side of where the roads are going to go. We when doing corners use the scissors or xacto to cut the tape to make square corners. Once you have tape around where all the roads are going to be placed then start taping newspaper or paper over the sections not to be painted matt black for the roads.

Step 2:

Painting of the roads, on a nice day without wind take your masked up game mat outside and paint the matte black roads onto it. Make several passes of the matte black spray paint, making the roads a bit darker each time, you don’t want to get to much paint in any one area. Once the paint is dry bring the painted mat back inside.

Step 3:

Remove the newspaper or paper and masking tape and throw it out. You now have a tan desert map with roads on it, if you want you can stop there and maybe add a little of our free paper terrain to it. We have military base or urban paper terrain pieces that you can download on the website and then print it in color on paper and then you glue the paper onto a thin sheet of cardboard and cut them out and glue them together.

Step 4:

If you want to make your map a bit more interesting you can add a river or lake using the blue fabric or park using green fabric. simply cut the fabric to the desired shape and then use spray mount glue on it’s back and glue it in place on the tan mat.

Step 5:

Once you have your mat and paper terrain buildings all done put it all together and see how it turned out. We made a small town with a river running through it and some parks to the left. The bridge crossing over the river was made from a piece of foam core (which is normally used to back small posters for displays) and some cardboard that we cut up and glued together and then painted.

Here is see the town game play mat that we made being used at the CanGames 2009 tournament. It gives a good result and everything folds up and fits into a small box that is easy to carry around.