"Sorry!" Bandana

A Bandana Gameboard for Playing Sorry!

Play Sorry! on a bandana.

October 2001

horizontal rule



Round about 1992, Dan Efran introduced me to the classic board game of "Sorry!". It's a great game, particularly if you play by the "tournament" or "adult" rules that allow you to have a hand of cards.

Round about 2000, Looney Labs introduced me to the exciting world of bandana gameboards by including an early version of Alison's Chessboard Bandana with their "Black Ice" expansion set for Icehouse.

Also some time in 2000, I started experimenting with the iron-on transfers that you can feed through your ink jet printer. Those of you who are fans of my project pages will know that I really prefer projects I can lay out exactly on my computer and transfer easily from the design to the project via the printer. Together with blank bandanas from the craft store, these inkjet transfers are perfect for making your own bandana game boards in small quantities.


Material #1 is the bandana. I bought mine at a chain of large craft stores called "Michaels". The bandanas come in a wide variety of colors. If you want to use a dark color, you'll have to find special transfers. The standard transfers for light fabrics are basically transparent, but they're not invisible. Uncolored portions of your design will leave uncolored transfer material on your fabric, unless you trim it off. To avoid having to trim off every last little bit of uncolored material, I chose the "natural" color because I thought it would hide this material a little better than bright white.

Material #2 is the transfer. I used Avery transfers, but I've seen a wide variety of manufacturers lately, including "store brands" from the larger office & computer supply stores. If you already have a favorite brand, I'm confident any brand is fine.

The Process

The key to the process is using several sheets for the gameboard. The sheets are usually just 8.5"x11", and the bandanas (and game boards) are usually much larger. You can make square boards up to 19.5"x19.5" if your design is open in the center, by arranging the transfers as shown to the right.

It's very tricky to line up the four transfers, so I would not recommend designing your gameboard in a way that makes this necessary. Each section of my game board is roughly equal to what you see in the close-up above (you can select that picture to see a larger version). Notice that the design empasizes rotation, so if the angles between the sections aren't quite parallel, the viewer is less likely to notice

Another important thing to remember is that these transfers are really designed for use on T-shirts. The fabric of a bandana is much thinner than that of a T-shirt, so it does not retain as much heat. Make sure to iron the sections enough to transfer the design before you peel up the paper. It also helps to have a thicker piece of fabric behind the bandana when you iron. Most instructions recommend a pillowcase, but I've found this isn't thick enough to retain enough heat. Use several pillow cases, or a thicker type of cloth.

My next bandana gameboard is going to be a backgammon board!

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