My first tutorial – Potteropoly – the board

Hi all, thanks for coming to my blog and my first post. This is set up because
I posted a question on the Facebook page Craftaholics Anonymous about this project and got an overwhelming response of people wanting to see the results and have a tutorial. (BTW if you’ve not looked at the Craftaholics Anonymous page yet, do! It’s fascinating and soooo helpful!)

Ok so down to business. As part of my ‘make everyone their Christmas presents’ plan for 2013 I wanted to make something with a Harry Potter theme for my big sister. Last year I made her a set of school robes from a free tutorial online. This year I decided to mix it with another of her fascinations – Monopoly. I discovered there was no offcial set so I went about researching what other people had done in making their own sets. I will freely admit I’ve pinched ideas, and for the life of me I won’t be able to attribute every one of them as half my research is done whilst breastfeeding and following random links! If you see your ideas here and I have linked you in I appologise. At present this is very much a project in the making and so today I will just deal with the board.

The first think I needed to tackle was the places on the board. I did think about doing random places from all the books, but when I started to try and lay the board out it just became too random. I had shops linked with key places in Hogwarts and it just didn’t work. So then I decided to limit it to places within Hogwarts itself. Instead of train stations I decided to do 4 different broomsticks, and as utilities the Owlery and Library.

To see how it would work I got some brown parcel paper (always have a supply for making templates/patterns and for wrapping presents) and drew around a real monopoly board. I then measure and marked on the squares and started to add the place names. It all looked to much like the original and not mad enough (if there is one thing about the Wizard world, it is that it is wonky and crazy, not straight and perfect) so as I drew over my pencil markings with my Sharpies I started to add slighly wonky lines. Below is the picture of the paper template board:


As you can see I taped it tothe wall so that I could use it as a basis for the next one. The idea of using ‘The Quibbler’ and ‘The Daily Planet’ as chance and community chest cards came from someone elses set. As does the image from free parking – I thought it so cute I tried to draw my version of theirs. The owl image also comes from the internet. In another post I saw someone had given the monopoly man a scar, which I thought was a stroke of genius! At first I gave him the traditional top hat, but as my husband pointed out a wizard’s hat would be much more apt.




So from this I decided a few changes needed to be made. The wonky element was just not wonky enough. It looked accidental in places and therefore did not give the mood I wanted. Also I could not fit all the titles in. I realised I could plan the wonky elements to help fit in the longer place names. I did at this point consider computer generating the real board, but thought that it would add more to it if it were hand made, more ‘magical’ in style. Also I don’t have a big enough printer so it would look odd in small parts.

Other changes were to make the sparks out of the Monopoly guy’s wand to red and gold shoots rather than stars, as mentioned in the Philosopher’s Stone when Harry buys his wand. I felt the title was too far over to the left of the board. Also to make ministry tax squares green, to break up all the purple text. Finally I realised I needed to rub out the pencil markings before colouring in squares, as the sharpies go over the top of the pencil line and then you can’t remove it, making it look very amateur.

The next step was to make the board itself. I got parchment coloured card from my local hobbycraft (an expensive shop, but convinient as it’s just down the road and it does a little of everything!) and again drew out the squares as measured on the original monopoly board. Then I added my wonky lines and rubbed out the pencil markings. Before doing all the squares writing/colouring in I decided to tackle the drawing elements, starting with the Potteropoly sign as I knew these would be the bits that could go drastically wrong! Luckily they didn’t. Overall I was really happy with the new board. It’s not perfect, but nothing by hand ever is, and I feel it adds to its charm.


My next issue was that the board would be vulnerable to damage (just trying to keep it in the house with all the baby stuff showed me how easily it could be damaged). This was the point I posted on the facebook group and realised peeps might actually be interested in a blog on this! My initial idea was to back it on felt and then modge podge the top. I’d never done either of these things before so wanted to ask advice before I wreck all my hard work. The best suggestions I got were:

1. Frame it – then it will keep it safe and a piece of art between games

2.Take it to the local print shop to get mounted/protected.

So these are my next two steps to investigate. It really depends on how much it costs. Not trying to be a cheapskate, and I love my sister very much, but on maternity pay with a 3 month old baby has really limited the budget for this christmas. Most of our ‘spare’ money will go on the fuel to see our family, so this really does need to be budget led.

So watch this space. There is still to come…

1. What will I do with the board?

2. Making ‘The Quibbler’ and ‘The Daily Prophet’ cards

3. Making the property cards

4. Creating the playing pieces

5. How to present it as a present…

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog so far and that you’ll come back to see the rest of this project. I’ll also try to add blogs of other presents I’ve made/going to make as I go along, mostly when my little one is asleep!


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