Once you’ve been bitten by the tabletop bug it’s easy to spend all of your free time thinking about your new hobby, not to mention every last penny in your bank account. You’ll want to accessorize and bling out your games with everything from the highest-quality dice to the most realistic-looking terrain.
As your closet starts to fill up with games and accessories, though, you’ll most likely find your budget stretched to the limit. It’s no fun having the coolest-looking stuff when the bills don’t get paid.
Fortunately, there’s a way to have your game and bling it out without breaking the bank.
I recently wrote about the latest game in the Zombicide franchise, Green Horde. I was immediately taken by its undead-in-medieval-times narrative and loved the addition of hedges obstacles to the game, which allowed players to use hedges to hide from zombies. Paired with a new zombie-crushing catapult, adventurers could now hide and bomb those hordes across the board.
And while it’s perfectly fine to use the included hedge tokens or spend a little extra for realistic terrain, these three simple DIY steps will make your tabletop look much better for a fraction of the cost.
Step 1: Buy scouring pads at your local dollar store
Take a trip to the 99 Cents Store, Dollar Tree, or whatever nothing-over-a-dollar store is in your neighborhood. Head straight for the kitchen supplies aisle, where you’ll find scouring pads. I went my local Dollar Tree and found
four five scouring pads for a dollar!
Step 2: Cut the scouring pads to the desired height
I used household scissors to cut the scouring pads to their desired size. For Zombicide: Green Horde, I used the tallest zombie (the Orc Abomination) and made it about the same height. Now my adventurers could hide from those pesky zombies!
I didn’t worry about making them perfectly align with each other, since I figured the gardeners in my Zombicide world were too busy fending off the walking dead to worry about manicuring the town’s hedges to a consistent size.
Don’t forget to cut two small notches in the scouring pad and be sure not to throw away any of the excess material. You’ll need it for the final step.
Step 3: Attach a base to the hedge
Your hedges won’t stand by themselves so it’s time to build a base. I was originally going to glue my scouring-pad hedge to a cardboard base, but my wife is a genius at arts and crafts and she suggested cutting small notches into the hedge to attach feet made from the leftover scouring pads. Voila! A no-fuss and no-mess hedge for your next adventure on the tabletop.
Of course, you could still attach a cardboard base to your hedge. A little Elmer’s glue and cardboard will do the trick. You could even glue them to the original hedge tokens in the game.
While I’ve based my example on my love of the Zombicide universe, these hedges are a great addition to any miniatures battle, war game, or D&D campaign. With a five-pack of scouring pads, you’ll have plenty of material to make hedges for any game. And for a few more dollars you could buy several packs — enough for your very own scouring-pad hedge maze!
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WANT MORE DIY TUTORIALS?
- Make a cheap-and-easy initiative tracker for RPGs.
- Create your own Critical Role sketchbook.
- Crochet a dragon-egg dice bag!
Learn To Paint Miniatures with G&S Painters Guild!
Image Credits: Ruel Gaviola
Ruel Gaviola loves board games, books, food, travel, Star Wars, and date nights with his wife. He writes about games for iSlaytheDragon and tabletop-test.com, podcasts about games for The Five By, and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.