I wanted to make a game with rocks for a long time! So this Christmas I sewed a fabric pachisi board using river rocks as game pieces. Sewing a pachisi board is very easy and a great way to use up fabric scraps.
Pachisi is an ancient Indian game – it’s also known as chaupar, pagade and by many other names. The board is usually embroidered on cloth: It can be very plain (V&A felt pachisi board with gold thread) or richly embroidered with pearls, beads and silver thread (1800-1900 velvet chaupar board). I decided to make a plain pachisi board with things I already had in my stash: turquoise cotton fabric scraps left over from a full circle skirt, silver ribbon and cotton yarn in mint green – left over from my mint green crochet lace sweater – and pink.
I used two layers of fabric for each arm which I zigzagged together – two layers of fabric make the fabric board stronger. Then I bound three edges of the arm with silver ribbon.
I sewed the four separate arms to a fabric square.
Then I bound another turquoise fabric square with silver ribbon and used it to cover the raw edges.
To mark the squares, I zigzagged mint green yarn to the fabric. For the castle squares I used pink cotton yarn.
I also sewed a zipper bag for the river rocks.
Most of the stone game pieces are collected river rocks and some are bought semi-precious stones.
The colors of the rocks are black, white, green, crystal, pink, yellow and brown. We prefer to play with the green, white, black and crystal river rocks.
I oiled the rocks with jojoba oil to make them shiny and bring out the color.
And because the colors are so similar: some cookies with natural blue frosting (colored with red cabbage and baking soda).
Here’s a website with instruction on how to play pagade (pachisi).
Pachisi is played with 6 cowrie shells, while chaupar and pagade is often played with 2 or 3 stick dice. So, as soon as I find the time, I’ll make wooden stick dice! 😀