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I'm looking for a magnetized mat solution to a game that is played on a large laminated mat. The mat is laminated and currently the cards, once sorted, have to be affixed to their spaces on the mat with sticky tack (the goal at the end is to have a completed mat where the cards don't move around so the "results" can be shared with others--each person has his/her own mat). Since each person has a mat (or game board), I need a solution where each person can have a 3x3 mat (folded into 4 squares and unfolded to full-size) and magnetized cards to move about on the mat. Ideas?

  • Is this a game you're creating, or one that already exists? If it already exists, what is the name of the game? This might help in pointing you to a solution. – SocioMatt Aug 23 '16 at 19:25
  • It's one I created to be used in training sessions. The card sorting relates to your perception of a subjective topic. Each person has his/her own mat to sort a set of cards that need to be movable on the mat but then ultimately stick at then end so they can hold it up and compare. – B Walker Aug 24 '16 at 1:07
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It seems like what you need is not magnetic mats, but instead simply a metal playmat, and magnetic cards. Unless you produce it yourself, I doubt you're going to find magnetized sheets that fold, whereas you might find a foldable metal whiteboard, or could build one yourself. From there, making the magnetic cards could be as easy as attaching magnets to the back of paper cards, or get the cards printed on magnetic sheets. Of course, how feasible this is depends on your board and card sizes.

The combination of metal and foldable sounds like it wouldn't be much fun sliding things over the surface, nevermind if either part is magnetic. Since you're already dealing with uncomfortable movability, have you considered using hook and loop fasteners (also called Velcro, because of it's manufacturer/trademark holder) instead? This would be consideably cheaper and more portable than a solution involving metal components, nevermind less likely to break and - if you make everything out of fabric material - even washable.

If all you need is a solution to be able to fix the cards into place, you might want to go with a wooden base plate and use tacks to fix the cards on the surface once you're satisfied with the position. This is the most budget-efficient variant I can think of. It comes with the downside of not being infinitely reuseable, as both the board and the cards will be damaged a little bit each time they're used, but this is certainly something you could go with for testing purposes one way or another.

You could also go more fancy and use a base layer out of any rigid material of your choice, along with a cover layer out of a transparent, equally rigid material such as acryllic glass. You could move the cards around without the inhibiting factor a magnet would have, and when you're done, place the transparent layer on top and affix it in a suitable way that depends on what you're trying to do with it.
You may be fine with some kind of clamps, but if you need to pin it on a wall or need to otherwise store it in an upright state, you would be better off using screws (you could fix them to the base plate, reducing the amount of loose parts while making the final assembly easier) and wing nuts, which are easy to use and don't require tools.

If I'm missing what you're trying to do entirely, please clarify your question, providing details about anything you can think of. Brainstorming requires some kind of ground under the feet.

  • Currently the mat is just laminated paper and laminated cards that move easily around as players decide where to put their final selections. They slide all over; the final step is to get a ball of sticky tack and tear off small bits to affix each of the cards. The velcro makes lots of noise and adds bulk to the mat. I like the idea of sheets of whiteboard material with magnets. The mats wouldn't have to fold--they could roll up. What manufacture would produce these, or if I could by the material and have the design printed on it? – B Walker Aug 24 '16 at 20:31
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Use felt instead of metal/magnets/paper. Actually, you could take your current laminated cards and "sew"/glue felt to the backside pretty easily.

You then use a felt playmat and it will stick together well enough that you can pick it up and wave it around a bit (not too much but should be enough for the purposes of a board game show and tell session.

search google images for "felt storyboard" to get a better idea

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=felt+story+board

  • Although with the weight of the cards themselves it may be too much for the friction of the felt? – Whothehellisthat Jan 21 '17 at 10:18
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I have never used this product, but you might try something like this. It is an adhesive magnetic sheet. The adhesive could be used to create magnetic cards and possibly the game board (I have no clue how well it folds, if at all).

If you made the game board out of a different material you could use sections of the adhesive magnet to make a contact point to stick the cards to.

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You could add magnetic strips to the cards, and use a magnetic mat to stick them to.

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