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Topic: Custom Mahjong Set  (Read 27707 times)
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toque
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« on: February 14, 2009 10:26:28 PM »

I hope this is the right area to post this. Mahjong is a toy/game, so I think this is where I'd put it. Please correct me if I'm wrong or move it if needed!




 
Anyway, this was my Valentine's day present to my husband this year... a handpainted 145 tile set for the game of Mahjong.

A little backstory: a few months back, some friends of ours, Caley and Kali, (the Ckalieys) had us over for dinner and game night. They had recently been taught how to play Mahjong, and they were eager to share it with us. It was somewhat of a learning process for all of us because they were a bit rusty and hadn't had much practice. They had bought a Mahjong set and taught us to play that night. We enjoyed Mahjong a lot and look forward to playing more with them. Lucas has even been playing online lately. That's when the idea for this present hit me.



It took a lot of searching ... I was unable to find blank actual Mahjong-type tiles or anything quite the same. However, I did find that there were people out there selling blank domino tiles with holes drilled into them lengthwise to be used as "beads" for designing jewellery and such, thanks to the helpful people of Craftster. So I bought a large lot set of 350 of these blank wooden domino beads from a seller on eBay.





Once they arrived, I sorted through and picked out 145 tiles. The version of Mahjong we play is a 144 tile set with 1 extra tile to be used as the Prevailing Wind Marker. Then I set to work handpainting all 145 tiles myself, with Wikipedia's page on Mahjong with little images of the tiles as my guide. I know my characters aren't perfect, but I am really proud of the turnout. Once the faces of the dominoes were dry, I turned each tile over and then painted the backside of each orange... Lucas's favourite colour. If this was to be Lucas' custom handmade Mahjong set, I wanted it to be tailored to his likes.







Anyway, once I was done with the painting part, then I had to spend a few days using spray sealant/clear coat to give each tile a bit of extra durability and shine. The fronts and the backs, of course. Then we found this great paper-mache box at Michaels craft store (Lucas didn't know what it was for) and I painted it black on the outside and brown on the inside to be used as the storage container for all 145 completed tiles.







I still need to print off the custom instructions I put together based on Wikipedia's info, but the gift was very well liked, and I can't wait to use it the next time we play Mahjong.

There are a TON of photos -- I took lots along the way as I worked on this. To see them all, check out the photobucket album (here) ... there you'll be able to see close up photos of the different suit sets and all of the tiles, as well as "in-progress" photos.



Thanks for looking Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009 11:02:42 PM »

They turned out great...I am so glad you posted them up! I was wondering how it turned out and all! I actually think your characters look quite neat and well done, personally. Smiley
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magnoliastellata
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2009 02:28:33 AM »

This is frikkin cool! I hope he loved it!! Your characters are pretty good too, did you study Japanese?? Nice work!
Keep it up!!
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2009 05:26:16 AM »

That is serious. I love it. I would have never thought of making a Mahjong set.
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009 05:30:40 AM »

That is so neat.  I love the game Great work
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2009 07:03:29 AM »

Completely Awesome!!  mahjong is fun, but ive never had the chance to play in person. And the cheaper of the sets always looked cheesy to me (LA china town-- and were still a bit expensive for a college student!)

Yours is gorgeous. Hes  a lucky man. Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2009 08:35:25 AM »

thanks everyone! Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2009 08:39:09 AM »

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift!  You did an amazing job, and I'm sure it will be cherished for years to come!
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2009 07:49:06 PM »

WOW!!!  You did a fabulous job!  What an incredible, thoughtful gift.
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2009 09:11:54 AM »

WOW, that is totally amazing and your painting skills are very good! This is truly a labour of love!
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2009 10:13:56 AM »

wow! I love this. mahjong is one of my favorite games.
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2009 11:04:52 AM »

This is fantastic!  I'm really impressed with your painting job, and how nicely everything came out.  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2009 11:17:14 AM »

That is so cool. What a great gift.
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2009 01:03:34 PM »

wow, those are beautiful! great job with all of the complicated Chinese characters, and the flowers! Have you played with those tiles yet? It seems like the shape might make it difficult to play with them, because it would be hard to stand them up in your hand, so I'd be interested to see how that works out.  really gorgeous work, though! Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009 06:10:55 PM »

wow, those are beautiful! great job with all of the complicated Chinese characters, and the flowers! Have you played with those tiles yet? It seems like the shape might make it difficult to play with them, because it would be hard to stand them up in your hand, so I'd be interested to see how that works out.  really gorgeous work, though! Smiley

We haven't played with them yet (our friends who taught us just had their first baby and they're the only other people in the area we know that know how to play!) and it does worry me a little, but I've seen some mahjong sets that come with tile holders... kinda like the ones you get in Scrabble. We may just steal the Scrabble ones just in case!
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2009 02:19:10 AM »

Wow, this is truly fantastic.  What a lucky man your husband is to receive such a beautiful and thoughtful gift.  I love Mahjong, and this set is just superb.  If you can't find anyone to play with (how sad does that sound!!) how about playing solo,  I often play this on my own and find it helps me win down/chill out, whatever you want to call it, as it can get so engrossing, and you really can't 'cheat' to make things easier for yourself.
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2009 11:46:40 AM »

Oh this is great. My boyfriend has been looking for a nice mahjong set lately. Maybe I could make him one too. Smiley I wonder if you could paint different things on them. Like when you play Mahjong online you can pick different tile themes. Maybe make it Nintendo themed or something geeky and fun. lol
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2009 01:27:25 PM »

Quote
We haven't played with them yet (our friends who taught us just had their first baby and they're the only other people in the area we know that know how to play!) and it does worry me a little, but I've seen some mahjong sets that come with tile holders... kinda like the ones you get in Scrabble. We may just steal the Scrabble ones just in case!

I didn't even think about using tile holders! They'd probably work pretty well for those. Our set has really thick tiles so it's easy to stand them up on their own and we don't need the rack things.  It's too bad you can't find anyone to play with! It's such a fun game. Whenever we can't find people to play with we just teach more people. Tongue Out of curiosity, which version do you play?
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2009 04:20:25 PM »

These are great.  I am amazed at the job you did.   Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2009 08:15:01 AM »

you are my new hero. good ass job.
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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2009 03:05:46 PM »

Beautiful job- your eye for detail, and just plain stick-to-it-tive-ness is impressive. Nice job! Hope your hubby realizes what an amazing artist he's got- if not, remind him!  Grin
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2009 12:37:40 PM »

 Cheesy
I think you did a FANTASTIC job making this set!  I love Mahjong and play it online all the time.  Keep up the crafty work girlfriend!!!!
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andwedanced
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2009 02:31:56 PM »

This is such a creative idea! It's like each tile was made with love!

How long did it take you to finish it over all? It seems like there was a lengthy process with painting each side and spraying
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2009 05:04:13 AM »

Thanks everyone!

We play the hong kong version (I think, LOL!) The rules were explained to us by our friends once and we've played that way -- we use the flower tiles, no jokers, prevailing wind.

For me the project took around a week all total -- around 6 hours to do all of the detail painting on the one side (broken up over 2 nights) and it took one night just to sort through the 350 blank tiles I had and pick out 145 that I wanted to use. They came strung together as a "beaded" place mat so I had to take them apart and such. The fourth night I checked for any touch ups, then it took around an hour or two to paint the backsides of the tiles. The spraying was the hardest part because I wanted to let them sit overnight to dry, even though the side of the can said it would be "fully dry in 2 hours." (that was not my experience!)

It took one night to do the fronts and then one night to do the backs -- but then there were a few where they had too much spray so they stuck to the cardboard I was using to spread them out on my basement floor -- which meant the next day when I tried to pick them up they stuck and some of the paint from the front side came off -- so that was another night for a handful of tiles because I had to redo the painting/touch up the front sides, spray the front and let it sit overnight THEN spray the backside again, trying to be really careful. But honestly this project could be done in as little as 3 days if you had a good 8 hours to spend separating tiles and painting them all in one sitting, then painting the backsides the next day and spraying at night, then spraying the other side the next night.

My explanation was too lengthy. LOL.

<3
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2009 09:56:56 AM »

What detail!
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Quills
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2009 04:04:42 PM »

I am truly inspired. As an online Mahjongg player (obsessively) I have searched and searched for a tile set that I can actually afford. Haven't had any luck yet, and it never occurred to me to make my own. Guess what my next project is?
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« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2009 09:17:18 AM »

Awwe thanks everyone! It seems my Mahjong set has been chosen as one of the Feb 19 feature projects! I am so honoured. Thanks, jungrrl and everyone <3

And I can't wait to see your next project, Quills! Good luck!
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« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2009 03:44:10 PM »

That's awesome!!! I love the game and play often, and I think you did a great job on the characters!
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« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2009 04:21:10 AM »

This is great! I love thoughtful and unique gifts like this, you are talented.
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« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2009 07:52:43 PM »

This is great! I love thoughtful and unique gifts like this, you are talented.

Thanks! I just had to reply to you to say, "FOR THE HORDE!"
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« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2009 08:40:11 PM »

Lok Tar Sister!
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« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2009 10:43:00 PM »

ohh i love this game  Cheesy
but i've never seen one hand made! much love right there!

it turned out very nice  Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2009 07:30:39 PM »

Wonderful to see them, these look better than many of the professional mah Jong sets I've seen.  Hope the advice I offered was in some way helpful.
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« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2009 06:27:36 PM »

Wonderful to see them, these look better than many of the professional mah Jong sets I've seen.  Hope the advice I offered was in some way helpful.

very helpful Smiley thanks!
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« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2009 09:43:52 AM »

Really Neat
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« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2009 02:36:43 PM »

Beautiful work and amazing patience - what a wonderful gift  Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2009 07:00:39 PM »

Holy moly!! What a great project, I love Mahjong!
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« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2009 10:15:09 PM »

this is amazing. the amount of time and thought you put into it is truly astounding. he's a lucky man! keep up the good work and thanks for posting this!
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« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2009 04:24:15 PM »

You are all so kind!  Thank you for all of the great comments Smiley  A friend of mine just pointed out that this project was featured on the Craftzine blog -- WOW, I'm honored! <3

http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2009/04/custom_mahjong_set.html
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« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2009 02:04:13 AM »

OMG such neat symbols!  This is awesome.  I hope he appreciates this.  It's a bona fida, dyed in wool family airloom (spelling).
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« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2009 08:42:50 AM »

Really nice job! I play Mahjong on the computer all the time. It would be interesting to have my own set, though.
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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2010 11:53:36 AM »

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« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2010 10:12:36 AM »

Thank you so much for the honor of being in the Craftster Best of 2009!
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« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2010 11:11:53 AM »

Wonderful job.  You deserve the award for your creativity. 
By the way, for you people who have never played mah-jong, there are very specific rules of how to play, how to pass the tiles etc.  You follow the games on a mah-jong card which can be bought from the mah-jong league and the card (games) change every year. 
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« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2012 03:15:57 AM »

Brilliant! I love it! Thank you for showing us!
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« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2013 12:48:52 PM »


You did an awesome job! 
In case you decide to make more, I found blank tiles (black, white, and ivory) at this website:   http://www.wherethewindsblow.com/mah_jongg_games.php

Blank Mahjong Tiles: Create your own heirloom or set of your dreams. Paint or engrave the mah jongg theme you have been thinking of. Blank tiles can be used for crafts or creating other games, too. 160 tiles (tiles only, no box or case). Ivory silken colored tiles are 1 5/16 x 1 x 11/16" and black or snow white colored tiles are 1 1/8 x 7/8 x 1/2". Good quality tiles.
$45.00 set ($10.00 S&H)

 . . . and if you ever want or need decals go here:
https://www.ymimports.com/p-1691-american-mah-jongg-tile-decals-set-of-180.aspx#.Ud7u0E3D_IV

Complete set of American Mah Jongg tile sticker decals. Decals measure 1'' x 3/4'' and will fit on standard size tiles (1-3/16'' H x 7/8'' W) or larger.
Set of 180 decals: 36 Dots, 36 Bams, 36 Craks, 12 Dragons, 16 Winds, 16 Flowers, 10 Jokers, 6 Blank Spares, 12 Bonus Extras.
Each individual decal measures 1''H x 3/4''W (2.5cm x 1.9cm)

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« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2013 01:05:41 AM »

Hahaha this would be a great thing to torture my husband with during late nights when our daughter wont sleep =D I've always wanted to learn to play this and now I think I have been given a fun reason to put my husbands woodworking skills from highschool to work =D and I just got a new wood burning tool and some awesome cherry stain buwaha

I love the hand painted work on these though! Never would have thought to make my own before this!
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