Settlers of Catan

Some of you may have heard of the game Settlers of Catan . I’m a big fan and love playing it, although I’m not very good. For those who haven’t heard of it, it is basically an empire building game played on a customizable board made up of different biomes. The different biomes are important because they each give different resources which you need to build your empire. At the Fiber Arts Festival a couple years ago one of the people I taught to needle felt mentioned that it would be a very useful technique for making board games, which was apparently a hobby of his. Then just recently a friend and I started talking about doing a “geeky fiber” booth at Fiber Arts Fest next year so I was thinking about new geeky fiber things I could make and the two ideas connected in my head and boom! Fiber Settlers of Catan game.

I’m just starting on the first biome for the board, the mountains. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to make all of the pieces out of fiber or just the board, or maybe some of both but not everything. I figure I’ll decide that as I go. So here are pictures of what I have so far.

This isn’t quite done yet. I plan to make the mountains into a closed ring, so the finished piece will look a bit more like the top picture. It’s hard to get a real pointy top to the mountains with needle felting, they all try to round out. The two connected peeks are supposed to look kinda like a ridge, I think it needs more work. Mountains are not really something I have a great idea of in terms of the shape, we’re a bit lacking in them around here.

In order to play the game each of the biome tiles has a number on it, and pieces representing cities and roads get put along the edges of the tiles, so both of those things affect the shape of the decoration on the tiles. I plan to have a raised central space in the mountains for the number tile to sit, theoretically where it is in this picture, just with a sort of platform underneath. And I have to pay close attention to the placement of the mountains so I leave enough space for the pieces around the edges too.

So that is the mountain biome, which is all the farther I’ve gotten in planning. There are also wheat fields, grazing land, forest and clay pits that I need to make. I have no idea how to decorate those pieces so I’m going to put pictures of the original game board pieces here and ask for your suggestions. I was thinking I may do something that is more related to the resources you get from the biome which are wheat, sheep/wool, wood and bricks, respectively.

You can see the mountains in the bottom right of the picture with four different biomes in it, my piece is kinda similar, but not exact. For the wheat field I was thinking maybe do some stand up tufty bits of wheat colored wool, although that seems kind of boring. The grazing land I could do as a sheep or a herd of sheep in a green pasture. The clay pit/bricks I have absolutely no idea. The background felt I’ve chosen for the clay pit is kind of brick red, but I can easily change that too. For the forest I mostly need to decide if I want a perspective looking down on the forest like on the original gameboard piece or is I want to do more of a standing in front of a forest looking at it perspective with the trunks and bushes and branches and such.

If you have suggestions I would love to hear them!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Ooh, we love that game in our house (and also Carcassonne by the same games company)! What an amazing idea to make a fibre version. I will be watching your progress with interest 🙂


    • I haven’t played Carcassonne, although I’ve looked at it at the store and considered buying it. Be sure to let me know if you have any ideas for the biome pieces!


  2. […] even close to finished) so that could be a bit of a challenge. I also want to work a lot more on my Fiber Catan board, which I’m pretty sure will involve lots of new needle felting challenges. But no matter what […]


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