Settlers of Catan

  • Stencil Design
  • Laser Cutting
  • Woodworking
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Universal Laser System laser cutter

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan came out in 1995 and was designed by Klaus Teuber. puts Catan at 230 of all time, based off of user reviewers and ranking. For me it was the first board game that got me back into playing board games. It got me over that Monopoly and Cranium hump (2 games that I still enjoy but 2 games that is much harder to play regularly). From what I’ve read and learned in conversation, this is not an unfamiliar trend for other table-top gamers.

Fast forward to 2015, in my family participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange every year. During the season, we are expected to be nicer to that person and try to go out of our way to make their holiday special. On Christmas Day, to top it all off, we give each other our gift and reveal who was making their season special. From 2009, we decided that buying gifts were no fun, so we now had to make whatever we give them. I’ve done illustrations, printed photos, baked bread, etc. In 2015, I got my third oldest sister. Her and I both share a love for playing games so I felt this was a no brainer. I also knew she enjoyed Settlers of Catan. So using the resources I had available for me at school I decided to laser cut her, her own board out of wood.


I searched the web to see what Catan boards were already out there. I didn’t feel the need to start from scratch. I did know, from experience, that I wanted to pieces to fit together like a puzzle so that way they would not jiggle as much. I also didn’t want to paint it. I felt that the color of the pieces and the color of the board could be a little distracting and I wanted something much more minimal. I found a few templates on and mixed and matched the parts that I wanted and tossed what I didn’t. I ended up with a system that I thought was very interesting, minimal but still easy to read.

  • LC1

    First pass on the laser cutter

  • LC2

    Second Pass

  • LC3

    Third Pass

  • LC4


The board and pieces (
LaserCut Template. Each color equated to a power setting and either engraved or cut.

The Board

The board was made with cherry plywood. There is no stain or finish on the board. It was laser cut with 3 passes. This was to get the engraving section deep enough to get the detail that I wanted. The box, is stained cherry as well. The name plate on top is in place with gold finishing nails. The lid has a gold hinge, as well. I chose these darker, earthy tones to match the wood color. Also, wood is a basic element in Settlers of Catan. You wouldn’t be able to win the game without even having a little bit of wood resource. All of the materials, I feel, reiterates the power wood has for civilization and its development.

I created only the board and the box for it sit in. I feel even when building DIY boards,  not to take business away from publisher nor designer.

Final Gift
  • Box


  • Board

    Set-up board: No pieces

  • Board - Detail

    Lasercut detail

  • Board - Setup

    Board with pieces

  • Board - Game

    Board, pieces, cards and box

  • Box - Packed

    Packed into the box