Homemade Dungeon Tiles

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 09 October 2009

I really like tiles. They let me create encounter maps in a modular setting and make things up on the fly. While I like the ones created by Wizards of the Coast, I find that you often need multiple sets and that can get expensive over time. Besides, I really like the arts and crafts time I get to spend when I make my own.

* Foam sheets - I got mine at Ben Franklins. They are 9x12 and are available in a number of different colors.
* Markers - I used Sharpie brand permanent markers.
* Clear contact paper
* A ruler - It can double as a straight edge for drawing the lines.
* Card stock - Use it to create removable terrain features.
* Adhesive tack - Use it to "pin" down the tiles.

1. Draw grid on the foam. Permanent markers work pretty well, just don't push down too hard.
2. Cover the tiles with clear contact paper.
3. If you want to make the rooms, doors, and other items to be permanent, draw them out now with permanent marker. Mistakes can be removed by wiping the tiles with a dry paper towel or cloth. Some marks can be removed the next day with rubbing alcohol.
4. Place the tiles down on the surface. You can use adhesive tack to help keep them in place. In my case, I like putting them down on a battle mat to make lining them up easier and, in cases of town settings, the rest of the encounter area is already set up. In addition to the tiles, you can make encounter features out of card stock, such as crates, trees, and beds.

Blank foam sheetBlank foam sheet
Foam Sheet with GridFoam Sheet with Grid
Laminated tilesLaminated tiles
Example estateExample estate
Example innExample inn
Adhesive tackAdhesive tack
Apply tack to back of tileApply tack to back of tileExample dungeonExample dungeon
Example courtyard with treesExample courtyard with trees


Very cool. Just the level of detail I like.

Nice. I bought a bunch of foam a few months ago with the express purpose of turning them into tiles. The one thing I lacked, which prevented me from going forward with it, was a good way of making them more adaptable to my needs.

The clear contact paper is definitely the missing piece to the puzzle. Great idea! Thanks!

Nice. I started to do the same thing, then I found the 2D tiles at FatDragonGames. I use their Copper Dragon Dungeon set just about every session, and I'm starting to use a few other sets now as well. They are cheap to buy, and you just print them out and use them. There are a few other places around the web for cheap (or free) tiles that you just print out, and you can use them right along side of your current tiles.

Also, I've found that those one dollar stores all over town tend to stock cheap foamboard. I can get 7-8 times as much buying it at a dollar stare than pretty much any where else...

Try 3M mounting squares rather than adhesive tack. Very handy and uniform thickness.

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