Custom Scrabble® Tile generator

Back in August I made a Ruby program to generate SVG files for Scrabble® tile sets with custom images on the back. We’ve been pretty busy here (as you know) but I got inspired by some of the work that I’ve seen on the forum.

You can customize these by supplying an SVG file that will be used as the image on the reverse side of the tiles. The SVG file will be automatically scaled to fit the backs of the tiles.

You can also choose to split the tiles into two parts for cutting on smaller pieces of wood.

I’m sharing the source so you can make your own (handy for those teaching languages with character sets not yet covered by the available game sets!).

The example output uses a heart design that was created by cianomagenta from the Noun Project.

The zip file contains examples of both the split and non-split output files as well as the Ruby source file.

Usage: ruby ./scrabbleTiles.rb [-h] [-s] -o <output_filename.svg> [ -b <back_image_filename.svg> ]
    -s, --split                      Split right and left halves
    -o, --output FILENAME            Name of output SVG file
    -b, --back FILENAME              Name of back image SVG file
    -h, --help                       Prints this help

I’d love to see what folks do with this! (54.5 KB)
TileExample SVG, non-split (151.6 KB)

TileExample SVG, split (384.9 KB)


That is great, thanks for sharing! Adding that to the list of projects!


Awesome! That would make a fantastic personalized gift set. :relaxed:


Bookmarked, downloaded, and ready to play with it.


O.M.G. This is amazing! Well done and thank you for sharing it with us!


Big Christmas bonus to @ned for this. The maple plywoood makes perfect Scrabble tiles. This makes it so easy!


Thanks for sharing!

This confirms for me that designing two-sided prints this way is fine. So, the way I’m imagining it, you tell it you are doing a two-sided print (same as you might tell it you are 3d engraving) after uploading the design to your design library and then say engrave red on front, engrave black and cut blue on back. Hit print, then push glowey button. It notifies you to flip it the long way with a pretty picture and minimal text when red is done engraving. It checks the corners for orientation (possibly automatically after detecting lid closed again) and the button glows once again when it’s done. Push it and get ready to remove masking material.

Is that about right?


Thank you so much! I’m a Scrabble fiend and will definitely use this!


Wow! This works really well…

Here’s a set for the Whovians among us (tardis courtesy of Arancha R at the Noun Project)


Until my :glowforge: arrives, I can only guess how long this would take to cut & engrave — hours, I would imagine. :smile:


BTW, getting Ruby set up in osSierra (mac) can be a lengthy process for non-coders. In particular, installing x-code & its command line tools can take about 30 minutes.

I used the guide at — be sure to follow the instructions very carefully and don’t skip any steps! For this project, you won’t need “rails” so feel free to stop at the “Install Rails” section about half-way down the page.


Sorry, I didn’t describe the workflow. What I do is this:

  • tape the material down at the corners so I don’t disturb it when I flip the engraved piece
  • ignore all steps except one of the engraves (either the letters side or the back side) and the outside cut border (the green rectangle)
  • order the steps so the cut is last
  • do the first engrave followed by the outline cut
  • use a piece of tape to pick up the cut-out rectangle
  • flip the rectangle over (using the remainder of the material as a jig to hold the rectangle in the right place)
  • now ignore the steps you just did (the first engrave and cut), and un-ignore the second engrave and cut (the blue lines).
  • order the steps so the cut is last
  • do the second engrave followed by the cut that separates the tiles
  • remove lots of paper from the many tiles. Gorilla Tape® is your friend here.

Great share Ned!
Fine example of structuring a file for multiple operations, including a solution for registering multiple double sided engraves! :sunglasses: :+1:

Laying out the workflow helps bring it into focus, thanks!


I use Ruby in my day job! I’ll have to take a look at this when I’m not on mobile!

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The cat got some extra lap time tonight as I worked this out on Ubuntu. Had Ruby installed but had to hunt for some gems and those needed some development libraries. Then I headed over @ctowen87’s svg library to get an image.

Took a while to figure out what the size and placement of a custom svg needed to be since I didn’t use the noun project icon. So here is mine. It will be a great test for MakForge. Not sure if I’ll keep the vector for the image or not.

<a class=“attachment” href="="/uploads/glowforge/original/2X/d/d3af5ab5ed9009bfa06453e6f6ce7daafba62807.svg">MakScrabble.svg

<a class=“attachment” href="="/uploads/glowforge/original/2X/5/52af1e5f5570d0fb6b2bfe242fc556a5793c99e0.svg">CelticKnotSquare.svg


Whovian here…thanks! So is the Tardis in the background with the letter on top?

Can we use the regular tiles (not TARDIS in ones) to sell or is it personal use only…which is ok just wondering. I had something I was going to manually make.

The Tardis would be on the Reverse (back side) with the letters on the Obverse (front).

@ned would need to confirm (he wrote the Ruby script to generate the tiles), but items in this category are generally free to use for personal projects. The tardis icons are from the Noun Project and can be licensed quite cheaply.

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Oh have never seen Scrabble tiles with a design on the back…ok this makes much more sense now!

I can make them up manually just fine…no biggie.