The Beauty of Play: Truchet Blocks

Truchet Tiles

Guest Post by Della Parker,

Truchet tiles are square tiles with two contrasting colors that can be arranged to make different patterns. When I think of them, I usually think of the contrasting colors dissecting the square into two even triangles, but it doesn’t have to be a triangular dissection.

These tiles can be arranged in different forms to create patterns, some of which can be repeating patterns and can also be scaled patterns. You see the math running through my head here. It takes critical thinking about spatial arrangement and symmetry in creating a pattern. After the pattern is established, you could also think about the fraction or percent of each color. We could talk about ratios and finding the smallest arrangement in a repeating pattern. Okay, I’m getting side-tracked. We can talk about the math of these tiles another day. Today is about making them.

Tips for Painting

These were fairly easy to make, even simpler than the 100 blocks. They did require taping the square with painter’s tape to obtain the triangle edge. Another trick that became apparent was that I accomplished a cleaner edge if I held the block with the triangle point down for the triangle I was painting an did two light coats instead of one heavy coat of watercolor. Otherwise, the paint seeped under the tape leaving me with a less-than-crisp edge than I wanted.

It was also helpful for the triangle to be on the grain side. When you look at the wooden block, four sides run with the grain, and two sides are against the grain. These two sides soak up a lot more of the watercolor paint. With the triangles on two of the grain sides, it was easier to get that crisp edge. You could easily do these in two contrasting colors – black and white, or red and green, etc. – but you know I needed mine in a rainbow of colors. I chose 10 colors from our Stockmar Waldorf watercolors. You can see more about our watercolors in the blog: A Homeschooler’s Review of the Book Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools. I painted 10 of each block, but I highly recommend 12 of each color. Several patterns take roughly 12 blocks of color (using 16 blocks total) that would have been nice to have of all the same hue.


• Inspect your blocks and lightly sand them. I suggest having at least 120 blocks.

• Tear off a piece of tape roughly 5 inches.

• Holding the tape in the middle, position the tape on one of the sides going with the grain from corner to corner forming the triangle.

• Wrap the tape around one side covering that side completely.

• Continuing around wrapping the next side corner to corner to form the opposite triangle.

• Go back to the other side of the tape wrapping it around the next side to cover the entire side.

• Continue wrapping around the next side going from corner to corner to form the opposite side’s triangle.

• Secure any loose edges

• Dip a paintbrush into the watercolor paint.

• Hold the block so that a triangle piece faces you and paint that face from the bottom to the top with a light coat of paint.

• Turn to paint the other faces, repeating the orientation of the block and the direction of the paint from light to bottom.

• Allow to dry.

• Repeat the painting.

• Allow to dry again.

• Remove the painter’s tape.

• Leave natural or coat the block with a beeswax-coconut oil mix.

• Play!

You can watch how Della makes these Truchet blocks over in her social spaces too!:

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