The checkerboard pattern has long been associated with Americana. The oldest boards would have been scratched on bark, or in the dirt, so they no longer survive.
You can make a rustic checkerboard to hang on the wall, or as a tea tray or table top.
In one of my gathering phases I ended up with a whole lot of kitchen cabinet doors cast off from renovations or as seconds (those damaged or not good enough to sell).
There were a mishmash of styles, one of which are flat plywood edged in a darker type of solid wood. They are birch veneer which is top end material for making kitchen cabinet doors.
At first I didn't know what they would be good for, but on closer inspection they made the perfect start to a new line of tea trays and table tops.
So here's what happened; first, I did some research to find out the correct number of squares for a checkerboard - it turns out it's the same for a chessboard - eight across and eight down, in alternating colours.
For this particular checkerboard I used the vinegar and steel wool method of staining the wood.
Once the two coats were dry, I used a coat of Varathane Diamond Coat to seal it all.
The checkerboard, with one coat of the sealant, will stand up to use as a game board, hung on the wall as a decorative item or as a tea tray. Two coats will make it weatherproof.
A sleek tray like this should have at least one rustic touch - using rusty bolts wired on with tie wire for the handles adds that in spades.