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Grass Paper

Grass Paper
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
US$8 per roll

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Revision Log
18 December 1999converted to Miva
7 October 1999page redesigned
26 December 1997Ken Dong's comments
2 November 1997Doug Scott's comments
22 March 1997reorganized further

15,980 hits since 5 Jan 2000
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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When I found myself at Toys R Us (a major U.S. toy store chain) one day on a work errand, I strolled over to the electric train department, and picked up two rolls of Grass Paper.

Two rolls of grass paper

Grass Paper is made by Life-Like Products as part of their Life-Like Trains series of products (to be used with model train layouts). The only size I've ever seen - product #1156 - comes in a roll that is 50" wide by 99" long. More than enough to cover the average dining table (why did I buy that second roll?).

A roll of grass paper more than covers my dining table.

I recommend opening the roll outside for the first time, as the product sheds a lot of grass-stuff when you first unroll it. The product consists of a sheet of green paper, of roughly the same thickness as an American paper grocery bag, thickly coated with grass-stuff. I'm not sure what "grass-stuff" is, but my guess is very finely shredded green paper - it makes a good counterfeit grass for the tabletop.

Checking It Out

Our test rolls had no major defects. There were two spots where small (less than 1") sections had apparently been scraped clean of grass-stuff during manufacture, but they were barely noticeable. There was also a banding or striping effect, so that you could see waves of green along the roll, but it wasn't irritating.

If you knew that you were always going to be playing on a particular table size, I'd advise trimming the Grass Paper to your playing area. Otherwise, the paper hangs over the edge - and unlike cloth, this heavy paper doesn't droop but instead sticks out and gets in the way of the players.

I suggest taking care with the paper - try not to crease it or tear it, and be patient with it when rolling it back up (it can be a little stubborn).

Use Caution

The product comes with this warning:

Exercise caution when using in a humid environment. The non-toxic dyes in this product may not be colorfast when used in areas of high humidity. Under such circumstances you should not allow particles to come into contact with carpets, furniture or other porous materials.

In other words, if your gaming table is in a room with a white carpet, look for a different groundsheet product!

One last concern which we can't yet answer is how well this product will last over time. Each time you roll it up, you're sure to knock off some portion of the grass-stuff - will it eventually go bald? How long will that take? Stay tuned, we'll let you know how it works out.

Gretchin on grass.

Our Readers Respond...

Doug Scott (

Unfortunately I would have to disagree about the ground sheet you recommend. My first table cover was of that exact same manufacture, and after the first use it was almost necessary to bring in the lawnmower to cut the grass on my dining room floor.

We weren't recommending the product, just reporting its existence. There's no question that this product sheds "grass pieces" all over the place. We've left one sheet set up on a playing table for three months, and though it has become progressively balder, it is still grassy enough to be used - but there is a lot of grass that is now on the floor. - editor

Ken Dong (

I've used life-like grass for the past four years now for my historical miniature wargaming.  While it works wonderful, it gets worn out rather quickly because the grass falls off almost daily.  But the advantage is that the product is fairly cheap, and since I doubt the Toy's R Us around here will close anytime soon, it is easy to get replacement boards.  It does make a great improvement over just using a table, and it makes cleaning up the table (or floor) very easy as the board just rolls up.