For board game enthusiasts, there is no better idea for an evening in than a night spent with some friends and family, playing your favorite board games. But what if you wanted to take your hobby to the next level?
While it’s true that there is no shortage of great board games out there on the market, some of us were simply born with a will to create. Creating your own board game can not only be a great exercise for your imagination but can also be a wonderful tactical undertaking that can easily keep you occupied throughout all of the colder months.
However, even if you have worked on other creative projects in the past, a board game is a particular kind of endeavour, which means that it can be hard to get started. If you have ever dreamed of creating your own board game but were not sure where to begin, then this is the list for you.
In this article, we will display a number of different board game concepts from which you can draw inspiration from for your first project. We will also provide a brief overview of the kinds of materials you will need for each creation. Let’s jump in!
Making a Board Game: Supplies Needed
So, you want to make a board game at home? Congratulations! You are about to embark on a very fun and fulfilling project. However, there are some things that you will need to know before you get started.
Though the required materials will deviate depending on the type of board game that you are making, in general you will want to have access to the following tools and products:
- A flat surface
- A hot glue gun
- A glue stick
- X-ACTO knife
- Bristol board
- Construction paper
- A ruler
- Modeling clay
- Permanent markers
- Paint and paint brushes
- A plastic dice
- Popsicle sticks
Holiday-Themed Board Games
Although most of us are familiar with certain holiday activities, such as baking cookies or decorating, creating a holiday-themed board game can be another way to get into the festive spirit. Here are a few ideas for your favorite holidays:
Traditional European Christmas Board Game
Making this DIY board game has been a tradition in many parts of Central Europe (especially Germany), and thanks to the folks at Moite it is now available for Christmas lovers across the world.
Known by its German name of “Mensch ärgere dich nich” which humorously translates into something along the lines of “man, don’t get annoyed”, it’s no surprise that this game can be quite cut-throat in its concept, where the main goal is basically to get across the board faster than any other player. It’s surprisingly competitive for a homemade game that also looks adorable!
Easter “Egg Hunt” DIY Board Game
Although Easter may not attract the same size of family gatherings as a holiday party, it’s still a time when many families get together. And when there is a family get-together, there is a board game opportunity!
We love this Easter-themed egg hunt board game from Mr. Printables. The objective of this game is simply: whomever collects the most eggs wins! Although it is available in printable form, it is also possible to draw your own version of this map with a piece of bristol board and some markers.
Easy Halloween Tic Tac Toe
Halloween is a favorite holiday for many, and it’s not hard to see why! After all, there is so much that is simply spooktacular about this day, from eating lots of candy to dressing up in our favorite costumes.
If you are hoping to add a bit of friendly competition to your Halloween celebrations, may we suggest this ghoulish take on tic tac toe from HGTV? We love how the adorable DIY ghosts bats add a special touch to what is a classic and easy-to-play game.
Educational Board Games
If you’re a parent who is looking for ways to make learning fun for your children, then a DIY board game is a great way to do exactly that. Not only will your children gain (and retain) new knowledge by having fun, but they will also be kept busy during a rainy or cold day.
Periodic Table Board Game
Science isn’t everybody’s favorite subject, and one of the reasons for that is that there is just so much to memorize. This tutorial from Teach Beside Me offers a simple way to present a complicated subject — the periodic table.
This project uses print outs and dry erase markers, but you can also create your own version using whatever you can find around the house. What’s important is that you are presenting the periodic table in a way that is both fun and educational, by applying the rules of the beloved game of Battleship to this game board.
DIY Counting Board Game for Young Children
If science is a subject that many struggles with, then math is even more of a struggle. Although many students do not start learning about addition and subtraction well into their elementary years, with division and multiplication coming even later, it’s never too early to start familiarizing your children with basic math concepts.
This tutorial from Mrs. Young’s Explorers provides a tutorial for the easy classic math game known as Zap It. In this game, students draw sticks that have math problems written on them. They must then answer the math problems, or they will have to throw the stick back into the jar.
DIY Board Games For Kids
Although board games have become more and more popular among older audiences, there is no denying that most kids are big fans of board games, too. Here are a few DIY board games designed with kids in mind, that children can even help to create.
Matching Game With Dinosaurs
Matching games are an excellent way to encourage the brain development of young children. We love the way that this tutorial from See How We Sew uses fabric to create a fun matching game that is not only easy to play but also easy for young children to hold.
As this tutorial is simple, it is also highly adaptable, which means that you can cater it to your child’s interests, whether they love dinosaurs, bears, or cowboys.
DIY Rainbow Board Game
If there’s one thing that kids love, it’s rainbows, and this DIY board game from Rainy Day Mum offers exactly that. The color palette of this game alone is sure to win the attraction of your children’s eyes, but the fun and interactive game play is also certain to keep their attention.
This board game features cards with different activities such as jumping and running that are sure to help children burn off some energy. Some of the other cards feature instructions such as to make a funny face, while some other cards send those who draw them on a quest to find certain objects around the house.
As this gameplay is entirely made up, it leaves you the potential to add your own unique flair that will work for your family. For example, you can use modelling clay and require those who draw certain cards to craft figures. Or, you could have some cards require those who draw it to tell a knock-knock joke. No matter what approach you take, there is no doubt that this game is colorful and fun!
Unique Takes on Classic Board Games
You know what they say — “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. However, we are not making variations of these classic board games because there is something wrong with them. In fact, it’s quite the contrary! We love these classic board games so much that we want to make our own versions that suit our interests. Here are some adaptable tutorials that are based on well-known board game titles.
DIY Guess Who
The classic game of Guess Who works best when both participants know the characters that they are making guesses about. So, what better idea than making your own Guess Who cards that feature fictional characters from books and movies that you like?
This tutorial from Little House on the Corner teaches you how to do exactly that. And the best part? You don’t even need to have skills in visual art. All you need is some creativity.
Who doesn’t love donuts? This is the only entry on our list that incorporates food into its materials, but this is technically still do-it-yourself, so why not?
We love the way that this guide from Aww Sam provides instructions for creating your own game board based around either checkers or bingo. No matter which variation you choose, donuts are the pawns. The best part about this, of course, is that you get to eat your pawns after the game (although this could also be the worst part, as it means that you will need to make new donuts every time you play the game).
So, there we have it — different DIY ideas that bring a whole new level to board game night. A word of warning: don’t be surprised if you get stuck on the DIY board game craze after you complete one project. After some time of following tutorials, you may find that you want to start coming up with your own board games ideas.
The possibilities are truly endless!