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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How to make your own board game

Fresh off the heels of Christmas, here is a step-by-step guide to creating your own "opoly" for your family, friends, sorority, twitter buddies... the sky is the limit. My game is based mainly on location (Properties become more expensive as you move around the board and are personalized to the people that live in each area) but you can base yours on anything. All the property amounts remain the same and it is meant to be played exactly like Monopoly (except for a few fun twists on the Community Chest/Chance cards).

To see how the finished product comes together in awesome, please take a look at yesterday's post. To get cracking, here are the directions.


Note - all templates mentioned are at the bottom of this post. 

For the game pieces -
1) A Black Sharpie
2) A Metallic Sharpie (I used Silver)
3) A pack of small wooden circles (Mine were $3 from Michael's in the wood section)
4) .75" by .75" photos of every person who will be on a game piece 
5) Scissors

For the game board, box, and cards - 
1) Brand new Monopoly Game ($9 at Target)
2) Scrapbooking stickers (I used a travel themed scrapbooking set for $6 also from Michael's)
3) Raised Scrapbooking Varsity Letters (These were a $5 set in the Martha Stewart Collection from Michael's)
4) Printed panels, Community Chest/Card text, printed labels for the title cards, and printed location titles (nearly all provided as templates below)
5) Neutral-colored cardstock (for the sides of the box and a frame beneath the main board photo)
6) Photo of your entire family (or group) that's at least 4x6" printed on regular paper
7) Repositionable spray adhesive

For the money -
1) Photos you'd like to use of the family
2) Templates for money that I've provided
3) Computer paper and printer


To make the game pieces - 
1) Using a black sharpie, color one side and the edge of the wooden circle completely. Repeat for every game piece you intend to create.
2) Taking your .75" by .75" inch photo of someone, use the wooden circle to carefully cut the photo into a circle that will fit on top.
3) Use modge podge to glue to the photo to the un-sharpied side of the wooden circle.
4) Seal on top with another coat of modge podge.
5) If you desire, on the black sharpied side, use a metallic Sharpie to write each person's name. Once dry, modge podge that side to protect your text.

6) Repeat for every person you are making a game piece for.

To make the game box - 
1) Use spray adhesive to carefully affix your scrapbook paper or cardstock to the Monopoly box. The design is completely up to you. I used two pieces of scrapbook picture and added a chipboard "tag" that came with the scrapbook page set I bought.
2) Press on raised adhesive letter stickers to incidate the name of your game.

To make the monopoly money -
1) Use the templates at the end of the post as a starting point. Insert your own photos over them using Microsoft Word or another application.
2) Print in the denominations that correspond to the money that came with your monopoly set.
3) Cut all of the bills out (an exacto knife is very helpful here) then rubber band together for your game. 

To make the properties and railroads for the physical game board -
1) Create your own property spaces or customize my templates at the bottom of the post. You can use a location theme like I did or choose not to divide up the board at all. I would recommend keeping the monetary amounts the same as the ones in monopoly so you can play it according to those rules easily.

2) Print your spaces on regular computer paper and cut all of them out (preferably with an exacto... it'll make your life way easier).
3) Using spray adhesive, carefully adhere your spaces to the corresponding spots on the board.

To change the title cards to reflect your new properties and railroads on the board - 
1) Use my templates or create your own new title deed labels.
2) Print and cut out two copies of the labels (one for the front and back of each card).
3) Using spray adhesive, adhere the new title to the front and back of each title deed card - thereby covering up the old names for the properties. 

To change the Community Chest and Chance Cards (if you'd like to) - 
1) Templates are below if you'd like to do this. I did only about 9 cards, leaving the rest just as they are from the Monopoly game.
2) Print your new text and adhere it to your specific cards using spray adhesive.
3) Slide these revised cards in with the rest of the deck.

To further decorate the board - 
1) Using neutral cardstock, cut a rectangle that will cover the place where it says Monopoly on the game board and glue it down. (Spray adhesive did not work well with such big pieces).
2) Then glue your photo of your family/group in the middle of the rectangle, framing it in the middle of the board.
3) Use stickers or hand-write the name of your new game beneath the photo.

Last steps before you box it up again - 
Make sure you score (cut) lines in the middle of the family photo/the cardstock frame/any properties that run into the creases of the board. You want to be able to fold it so think about where the board naturally needs to break down and score lines in your new properties and the photo to make sure it can be folded down and reassembled.

And that's it! This project took me roughly 4-5 evenings to complete and I had a lovely little Franceschi helper who especially came in handy when cutting out all the money. Good luck on your own games! Hope they'll bring your family years of fun :)

Templates (text from my game included) -
Money Templates are below - click to view them actual size

Sizes for your own templates if you'd like to create them (all the templates above are sized properly):
Game Board Property, 2"x1.5"
Game Board Railroad, 2.5" by 1.5"
Title Deed Card Label (just covering the text with your new property name), .5" by 1.5"
Monopoly Money, 2.25" by 4"

Other resources:
Wikipedia on Monopoly (Complete with a layout to the current (2008) Edition of the game, complete with property amounts)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Craftiest Christmas Yet

After being inspired by Angela at a Bushel and a Peck a few weeks ago, I decided to make Gus's parents and family a board game personalized to their awesomeness. There are tons of kits to do this but of course, I dived in pretty much from scratch to make sure I had total DIY control over the look of everything. This, of course, was before I realized just how many bills are in the bank of Monopoly!

Today, the big reveal! Tomorrow, come back for the DIY tutorial, complete with all panel templates and instructions on how to customize your own little version of Monopoly. Enjoy and I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!

The game board, customized with properties that were named after everyone in the family. Locations move from least expensive to most expensive, corresponding to where everyone lives in the country (except Firenze, which was a vacation spot)

A few select Community Chest cards are changed to have challenges to get that cash. Sadly, I didn't get to see anyone improvise a family song!

Wooden circles, printed photos, and little modge podge became excellent little game tokens - one for everybody (and two girlfriends, huzzah!)

All smiles from the parents. Hurray, a complete crafty success!

Now, what the heck will I do next year?

See you tomorrow when I'll give the lowdown on exactly how to do this project and create family board game fun for a lifetime.

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