How to Make a Board Game from Scratch: An Idiot’s Guide

We all have those fun memories from when we were younger of game nights with friends and family. Most of those nights we had a store-bought generic game, that although can be quite fun but can sometimes get old.

Another way to have a game night filled with excitement and fun is through learning how to make a good board game yourself. Don’t get intimidated though, it’s actually easy to learn how to make a simple board game.

For all you know, you may even have all the materials you need at home and you can let your imagination run wild while you invent your own game.

It doesn’t take a lot of skill to master how to make a fun board game. Just a touch of arts and crafts and a splash of creativity and you’ll have this wonderful new project running. You can even get your kids involved in the project so that they can add their input while you making up your new and personal board game for the next game night.

Some of the games can even be made specifically for your kids to enjoy. There are no limits to expressing your creativity when you make your own games. This also means that there’s always something new to look forward to on nights you stay in with the family.

Get your geek on and have a blast while attempting (and of course succeeding) in this project!

Considering the Different Games You Can Create

how to make a fun board game

The choices of what board game you can make are endless when you can create whatever you want.

The key to making the best game possible is to know what your interests are and incorporate them into the games you make. It may seem a little daunting to make your own game from scratch, but a good way to start is to think about the games you and your family have enjoyed in the past.

Those games can be the basis of the personal board game you are about to make.

To give you a better idea on what types of games you can explore, here are some of the usual games being manufactured and played all over the world today:

  • Classic Board Games or Family Games

The classic board game that everyone has come to love is perfect for the whole family. These games involve players racing on the board to get to the finish line. What makes it simple is that there are usually no strategies needed for the player to win--just a lot of luck. Examples of these games are Snakes and Ladders and Candyland.

  • Euro-Style Games

One of the most popular game styles today is the Euro-Style type. These games usually have themes and players win by gaining victory points. Strategy, trading, and negotiations are usually necessary to win Euro-Style Games. Settlers of Catan is an example of these games.

  • Card-Based Strategy Games

Like the name suggests, card-based strategy games rely heavily on the cards of each player. These cards are played and in battle to see which of the players uses the best strategy to defeat their opponents with their given set of cards. 7 Wonders is a great example of this game style.

  • Deck-Building Games

This type of game play will interest collectors as each game is played with a specific set of deck. Each player will choose from the set of cards and play until one player’s card is depleted or a situation arises where another can be proclaimed the winner.

With these types of games player can build their deck to get better playing cards in the long run. Popular deck-building games are Dominion and Thunderstorm.

  • Strategy Games

Strategy games are those board games where the board and the narrative play and important part. Players will have to use their brains to try to win the game, to for alliances, and predict their opponent’s future moves. These types of games inspire a lot of competition between players.

The best example of a strategy game is Risk.

With so many different types of games you can play, creating a personalized one will make the choices even wider.

You can combine any number of these game types to make your own super board game! It will be fun to challenge your friends to win your game or even inspire them to make their own board game for your next game night. Let your imagination run wild with this take on a personal gaming experience.

Making the Mechanics

One of the hardest parts in constructing a board game is thinking of the rules and mechanics of the game. Although the mechanics in how to make a board game from scratch will be up to you, you do have to think of the other players and their level of comprehension and understanding.

If you are playing with younger kids, your board game should be easy and simple while for adults it should be more challenging. Determining the mechanics of the game will make creating a board game easier for you because it is the backbone of your game.

Types of Mechanics

There is one concept to keep in mind: the more rules you have for the game, the more complex the mechanics will become.

Through the use of carefully thought out mechanics how to make a professional board game will be a concept that is very achievable.

There will be a lot of different key game mechanics to consider when you learn how to make board games entertaining and playable for everyone.

Here are some of the basic key mechanics to include in your board game:

Turns: Each player must have a turn or there will be no game. Deciding on the order of the turn will be up to you (the game maker). Some ideas could be start from the youngest to the eldest or to roll the dice to see who gets the highest number and has the first turn.

Cards: Some games use cards to indicate the next action to be taken on by the player. You can incorporate a deck of cards to make your board game more interesting too.

Action Points: There are games wherein every move will either earn the player a point or lose them. These points are gathered throughout the game and players can use these points to their advantage. Some great use for action points: drawing extra cards, buying weapons, and so much more.

Dice: Will your game use a pair of dice or even more? The dice are a common symbol for board games and can be used in various ways such as the number of blocks to move forward or backward. Some would even say that using the dice as part of your mechanics is a how to make a board games 101.

Movement: A lot of board games that use boards as part of the games require tokens and movement. Each player will start at a square and move towards the finish line to end the game. These movements can be dictated using other key mechanisms like the dice and the cards.

There are a lot more mechanics you can use for you game depending on how complicated or simple you want your game to be. The important part is that these rules and mechanisms should be understandable and not biased to the game master.

If you make your game too complicated to understand because of the rules and mechanics not many people might want to give your personal game a chance.

If you are interested in learning more about the different mechanics you can incorporate in your board game, click on this link.

Ready, set, go game master!

A Guide on How to Make a Foldable Board Game

how to make your own board games

By now you must have already thought of the different rules and mechanics to include in your homemade board game.

The next step is to bring your board game to life by learning how to make your own game board. This is the part where you get to unleash your creativity and see how to make a design board.

There are no limits to what you can make when it comes to how to construct a game board. Here are the simple steps to guide you:

Materials:

  • Non corrugated cardboard
  • Duct tape or some other adhesive tape
  • Printable full-sheet labels
  • Game board design (your own design or an online template)

Step 1:

Have your board game design ready and already-printed on your full-sheet labels. It may be difficult to learn how to make a design board online the last minute, but you can always look for templates online to help you with this step.

Step 2:

how to make a boardgame

Cut the corrugated cardboard into four separate and equal parts, this will be necessary to ensure that your board game is foldable. Before cutting the blank cardboard, remember to check the actual size of your board game to be sure that it will properly fit the dimensions of your blank cardboard.

This is a how to make a game board basic that every newbie should not forget.

Step 3:

The next step in our “how to make a gameboard project” is to attach the hinges using duct tape or any kind of adhesive tape you have at home.

You can do this by placing 2 of the 4 squares you’ve just cut out side by side and taping them together. Repeat this step for the second pair for squares. When you are done, place the 2 separate rectangular pieces together, this time both facing down. Attach the 2 rectangular parts to create one whole square piece.

On the top side you will see the taped part, on the bottom however make sure that one side is not taped at the middle.

Step 4:

Let the pieces of your homemade board game come together by taping the edges together. Make sure to use a separate piece of tape for each square, to make it easier to fold for storage and future use.

how to make board game

Step 5:

Using your printed board game template on the adhesive paper, peel the sticker and carefully place them on the blank board.

Make sure that they are evenly placed and flatten out all the creases if needed. The online template is how to make a game board hack that you should try especially if it’s your first time.

Step 6:

You are done! In just those quick and easy how to make a board steps, you’ll have your own personalized foldable board game ready to be used!

how to make a board games

If you need more instructions concerning the how to make a foldable board game procedures, this link will give you a clearer view of the steps as they come with pictures.

Don’t let the steps hinder you in your board game project. It’s all about giving the project a little time and effort to complete. Once you master how to make a gameboard, you’ll be creating board games like a pro!

Another Game Board Option: The Felt Game Board

The great thing about knowing the basics of how to make a board game board is the flexibility you have when it comes to the materials you use. If you think that the basic foldable board doesn’t suit your style you can expand your how to make your own board knowledge by experimenting on other surfaces.

how to make a board game from scratch

One of the most popular choices for board game surfaces aside from the usual cardboard is the felt board game style. The texture lets your personalized board game stand out from the usual games and kids simply just love the felt board.

Giving the how to make a board for a board game using felt is another project that could challenge and the end results will be worth it!

If you’re ready to give the project a try, here are the simple steps you should follow and the materials you need:

Materials:

  • Blank canvas (any size you prefer)
  • Basic felt fabric color, enough to fit the size of your canvas
  • Staple gun (keep out of reach from children)
  • Velcro straps
  • Adhesive (glue or double sided tape)
  • Printing paper (for board game pieces)

How to Make a Felt Board

Step 1:

Measure the felt fabric around your blank canvas to make sure it fits perfectly while also covering the edges of the back. Cut out all the excess fabric and secure the fabric around the edges.

Don’t worry if the back of your felt board is a little messy, no one can see it from the front!

Step 2:

Using your staple gun, staple the felt fabric on to the frame of the canvas. Make sure that you pull on the fabric while stapling so that the board won’t sag at the front.

how to make your own game board

Step 3:

Your board is done (Yes! It’s that simple)!

How to Make Your Own Board Game Pieces:

Now that you’ve easily made your own felt board, it’s time to try your hand at making the game pieces which you will use on the game board. It’s just as quick and easy as the actual board.

Step 1:

You can either hand draw the pieces yourself or look for online templates of the images you want to print. Once you’ve selected your pieces, print them out and cut them according to their shapes.

Step 2:

This step is optional. Most parents are already content with having the game pieces stand as they are. If they are printed on thick paper, the prints will be usable. If you want the pieces to last longer, you can opt to laminate them. The extra step will help with keeping the game pieces clean and long lasting.

Step 3:

Once you have your game pieces ready, apply your adhesive to a small portion on the back. This is where your Velcro will stick. Make sure not to use Velcro pieces that are not too small or else the game pieces will fall off quickly.

Step 4:

Your felt board game is now complete. It’s time to let the kids enjoy your handy work!

A felt game board may cost you a little extra compared to the usual foldable cardboard board game, but it’s a project worth undertaking. Kids love to play and learn using this handy and easy to create game project, plus it’s easy to store.

how to make a design board

Once you’re done with the game for today, just hide it away in your closet until next time. For more tips on how to make a felt board visit this link. If you need a little more inspiration on what to put on your felt board, view this blog for endless ideas!

Another reason why taking on a felt board game project is ideal would be the cost. Although there are ready made felt boards available on the market they can reach up to $50 per board. Making your own felt board on the other hand will only cost you about $20.

Depending on how big you want the board to be, this can be even cheaper. It’s a fantastic way to engage in arts and crafts while also saving a few extra dollars down the road.

How to Make Board Game Cards

how to make a foldable board game

Board games and a deck of cards are commonly associated with each other. There are some games which include their own set of cards and others that use the basic deck of playing cards, but for your personal board game you need a deck that’s specifically just for your game.

It sounds like a tedious and possibly expensive task at hand, but it’s a fun and interesting project to undertake.

Having your own set of cards to play with your board game will bring the game to a new level and will encourage players to give the new game a chance.

Here are the basic materials and the steps on how to make cards for a board game:

Materials:

  • Program for drawing your cards (Microsoft or Nandeck have had positive reviews)
  • High quality printer
  • High quality paper for printing
  • Card sealer (can be clear spray paint or through lamination)
  • High quality, sharp, and accurate paper cutter
  • Optional: Ruler (to ensure straight edges)

Step 1:

Choose a program to create your cards with. Pick one that you are most comfortable using to avoid stress. Microsoft Word is easy to use, but can be limited when it comes to accurate sizes while a new program like Nandeck can be challenging to learn for first time users.

Step 2:

how to make a board game board

Create the cards you want using the program you’ve chosen. You can incorporate photos and images that are appropriate for your game and make as many of them as you like. Make sure that all the cards you draw are the exact same size before printing to ensure that your deck has a symmetrical look in the end.

Step 3:

Once you are satisfied with the cards you’ve drawn, it’s time to print them. If it’s possible, use only non-water soluble ink because water and sweat can cause ink blots to appear and degrade the images on your cards.

Step 4:

Using your high quality paper cutter and ruler (you are cutting freehand) gently cut the cards into individual pieces.

Step 5:

how to make a felt board

If you used a thick paper stock, you can proceed with sealing the cards using either the clear spray paint or get them laminated.

If you printed the cards on thin paper, you may need to add a thicker paper as a base so that the cards will not be flimsy and prone to early damage.

Step 6:

You are done and ready to start playing with your cards!

how to make cards for a board game

The process of how to make cards for a board game can be intricate and time consuming especially if you are planning to make a lot, but it is cheaper than getting them printed elsewhere.

The cost of having them professionally printed can cost up to $1 per card which can add up especially if you require a large deck. However, if you already have the materials you need at home all it would take is just a little effort and time and you’ll have your personalized playing cards without the excessive costs.

How to Make Personal Game Pieces

A customized board game cannot be complete without having a set of game pieces to go along with it. Depending on the type of game you’ve decided to build for yourself, you may require a lot of different pieces.

Searching for ideas on how to make a game piece can help you determine what kind of pieces you would want to add to your homemade board game. The great thing about having the freedom in forming your own game counters is that you can choose the materials you’ll use.

The best news is that most of them are items you can find at a nearby craft store or even right inside the drawers of your home.

How to Make Board Game Counters

You can get stones from your own backyard for these counters! If using pennies and other coins doesn’t appeal to you, try out our little tutorial on how to make these:

Materials:

  • Uniformly shaped flat rocks, buttons, flat marbles
  • Safe, non-toxic paint
  • Small paint brushes

Step 1:

Set aside the number of game counters you would need for your game. Having a little extra would be advisable in case any of them get lost. You can have your choice of counters between flat rocks or pebbles you find at your garden, extra buttons, or flat marbles.

Step 2:

Using the paint and the paint brushes you can decorate your choice of pieces for the game. The decoration can either just be purely for aesthetics or you can also decorate them according to the pieces you would need for your game.

Step 3:

Let the paint completely dry before storing them away. Remember to keep the pieces away from younger kids as these may be a choking hazard.

Step 4:

You are done and your game counters are ready to be used for your homemade board game.

How to Make Homemade Dice

Another essential game piece for most board games is the dice. The dice can be very useful and having a homemade one for your personal board game adds to its authenticity. Plus, you can use the dice for all your other future board game projects.

Materials:

Step 1: Save the online template on your computer.

Step 2: Print the template on to the sturdy paper.

Step 3: Cut out the template and fold accordingly to assemble the dice and glue all the edges together.

Step 4: You are done and ready to start your game using your homemade dice!

There are many different game pieces you can use for your homemade board game, but the basics have been covered.

If you need to know more about how to make board game counters and various other pieces you need to complete your board game this Pinterest collection is the perfect place to gather inspiration to continue improving your board game project.

Getting All the Game Board Pieces Together

Taking on a project like how to make your own board games at home is a task that many won’t bother with because it sound too complicated. That thought shouldn’t stop anyone from trying their best on how to make board games.

how to make a board game

Just like with all DIY projects it takes time to perfect them. There are many different aspects of the game that will require you to do more research like the rules and mechanics, but there are countless of online resources that will help you through it. You can combine some of the rules and mechanics from different games to create a customized set for your own game.

The parts making your own game that will require you to use your hands are also tricky to master, but in due time you can create game boards and pieces with your eyes closed. Just make sure that you have all of your materials ready before starting any part of the project so that you won’t encounter any delays.

Every step you take to achieving your goal of making your own board game should be fun and entertaining so that you won’t get frustrated. Even with all the classic and current board games readily available on the market, nothing beats a personal touch.

If you are ready to take on the how to make your own board game task here are a few tips you should consider:

DIY Board Games Tips:

  • Consider the age and comprehension level of the players when you want to know how to make a boardgame. This will be your basis in making the rules and mechanics for your game.
  • Get crafty and spend less by using materials that you already have at home.
  • Try to get the kids involved by letting them do simple tasks with you such as painting or writing in numbers and markers. By doing this, they will get excited to play the board game you are preparing.
  • Don’t limit yourself when it comes to your imagination. With enough thought and effort you can bring the board game of dreams to life in no time.
  • Be patient. You will run into a few tricky problems but the key is to not give up right away. Your homemade board game will take some time to piece together, but once you do you will know that it was all worth it.
  • Double check each step you perform when creating the foldable game board. It can be a little tricky and continuing on when a mistake is made can lead to you starting all over again.
  • Have fun! This project isn’t an easy feat to accomplish, but when you’re enjoying the time while you’re making it, that makes all the difference in finishing the board game and quitting before you’re done.

Unleash the inner game master in you and get creative when you start on creating a board game at home.

There are no limits to what your hands and mind can build from scratch as soon as you set your heart into it. For all you know you can be the next inventor of the world’s greatest board game!

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