15 Fun and Creative DIY Board Game Ideas


diy board games

If you don’t have any board games at home, that doesn’t mean you can’t join in on the fun! Did you know you can easily make your own DIY board games? While it’s relatively easy to make a board game on your own, the difficult part is thinking of a DIY board game idea!

So, to make it easier for you, here are 15 creative DIY board game ideas from which you should take inspiration. This is also a great summer activity you can do with your kids to keep them entertained. Half of the fun is making the board game, after all, not just playing it!

1. PUZZLE GAME

Who hasn’t played a puzzle game at some point in their lives? Thankfully, puzzle games are relatively easy to make. Here’s how to make your own!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Pencil or marker
  • Coloring pencils, pens, or markers
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Paper

To start, you’ll need two pieces of cardboard. Cut them into square or rounded square shapes and make sure they fit perfectly together. Take one of these cardboard squares, draw a smaller square inside of it and cut it out. Mark this cut-out square into nine smaller squares. In the meantime, glue the rest of this square (the border of the cut-out square) onto the other complete square or rounded square. This makes the board of the puzzle game.

Then, draw a picture on a piece of paper to fit into this smaller cut-out square and glue it on. Cut out this square into the 9 smaller pieces as previously marked. Take out the first of these little squares that is, the one in the top left corner. You won’t need this square.

Place the rest of the 8 smaller pieces within the board.

HOW TO PLAY

The puzzle game is relatively easy to play but difficult to master. To play, shuffle the 8 smaller pieces around the board, using the one free space to move the pieces around. After everything is shuffled around, try to move all the pieces back to complete the original drawing by moving the pieces up, down, right, or left, one by one!

2. MARBLE RACE

Have a bit of marble fun with a marble race! Part of the fun of this game is setting it up. Be as creative as you want about creating the maze for your marbles.

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Lots of cardboard
  • Hot glue
  • Craft sticks
  • Marbles
  • Paper cups
  • Tape

First, set up the board. Grab a larger piece of cardboard to make the back board. If you need to, tape up extra pieces of cardboard to create one longer piece. Create edges on the two longer sides of the board to stop the marbles from jumping off the board on the way down. To create the edges, use some more cardboard and tape. Then, hot glue some paper cups on the bottom of the board. These cups will catch the marbles when they reach the bottom so that you don’t end up chasing your marbles all throughout your house! Cut off the rim of the cups to allow the cups to sit flush against the board.

And now for the fun part! Use craft sticks and hot glue to create a trail for the marbles. Ensure many of these craft sticks are placed diagonally so that the marbles can roll down easily instead of getting stuck on a ledge.

HOW TO PLAY

Have you set up a course for your marbles? Now, you’re ready to play! Place the board on a slight incline, for example, leaning on a sofa. Then, ready your marble at the top of the track and on the mark, get rolling with one marble per player! Watch the marbles roll down the track and see who wins the race!

3. DIY CANDYLAND

Candyland is one of the most classic board games. Whether you don’t have the game at home or simply want to make your own, here’s everything you need to know to create your own simplified board game!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Die

To make this DIY board game, grab a large piece of cardboard that will be the base of the Candyland board. Then, glue some paper on top of it so that you can draw on the board with a blank white canvas. Once the glue dries, you can be as creative as you want and draw the road to Candland (with spaces, of course!). Make sure to curve the road around to utilize the most of your board space! We highly recommend using a pencil to do this so that you can easily fix any mistakes.

Decorate the board with markers of different colors and write down rules on some of the game spaces. Examples of rules include:

  • Go back 3 spaces
  • Skip a turn
  • Roll again
  • Go back to start

You’ll also need to create your game pieces. To do so, use a bit of cardboard and glue some paper to draw something fun on each of them! Even better, have each of the players make their own game piece!

HOW TO PLAY

Players place their game pieces at the start tile. Then, players take turns rolling the die to see how many spaces they move. The goal of the game? Get to the finish before anyone else! But be wary of landing on some tiles that may cause you to go back a few spaces or even go all the way back to the beginning! Yikes!

4. TRIVIA JEOPARDY

Who doesn’t love a bit of trivia? Test your knowledge with a game of Jeopardy, which you can easily make at home. While players will generally need to give their answers in the form of a question, you can also make this a simple trivia game in a Jeopardy format, which is what we will describe here. If you want to make this a standard Jeopardy game, simply switch up the questions and answers.

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Poster paper
  • Marker
  • Post-it notes

Before you make the board itself, you need to think of 6 categories. Each of these 6 categories must have 5 questions and answers. Check out our full list of 400+ trivia questions and answers if you’d like some ideas! Organize the questions into categories and levels of difficulty from 1 to 5. Once you’ve written down the questions and answers on your phone or a notebook in order, you’re ready to start making the board.

Draw six columns that make up the six categories and place 5 Post-it notes underneath each category. Make sure to write the category name at the top of each column. The first Post-it note under each category is worth $100, the second $200, the third $300, the fourth $400, and the fifth $500. Or, if you want to play with real money, you can have the first row worth $1, the second $2, and so on.

Write down the answers to each of the questions underneath the Post-it notes, according to category and ascending level of difficulty.

HOW TO PLAY

Now you’re ready to play some Jeopardy! The first player from the first team goes first by choosing a category and dollar amount. Then, the organizer must read out the question. The first player to raise their hand gets to answer first. If they are correct, they win that dollar amount and get to choose the next question. If they are incorrect, the other players race to raise their hands again to get a chance to win the amount!

The player with the most money at the end wins.

5. CONNECT 4

Another classic board game you can easily DIY at home is Connect 4. This is a simple game that requires no introduction. While we will provide one way to create your own Connect 4 board, you can be as creative as you want.

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Pencil
  • A big piece of cardboard
  • Colored tape
  • Scissors
  • Velcro strips
  • Disposable plates in two colors

On a big piece of cardboard, use a pencil to guide where to put the colored tape to create spaces on the board for the Connect 4 pieces. Pro tip: Use the disposable plates to see how big you need to make each space. To replicate a true Connect 4 board, we recommend drawing 7 spaces horizontally and 6 spaces vertically.

Once you’ve drawn the guide with a pencil, use colored tape or a marker to mark the spaces for the game. Place one side of a Velcro strip on each of the disposable plates and the other side on each square on the board.

HOW TO PLAY

The goal of this game is to get four plates of one color in a row, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Two players play against each other in this game, with each player playing with one color.

Players take turns placing one of their plates onto a space on the board. But just like a normal Connect 4 game, start with the bottom spaces first. Players keep taking turns until one player manages to connect 4 of their plates in a row!

6. BALL MAZE GAME

You’ve probably played this popular carnival game at some point in your life! Bring this game back to life and into your backyard by making your own. And don’t worry; it’s super simple.

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Ping pong ball
  • Paper bowl
  • Yarn
  • Two shower curtain hooks

Making this game is pretty easy and fun. Grab a large piece of cardboard, ideally taller than wide. Then, cut up several holes in the cardboard to create little barriers and a maze for the ball on the way up. There should be a hole at the top of the cardboard, which is the hole the ball must make it to without falling into the other holes on the way. Make sure each of these holes is big enough that a ping pong ball could go through. Feel free to decorate the board however you want to make this even more fun to play and look at.

Place two shower curtain hooks on the two top edges of the board. You may need to punch some holes in the cardboard to get the hooks through.

Now, grab a paper bowl deep enough to hold a ping pong ball inside. Cut open the bottom so that only the edges of the round bowl remain. Then, glue a long piece of yarn on opposing sides of the bowl. Hook the other ends of the yarn through the shower curtain hooks. Make loops at the end of the strings to make them easier to grab.

HOW TO PLAY

Use the two looped ends of the yarn to slowly maneuver the ball up the board to the very top and through the hole at the top! But try not to let the ball fall through the other holes.

7. LIFE-SIZE TILE BOARD GAME

This is a super fun DIY board game for kids to play. It’s super fun to set up and play, as you can hop around the room, racing to the finish line!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Large interlocking foam tiles
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Tape
  • Die

Set up a life-size board game using interlocking foam tiles. Be as creative as you want to use up as much of the room space as possible. Of course, don’t forget to determine the starting tile and the ending tile.

On some of the tiles, use a piece of paper to write a rule down. Don’t forget to tape it down. Examples of rules include:

  • Go back one space
  • Miss a turn
  • Jump up three spaces
  • Roll again

If you have older children, you can even challenge them by writing questions like:

  • What is 3 times 5?
  • What color do yellow and red make?
  • Who is the first President of the United States?

HOW TO PLAY

Players take turns rolling the die to race to the finish line. If a player lands on any of the tiles with a rule or question on it, they must follow it or answer it! If it’s a question tile, if they fail to answer it correctly, they must miss their next turn.

The first player to get to the last tile wins!

8. BALANCE BASKETBALL

You may not throw balls in this DIY board game, but you still get the balls inside the “hoops” in order to make points. Try to get the most points possible to win this deceptively difficult game!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Pool noodles
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Paper cups
  • Marker
  • Ping pong ball

Cut out a piece of cardboard into a big circle. Then, grab your hot glue gun and perfectly glue a pool noodle around the edge of the circle. If needed, use a second pool noodle to complete the edge of the circle. Now, grab some paper cups and glue those lying down with the opening facing toward the middle of the circle. Glue these paper cups around the circle with the bottom of the cups flush against the pool noodle edge.

Assign a point value to each of the cups. Use a marker to properly mark each of the cups and the space right in front of the cups so that the players can see the point value as they balance the board. Point values should be 1 through 8, but make sure to mix them up so as to make the game more difficult.

HOW TO PLAY

Players take turns holding the cardboard circle. The goal of this game is to win as many points as possible by getting a ping pong ball into one of the cups. But remember: each of the cups has a value from 1-8, so ideally, you will want to get the ball into the 8 cup every time!

Play a predetermined number of rounds or until a player reaches a predetermined number of points.

9. FLIP CAP

A super fun board game you can make with the help of your recycling is Flip Cap. The best thing about making this board game is that you don’t have to go out of your way to find craft materials. You should already have everything lying around!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Small cardboard box
  • Plastic bottle caps in two different colors
  • Scissors
  • 2 craft sticks

This game is super easy to make! Just grab a small empty cardboard box and cut out a circle in the middle. Then, get your 2 craft sticks and slightly stick them in at either end of the box so that they are secured. If needed, you may need to cut a slit on the edge of the box to fit the sticks through.

And that’s it! Now, you’re ready to get playing!

HOW TO PLAY

Divide the plastic bottle caps evenly between two players. Even better if you can find bottle caps in two different colors (feel free to decorate them so that it’s easier to differentiate between the two).

Players race to get all of their bottle caps in the box. To do this, players must place a bottle cap at the end of their craft stick and press it down. The stick will then flick up, causing the bottle cap to fly into the box! The first player to get all of their plastic bottle caps into the hole wins the game.

10. POPSICLE STICK TRIVIA

Who doesn’t enjoy a good game of trivia? Prepare for the perfect trivia game night with the help of these trivia popsicle (or craft) sticks!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • 100+ popsicle (craft) sticks
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Jar

The most difficult about making this board game is figuring out the trivia questions. You’ll want to prepare at least 100, but ideally 200+ trivia questions for this game. But don’t worry. We’ve done all the hard lifting for you. Here is our list of 400+ trivia questions and answers!

Once you’ve got the questions and answers sorted, print them out in the right size to glue them onto your popsicle sticks. Glue the questions on one side and the answers on the other. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can write the questions and answers directly onto the sticks.

When all the sticks are ready, pop them into a jar, ready to play!

HOW TO PLAY

Play a casual game of dinner party trivia. Take turns grabbing one stick out of the jar and reading the question out loud. Every other player must then try to answer the question. The person who gets it right gets the stick and one point. Whoever has the most sticks at the end of the night wins!

11. LEGO RACE

If you want to incorporate legos into your DIY board game, this is the perfect game for you to make. Plus, you can make it in a matter of minutes, making it one of the simplest games to make on this list!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

On a piece of cardboard, make a board game track or playing area with a marker. Feel free to curve around the track to make use of the entire cardboard. Divide the track into sections, and in each section, write down one of the following:

  • Take # lego(s)
  • Lose # lego(s)

# is replaced by a number of your choice, ranging from 1 to 5. We recommend having more sections to take legos at the beginning of the track and more sections to lose legos at the end of the track.

HOW TO PLAY

Every player starts at the beginning of the track with a single lego block. Take turns rolling the die and moving the appropriate number of places. Wherever the player lands, they must either take or lose the number of legos mentioned. Keep rolling the die as you gain and lose legos. The player with the most legos at the end of the race wins!

12. EGG PONG

A big fan of games like Beer Pong but looking for something more family-friendly? This is a great alternative that everyone will enjoy!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • 2 egg cartons
  • 2 bowls
  • Ping pong balls

Simply set up this game on a long table. On one short end, place the two egg cartons side by side. Then, place the bowls of ping pong balls side by side on the other end.

HOW TO PLAY

Two players compete against each other in this game, trying to fill up all 25 egg slots of the carton with their ping pong ball. On the mark, players throw their ping pong balls from one end of the game to the other, aiming for the cartons. The first player to fill up their carton wins!

13. ROCK TIC TAC TOE

Tic Tac Toe might not be the most complicated board game to make, but this is a great craft to get the kids involved while teaching a basic board game everyone must know!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Small rocks
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wood slice

Collect some small rocks and paint them in various colors. Each of the rocks may need multiple coats before they are the right shade, but the effort is worth it! When the paint is dry, use black paint to paint X’s and O’s onto the rocks. Try to have an even number of X’s and O’s!

As the rocks are drying, use a paintbrush and black paint to paint a grid on a wood slice. But if you don’t have a wood slice, don’t worry; you can use any surface to play Tic Tac Toe.

HOW TO PLAY

Two players play this game, one playing O and the other X. The two players take turns placing a rock inside the grid, with the goal of completing a line of O’s or X’s, depending on which rocks they are playing. This line of three can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. The player who manages to create a line of three X’s or O’s wins!

14. MINI BASKETBALL

Did you know you can still play basketball even if you don’t have a proper basketball or hoop? Play a mini version of the game with this DIY mini basketball game!

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Markers
  • Plastic or paper cups
  • Hot glue
  • Ping pong balls

Grab a large piece of cardboard, which will be the backdrop of the game. Hot glue 5 plastic or paper cups onto this piece of cardboard in a 2-1-2 formation. Decorate the board with the help of some markers, and designate points to the 5 cups glued onto the board.

HOW TO PLAY

Players stand around 10 to 15 feet away. Then, take turns throwing ping pong balls into the mini basketball board. If someone manages to shoot a ball into one of the cups, write down the points! See who can win the game by gaining the most points or getting to a predetermined number of points (such as 100) first.

15. BATTLE SHOTS (A DRINKING GAME)

If you want to play a DIY drinking game, we’ve got you covered! Battle Shots is a pretty common drinking game that involves elements of the popular board game Battleship. Ready to have some fun with your friends?

HOW TO MAKE IT

You’ll need:

  • Plastic shot cups
  • Two pizza boxes
  • Marker
  • Alcohol

Set up two pizza boxes facing away from one another. On each, draw an 8×8 battleship grid on the bottom, with numbers 1 to 8 on the side and A through H on the top. Create another grid to place on the top of the box to keep track of your movements while playing the game. You can either use a printed grid that you can replace after each game or use a reusable one with some Velcro and circular markers that you can place onto the Velcro grid after each movement.

As this is a smaller version of the actual battleship board, each player will have just four ships. One ship worth one shot cup, another ship worth two shot cups, a third ship worth three shot cups, and a fourth ship worth four shot cups!

Fill up the shot cups with alcohol.

HOW TO PLAY

Play battleship as you normally would. Players face against each other and place their four ships onto the bottom grid, placing a shot cup per grid, either vertically or horizontally. Once the shots are lined up, it’s time to play!

Players take turns trying to sink their opponent’s ships by picking a letter and number that corresponds with a space on the board. If there is a shot cup in that space, the opposing player must say it’s a hit, and that player must remove the cup from the grid and drink the corresponding shot! If there is no shot cup, it’s a miss. And if a player manages to sink the entire ship, the opposing player must say when the entire ship is sunk.

Keep taking turns targeting the ships. The first player to sink all four of the opposing player’s ships wins!

Mia Kim