Build Your Own Board Game
For this event, patrons could personalize Clue or Monopoly, or use a blank template to make their own rules.
For an example, I made a library version of Clue with our staff as suspects and used our library rooms (children's room, genealogy room, study room, etc). The weapons were a book, a book cart, the bookmobile, a stapler, a vacuum, and a scanner.
There were 4 different options they could choose from.
I had dice and game pieces to give away, both of which you can find plenty of (for cheap!) on Amazon. I had regular pawns as well as some pieces that you could slide some cardstock into, which allowed patrons to customize their own pieces.
You can kind of see the penguin game piece I made in this picture:
I had the boards printed out on regular paper, with a piece of cardboard measured out to back them. Guests could grab a board and design it however they pleased with markers and/or crayons. Once they were finished with the board, I had contact paper to laminate the paper and board together. That way they were sturdy and looked nice once they were completed.
The Clue and Monopoly games had specific cards that needed to go with them, so I had blank templates printed out on cardstock, ready to be filled in. I put them in baggies with some instructions and put them with the blank game boards.
For the totally DIY templates, I had several blank cards that could be used with your game, if you so chose. Here's everything all laid out:
So, I got the Monopoly game board from this website, and the property and railroad cards from this HubPage. I modified the card colors to match this particular Monopoly board. The Water Works and Electric Company cards I got off Google images, and they aren't really up to par. But here they all are:
There are 16 orange Chance Cards in Monopoly and 16 yellow Community Chest Cards.
Those templates are totally blank, but here are what they say in Monopoly, in case you need inspiration OR you don't want your customization to be THAT involved:
I included that list with the DIY kit.
Now, I did not print off Monopoly money for the DIY kits. They also did not have houses or hotels. I told them they could make their own or borrow them from an existing Monopoly game. But, here they are:
I'm unsure how much of each bill comes with a standard Monopoly game, but there are 32 houses and 12 hotels. And 8 game pieces, and two dice.
I printed my Monopoly and Clue games at 15 inches (had to tape paper together, but it looked pretty seamless). Here are the instructions for Monopoly and Clue that I put on the baggies for filling out the game cards.
The Clue board I found on Pinterest, but the link was dead. I modified it to be totally blank.
I got the blank Clue cards from some thread post from 2008 on theartofmurder.com and modified them to what you see here:
You need the 6 Suspect cards (I had more than 6 suspects for my library version, so I could include everyone, but 6 is standard, in those colors). 7 blank cards should be used for weapons, and 9 blank cards should be used for rooms.
You will also need to make game pieces for your weapons. For the library version of Clue, I just printed off tiny pictures of the weapons and "laminated" them with packing tape. You could also draw them or make clay pieces. I also toyed with the idea of bringing in a toaster oven and letting them make Shrinky Dinks of their weapons.
Finally, the totally DIY blank board game templates from enramp.com. Here they are:
I did those bigger, about 22" width. The second one was better for younger kids, who did more like a Candy Land-type set up. Here's my example using that template (a tiny version, on scrap cardboard):
The cards with green stripes have something bad, like move back 2 spaces or lose a turn. The purple stars are movie trivia or "Quote a line from The Little Mermaid" or something like that. And the music note cards make you sing a song for finish a lyric. I only did a few cards for examples, but I thought it wold be fun to do with family favorites.
I used scrap cardboard from old boxes to back the games, but foam board would also work. You can also buy blank game boards on Amazon.
There are a lot of possibilities, and you could easily spend more than hour on this activity.