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Game On: 7 Brilliant Ways To Upcycle Board Games

Most likely, you have a cupboard, attic or shelf somewhere in your house full of board games, gathering dust except for the occasional fun family gathering. Why not try upcycling one or a few of them? Their bright, quirky appearances make them fun, charming homewares and accessories. Plus, even if you don’t have any board games lying around, you can usually find great vintage ones in garage sales and second-hand stores.

7 Brilliant Ways To Upcycle Board Games

1. Scrabble Fridge Magnets

Fridge letter magnets are always lots of fun, whether you're using them as reminders, sweet messages or playful insults to family members, and using scrabble tiles can make them even more entertaining. The holes in the back of the tiles tend to be around 14mm in diameter and 3mm in depth, so simply add similar-sized round magnets like 3mm Magnets or cut some Adhesive Magnetic Tape to size.

2. Storage Box

The tough card used to make board games’ bases means that they can be repurposed into sturdy, charming storage boxes. Use a box-making template, or carefully calculate your own measurements to make sure each piece is cut to the correct size. Then, once it’s put together, you can keep it for yourself or use it as a delightfully retro gift box. Why not try using it to store other board game pieces?

3. Wall Art

Whether you want to immortalise a legendary game you played with friends or want to add some fun décor to the kids’ playroom, the bright, quirky designs of board games make them great wall art pieces. You could even glue the pieces to the board, laying them out as if in mid-game, for a clever effect. Then, simply frame it or hang it up for all to appreciate.

4. Tabletop

Much like the wall art, board game bases can be cut to size to create a charmingly retro table surface, which would look great in a media or playroom. To prevent the board from getting damaged by liquid spills or weights denting it, it’s a good idea to cover the board with a layer of glass or clear plastic. Let the games begin!

5. Journal Cover

The vibrant designs of game boards also make them interesting, retro journal covers. Whether you choose Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, Cluedo or Trivial Pursuit, the finished result is guaranteed to be impressive. To make the cover, simply cut the part of the game board that you want to feature to the size of your journal, punch the holes and attach the spiral binding.

6. Playing Card Notebook Cover

They may not quite be board games, but playing cards still make great looking crafts with their simple but instantly recognisable designs. Much like the journal cover, to make a playing card notebook cover, you simply need to punch the holes and attach a spiral binding to the top or left side. Since playing cards come in a variety of different sizes and art styles, you can customise exactly what kind of retro notebook you want.

7. Dominoes Clock

Domino pieces add a whimsical element to a working clock. You can create the clock from scratch, using a clock-making kit, or simply add the domino pieces to a complete clock, using a strong glue – just make sure the pieces don’t block the clock hands. Use a drawing compass to make sure each piece is evenly spaced and in the correct time position.