10 Ways to Reuse Board Games

Photo of totally impressive game closet by Sayward Rebhal.

Do your parents still have the game closet? Or maybe, now you’re the parents, and you have your own game closet. Either way, can I dig through it? I love looking at people’s board games; I think it says a lot about who they are.

Stratego or Risk? Monopoly or Life? And if you don’t own Clue, I probably don’t want to know you!

I kid, of course, but seriously — I love old board games. And I love the idea of taking incomplete sets that are no longer useful for actual playing, and repurposing them. With such charm and recognition, there’s a lot you can do. The ultra-iconic games will instantly conjure nostalgic affection, while the rare, obscure ones offer some excellent kitsch factor. So grab those mismatched pieces and abandoned boards, and try out . . .

1) Dangly earrings are super easy to make. You can buy the ear wires at any craft store. From there it’s just a matter of attaching them to your favorite game tokens. I think Sorry, Battleship, or mismatched Monopoly pieces would be really cute as earrings.

2) For your fella, repurposed game pieces also make adorable cuff links! Metal ones are especially nice, like Monopoly tokens or a miniature chess set.

3) Scrabble (one of the best games ever, obviously) offers a wide assortment of tiles which are perfect for custom monogramming, as in place settings or jewelry. You can also use them to write short messages, love notes, or other awesome word art.

4) Make an entire set of custom wine charms using the pieces from your favorite game. All you need is some wire to attach the charms to the wine stems. Each one must be different, so choose a game with individualized pieces: Clue (players or weapons), Sorry, etc.

5) Finally, you can string any game piece up for an easy, adorable, and personalized necklace that will make an awesome ice breaker and conversation starter.

6) If it’s the board itself you’re interested in, you can always simply frame and hang it on the wall. Either solo or in a collection, framed games make great wall art, especially rare or vintage games!

7) Game boards make excellent coasters, by simply cutting your favorite board into circles or squares to create a matching set. Use black electric tape or brightly colored contrasting Washi tape to “trim” up the edges.

8) Use a board or two as hard covers for a homemade journal or sketch pad. Just cut to fit and bind as you would any other book (the Internet has many tutorials depending on the style you prefer). I love the idea of customizing a journal with a favorite game – I'd choose Risk!

9) You can easily turn an old game board into an adorable little "treasure" storage container, like a Monopoly jewelry box. So cute!

10) Use flimsy paper pieces (like money or score sheets) to decoupage an object, or even to wallpaper an accent area of your home. Or make a Monopoly money lamp shade, wired by your local electrician!

Updated August 20, 2018.

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