So you want to make a board game, good for you. But you only have a dollar. And that’s not so good. So what are you going to do? Give up? Sit down and cry? Go back to bed and pull the covers over your head? Never! You will fight back – never give up, never surrender.

You marshal your forces, enlist your friends, and count your assets. Billy has a pair of dice, maybe you can borrow them. Mary has a spinner with Barbies on it, but you’ll deal with that later. And Jake is there to cheer you on. Let’s get started.

Remind yourself that you have a mission: make a board game. And don’t let anyone stop you. You don’t really know how to make a board game, not yet, but that isn’t going to stop you either. You are determined, brave and unafraid. And somewhere deep inside your child self is there to guide you.

But you keep looking back, glancing over your shoulder at those 40 and 50 dollar boxes on your night stand. You really ARE afraid, you’re afraid you’ll be discovered. The word’ll get out. You have no idea of how to make a board game. What if …

Be you un-afraid! March out the door and close it behind you. Those high dollar products were your inspiration, nothing more. They won’t bite. Still unconvinced? Lock the bedroom door behind you and march straight out to the kitchen.

Flip the light on and clear the table off, you don’t need distraction. Grab a napkin from the cupboard and the purple Sharpie from off top the refrigerator. Ready? Make these notes:

How to make a board game – What do I need?

    • A Board

    • Game Pieces

    • Randomizers …

    • and Reward Tokens would be nice.

And head for the recycle bin. Grab 2 empty cereal boxes (these will be flattened out and taped together to make your game board), 4 screw off lids from soda bottles (to use as game pieces), and a plastic, snap-on lid from a coffee can (to make a new spinner card).

Ready? Now say to yourself over and over, “I DO know how to make a board game, I DO know how to make a board game, I DO know how to make a board game, … ” You get the idea. You’re Dorothy and you just want to get home. (It actually helps, by the way, if you’re wearing your ruby slippers. But I digress … )

Now that you’ve thoroughly convinced yourself (almost) that you do, in fact, know how to make a board game, here’s a list of tools and supplies you’ll need. Jot them down on another napkin and go round them up. :

How to make a board game – What more do I need?

    • Scissors (to cut the game board to size)

    • A Roll of Tape (to put the board together in the first place)

    • A Pair of Dice from the Dollar Store (if Billy wants his back)

    • A Short Pencil and a Thumb Tack (to complete the spinner)

    • and a Bunch of Pennies (to use as Reward Tokens).

Now you’re ready. Open the cereal boxes and tape them together so the blank side is up. Cut this to the size game board you want and decorate it as you see fit. Draw whatever lines, or pattern, or grid you may want. And don’t forget the artwork, it’ll make your game more worth saving when you’re through.

As for the spinner (if you decide not to use the Barbies), here’s what to do. Place the coffee lid with its rim down and the flat side up. Puncture the center of the lid with a thumb tack (from the bottom, with the tip facing up) and leave the tack in place to serve as an axle. Then attach the tack to a short pencil (near one end) to serve as the dial of your spinner. Don’t make it too tight or it won’t spin. Decorate the can lid and you’re done.

If this all seems a bit silly, don’t worry about it. Who’s there in the kitchen to complain? And don’t forget, now that you’ve done it, that you can show the whole world your new game. You’ve proven yourself. You’ve proven that you know how to make a board game.