Create Your Own Printable Board Game: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated January 13, 2020
boy playing boardgame

The creation of an original board game is as entertaining as playing the game itself. If you want a personalized game to give as a gift, use for a specific classroom activity, or keep the family occupied on rainy days, printable game board templates, accessories, and tips can help you create your own printable board game.

Step One: Choose a Game Theme and Design

Every great game has a theme whether it's specific characters, locations, or activities. Every game also has a type from trivia to drawing or collecting. Choose a theme to design your game around, then decide what type of board you'll need to achieve your end goal.

Tips for Designing Your Own Board Game

It helps to have a few ideas before you create an actual homemade board game. Jot down notes that answer important game play questions like:

  • What is your game about?
  • How do you win?
  • Is the purpose fun, education, or both?
  • Is your game a straight dice roller where players move on a linear track or do players need to role play, complete mini games, or follow another format?
  • How do players move across the board?

Step Two: Print a Game Board Template

Think about how your game will be played. Look for a printable game board that best fits the theme and directions of your game. Customize the template of your choice with special spaces, decorations, and embellishments before or after printing. If you need help with the printables, check out these helpful tips.

Snaky Game Board Template

A snaky game board is similar to a traditional one with twists and turns.

Blank Snaky Game Board
Blank Snaky Game Board

Suggestions for use:

  • Create a game where players take a detour before they reach the end or reward players with a shortcut for exceptional game play.
  • Create spaces on the board where players go back a space, move forward a space, or change places with another player.
  • Start players from both ends of the game board and use the shortcut across the board as a way to race toward the finish line.
  • Give the board a theme such as a historical event or popular TV show. Include events and scenarios on the spaces, each with rewards or consequences related to those scenarios.

Random Game Board

The random board is ideal for a tricky game. The arrows increase difficulty for players to reach the end or work to a player's advantage.

Blank Random Path Game Board
Blank Random Path Game Board

Ideas to customize:

  • Make challenge cards coincide with arrows on the board to send players backward or forward.
  • Allow players to use the arrows as shortcuts to pass other players.
  • Create cards with trivia questions where players give a correct answer and take advantage of or avoid the shortcuts and setbacks.
  • Allow players who land on the broad end of an arrow space to send an opponent to the square at the tip of the arrow.

Winding Game Board

The windy board has a clear start and end point, but features two paths for players to take.

Blank Winding Game Board
Blank Winding Game Board

Ways to customize:

  • Design a game where players get sent back to the beginning of the windy path.
  • Use the triangle space as an extra obstacle. For example, if a player rolls a 6 at the start of the game, he must go to the triangle and can only move on his next turn if he rolls an even number.
  • Make it a two-player game and assign each player one of the rows to start on. Add challenges when the two players cross paths.
  • Turn it into a travel-themed game and add detour spaces with travel-related instructions, such as, "Stop at a red light," "Lose a turn," or "Dead end."
  • Designate special squares where players morph to another square when they land on it.

Circular Spiral Game Board

Players make their way out of the center or towards the center of a dizzying spiral with this fun circular game board template.

Blank Circular Spiral Game Board
Blank Circular Spiral Game Board

Suggestions for use:

  • Start players in the center or on the outermost space.
  • Use Bingo chips or small coins that players place on individual spaces each turn in an effort to create a path for themselves.
  • Make gameplay longer by having players receive new objectives every time they reach the center or the outermost space.

Square Spiral Game Board

With clear "Start" and "Finish" spaces, this traditional board game template can be used for almost any type of board game.

Blank Square Spiral Game Board
Blank Square Spiral Game Board

Ways to customize:

  • Make your own version of a Snakes and Ladders game by drawing in unique obstacles and tools like elevators and stairs that take you down or balloons that lift you up.
  • Play your version of Pictionary, Balderdash, or another classic board game by mimicking their game play on your custom board.
  • Play with two players and assign each one of the game board colors. Each player can only move on their color squares.

Easy Game Board

Make a fun, easy game with this simple board game template that features only about 30 spaces and a cute floral design.

Blank Easy Game Board
Blank Easy Game Board

Suggestions for use:

  • Turn the flowers into special spaces players can use to cut across the game board.
  • On a turn, have each player flip a coin to see which color square they can move on before they roll a die.
  • Assign each colored space a specific action. For example, in a music game you might have to hum a song if you land on purple and sing a song if you land on turquoise.

Basic Black and White Game Board

Make a minimalist board game or create your own game board design from scratch with a basic black and white game board template.

Blank Black and White Game Board
Blank Black and White Game Board

Ideas to customize:

  • Have players write in actions on the squares they land on each turn. If a square is already filled in, the next person to land on it performs that action.
  • Place numbered dots from one to six in each square using a random pattern. Move to the closest space that corresponds to what you roll on the die.
  • Create a board game kit as a gift by adding the blank game board template to a box with other common game supplies such as dice, blank cards, and fun figurines that can serve as game pieces.

Printable Bingo Board Templates

Blank Bingo game board templates can be used with children and adults in a fun game of chance.

Blank Red Bingo Card
Blank Red Bingo Card
Blank Blue Bingo Card
Blank Blue Bingo Card

Ideas to customize:

  • Use each game board as a classic game board where players need to connect squares from the top left to the bottom right in a straight or zig-zag line.
  • Choose a fun or educational theme to make the Bingo game fit your current needs.
  • Laminate Bingo cards so they can be used repeatedly without damage and you can use dry erase markers instead of Bingo chips.

Step Three: Print Board Game Accessories

When you're making a homemade board game, you're going to need more than just a game board and an idea. This multi-page document includes a printable 6-sided die with numbers, a printable 6-sided blank die, printable blank game cards, printable 3D game pieces, and an editable game instructions card.

Homemade Board Game Accessories
Homemade Board Game Accessories

Suggestions for use:

  • Only print the pages with the accessories you need.
  • Think outside the box with dice and use shapes, characters, or specific directions instead of numbers on the sides.
  • Print game cards on different colored paper to help separate different decks.

Step Five: Package Your Board Game

Once you have all the elements of your custom board game completed, it's time to package it up so all the pieces stay together. Use a word processing program on the computer or markers and paper to make a custom logo for your game box.

  • If your game board can be folded, use an empty shoe box or photo storage box as the box for your game.
  • Small tackle boxes or craft organization containers with hinged lids are great boxes for games with a lot of small pieces.
  • Upcycle a cereal box, which is slightly bigger than a standard piece of copy paper, to serve as your game box that opens on one end.
  • Slide your game board and other flat pieces into a letter-sized manilla envelope.
  • Gift boxes made for shirts and other clothing are the perfect size and design for classic board game boxes.

Play Your Way With Printable Board Games

Once you have created your new board game, gather family and friends to enjoy a round or two. Don't be afraid to alter the rules, add new components to the game, or completely change how the game is played. After all, you want your printable board game to be as fun as possible.

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Create Your Own Printable Board Game: A Step-by-Step Guide