Unique Ways To Repurpose Old Board Games As Home Decor

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

You may be thinking of getting rid of board games for several reasons, like moving in with a partner and having doubles, too many missing pieces, needing to make room in your board game storage space, and so on. But you would be missing out on the chance to create a truly unique piece for your home. Finding inventive ways to repurpose instead of discarding items is an essential sustainability practice, and board game upcycling is a fun, creative activity where old, forgotten games transform into quirky and functional décor pieces for your home. We found 13 of the best ways to repurpose board games in your home. 

If you don't have a stack of board games you're willing to part with, you can still make many of the ideas we've found work by buying old games. For the reasons we mentioned above, it's a great idea to score at your local thrift store and pick up a board game that somebody else already parted with. A number of these crafts would also make great DIY gifts for any board game enthusiast in your life. 

1. Add unique shelving to a games room

There are plenty of tutorials about making shelves for your board games, but how about turning your board games into shelves? All you need is a wall bracket hanging kit, drill, and, of course, board games. After you've leveled everything off and mounted the brackets to the wall, attach the bottom half of the board to the brackets and use double-sided tape to secure the top half to the wall. This would be a great craft for a board game-obsessed little one in their bedroom. Note: only store lightweight objects on these shelves, as they are somewhat flimsy. 

2. Spell it out with coasters

Dress up some basic cork coasters with a set of Scrabble letters. This craft is simple, works great for a minimalist aesthetic in your home, and is super easy to do. Just attach your Scrabble letters of choice to the coaster with super-strong glue. This craft also leaves a ton of room for customization; use the letters to spell drink-related words like "wine," "beer," or "iced," spell out someone's name, or spell out a quote. If using wooden letters, consider giving them a wood sealant to prevent staining; the plastic tiles won't need a protective coating and should clean up easily. 

3. Serve up a unique serving tray

In love with the art from a board game box or even an instruction manual? Repurpose it into a unique serving tray. Using a generic wooden tray from the craft store, cut the box or paper to size, then glue it down to the tray. Cover it with paper glue, decoupage, or even resin to protect it from spills. Wooden board games like Backgammon and Chinese Checkers can also be turned into trays! Just use a drill to attach some handles and keep it clean with wood soap and oil. 

4. DIY some amazing wall art

This DIY craft is perfect if you want to add some unique color and style to a game room or den. Mounting the board games onto a wood frame or using a matte trim and regular frame makes the designs pop beautifully. Any game board would work, but we are especially fond of vintage boards, which tend to have really special colors and patterns, like some of the ones seen above. To make them look glossy and even more like custom artwork, as well as protect them, consider adding a layer of resin or glass over the top. 

5. Fold up a keepsake box

With some strategic cuts and a bit of wood glue, you can transform old board games into a darling keepsake box. It's not as tricky as it sounds, especially if you follow these thorough step-by-step instructions from Zieak. One of the things we like best about this is that you can have the game design on the inside or outside of the box. These boxes can hold jewelry, craft supplies, and other game room accessories like pencils and paper. We especially like the silver Monopoly piece-turned-darling box handle seen here. 

6. Clock in with Chinese Checkers

This craft may seem tricky, but it's actually relatively easy to create showstopping home decor with this DIY clock. You just need to use a drill, wood glue, a wall clock kit, like this one from Amazon for $9.99, and a Chinese Checkers board. Realistically, you could use any board game as a clock base, but the Chinese Checkers board is a great choice because it's often made of wood and you can add decorative flare with the playing pieces. Just make sure they're spaced out far enough from the clock hands so they don't bump into each other. 

7. Create a darling scrapbook

This is one of the easiest DIYs and a great choice because you can take your custom book everywhere and show it off. Plus, it uses more pieces than just the board. Cut the board down to the size of the hole-punched paper you plan to use. Add matching holes to the side of the board with a hole punch, then bind with spiral wire. Then, use the paper pieces of the game and collage them with paper glue or decoupage. Playing cards, paper money, and even instructions would be darling additions to this handmade notebook. 

8. Custom Scrabble napkin rings

If you have a generic set of napkin rings or scrap fabric you want to turn into napkin rings, consider customizing them with Scrabble tiles. This is a great way to add a fun flare to a dinner party table, and it makes for a great take-home or even a housewarming gift. Select the letters you want to use for your napkin rings. You can spell out words related to dining, such as "bon appétit," "cheers," or "delish," or simply use monograms. Apply a strong adhesive to the back of each Scrabble tile and attach it to the ring. 

9. Use several games to make a collage

Using one old board game as the base, you can then attach many elements from different games to create a one-of-a-kind work of art. Paper accessories like playing cards, play money, and instruction manuals make for a good layer on top of segmented game boards. Small game pieces, dice, timers, and other objects will add a ton of character and great texture to the piece. When you've got a design you like, you can display the collage as is, or frame it and hang it. Mounting with glass will prevent it from accumulating dust. 

10. Love the games but not the boxes?

The games may be great, but the boxes can be less than ideal for displaying, given their clashing colors and patterns. Just give them a makeover with some paint, fabric, and a little creativity. If you're displaying the board games together, we recommend choosing a limited color palette so the books don't clash. Be sure to use a primer on boxes so the paint and décor actually adhere. 

11. Put a twist on your shower curtain

Has it been a while since you thought about getting the Twister mat out for family game night? Turn it into a shower curtain by hemming it with tape, then add holes for shower curtain hooks using grommets or eyelets, and a grommet press tool. This would be the perfect decor item for a children's bathroom, or in your own as part of a dopamine decor aesthetic. Twister mats measure 67 by 55 inches while standard curtains are usually 72 by 72 inches in size, so you may need to add a shower liner or trim to the Twister mat. 

12. Bingo! A new set of coasters

If you've inherited a set of Bingo cards but don't have much use for them, you can easily turn them into coasters for your game room or den. Many Bingo card sets already come laminated, so you won't need to add a protective coating in this case. But to make them less flimsy, attach them to a piece of cork, wood, or other mounting material with a strong adhesive. You can also add felt pads to the bottom corners to stop the coasters from sticking to the table surface. 

13. Game board placemats

If you have a lot of board games that you're ready to toss out, or score a deal at the thrift door for several, you can always turn the boards into darling placemats. To do so, you'll need to cut the boards to your preferred size — you can customize this, or cut along the scored edges where the mat folds. Then sand down and paint the edges to give a proper finished look. The glossy coating most boards have should offer some protection against food spills and stains, but a protective layer of clear coat never hurts either!