Our organized toyroom + a board game wall

DIY board game wall

You guys know that I do a lot of projects, but this has been one of my favourites to date. Mostly because it served three purposes: it helped to empty out our storage closet, it made cheerful wall art, and it inspired us to play more board games together as a family.

You see, we had a collection of dusty board game boxes taking up space in our basement closet. They were always buried beneath a huge plastic tote (or three), so we never played them. They also took up room that we really needed … for more totes. (I have a fabric addiction, and I will not apologize.)

When I saw a pin on Pinterest where someone hung all of their board games as wall art, I was totally inspired. It made perfect sense! Game boards are colourful, they have interesting patterns, and they spend most of their lives hidden in boxes. Let’s put them to good use!

Here’s how we turned a heap of boxes into fresh, functional, nearly-free wall art …

The first step was spreading out all of the games, and figuring out which ones would make the cut. We donated a few we don’t play (I’m looking at you, Risk), and we decided not to hang the babyish games the kids will outgrow in a couple of years (Candy Land, ugh).

I put each game’s dice, timers, playing pieces, instructions, and cards into a labelled baggie, and then tossed the game box itself into a recycling bag.

I was also able to trash all the plastic padding and packaging that was inside many of the boxes. I had three huge bags of junk by the end!

When that was done, I turned my attention to the boards themselves. I spread them out on the carpet and played around with the order until I found a nice arrangement — just like I do when I’m making a gallery wall. Then I snapped a picture of the layout with my phone, and turned the boards over to my handy husband.

Because many of the boards were foldable — like good ol’ Pictionary — he cut thin squares of plywood that would give them stability. If the game board was rounded — like Scene It — I painted the plywood, since part of it would be visible.

Once each game board had a “backing” piece of plywood, it was time to make secret compartments that would store the playing pieces, cards, and dice. My husband sawed 2x4s into small strips, and then screwed them together to make little boxes — each about two to three inches deep.

When a box was ready, he flipped the game board over, and drove screws directly through the game board into the edges of the hidden storage box. The screws aren’t really noticeable within the game boards, and the boxes are snugly attached to the backs.

Then he added sawtooth picture-hangers on the back of each box, so they could hang on the wall just like a piece of art. Some of the games were supported by their own plastic frames, like Scrabble and Othello, so they didn’t need picture-hangers. They balance just fine on a screw in the wall.

Finally, it was time to hang our game gallery! Using the layout photo on my phone as a guide, I arranged the games on the floor in exactly the same order. Then I picked up a board, stuffed the baggie of corresponding playing pieces and cards into the storage box, and hung it on the wall.

Some the heavier baggies kept falling out of the storage box before I could hang the game, so I hung those baggies directly on the wall screw, and then the storage box simply hid them from sight.

For smaller games without their own board, like UNO, Skip-Bo, and decks of playing cards, we built little storage boxes with pieces of scrap wood. Once you add a sawtooth picture-hanger on the back, you can hang them just like the other games.

We also use these mini-boxes to store hourglass timers, extra dice, and handwritten cheat-sheets. What?! I can’t be the only person who needs a written set of instructions, detailing each level, every time I play Patience. (It’s no surprise, really, that I am terrible at a game called Patience.)

Our board game wall is complete for now, but we can always add new games on either side — or even above the arrangement.

MORE IDEAS HERE

Because the game are so easily accessible, we’re much more likely to pull one down off the wall spontaneously and play a few rounds. Once I’ve whooped my husband in a game of Careers or Skip-Bo — I mean, when the game is over — the game goes straight back up on the wall until next time. Easy clean-up!

DIY board game wall
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When I posted photos of D’s bedroom refresh yesterday, I realized I don’t think I ever posted photos of our finished basement.
Did I? The archives don’t seem to think so, so let’s see it …
My favourite part of the room is the board game wall. We LOVE playing board games, but most importantly this gets them out of the storage closet — we have extremely limited storage in our house — and onto the walls. Art and storage get married, and this is their baby. Behold!
Games, games, games

The best part is that you can pull the games off the wall, and all of their pieces are stored behind them (Darling Husband built simple wooden frames to attach to the boards).
Ta-da!
I sewed on little buttons at the destinations, too, and I love how it turned out.

 

Hand-me-down pull-out-couch (that’s a lot of hyphens) with two really old red leather pillows, and two pillows I made.

 

A view into the “adult” side of the room

 

A view into the “kids” side of the room (although these pictures are a few months’ old — I’ve already Kijijied that little red car, and the cradle has been moved upstairs)
Remember reading about my ruler growth chart? It’s got a place of honour down here!

 

I painted the feature wall emerald green, because it was named Colour of the Year. I’m into trends, apparently? (Just not when it comes to clothing, shoes, movies, books, TV shows, or diets)

 

 

 

This giant frame used to be in our kitchen, growing up. I snagged it from my mom’s basement, painted it the focal wall colour, and Darling Husband screwed it into the wall (since my beloved 3M strips definitely wouldn’t have held it). We (uh, HE) also painted wall inside the frame with chalkboard paint, and I made a quickie pennant banner out of felt and yarn.

 

This awesome DIY mirror lives at the bottom of the basement stairs.

 

This cabinet (dunno, electrical? something?) used to be all white, but now it’s chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint makes everything better.
I had an extra Scrabble game somehow, so I played around with the letters until I got this combination — it used almost all of the letters, which was the goal! It says “In our house we love to play games, pretend, read, learn, sing, laugh, dream, grin, and have fun.” I just took apart the board to access the clear piece, hot-glued the letters into the slots, and hung it with two plastic clampy things. It hangs just inside the door to the basement, at the top of the stairs.

 

The train table/Playmobil table was here for a while, but then I got tired of looking at it during my “Me time” after the kids were asleep, so I moved it back to the kiddie area, and …
… this is what the corner looks like right now (like two seconds ago, right now). It makes the adult half truly an “adult” half, and it’s more relaxing not to stare at a toy table every night.
Is there anything more calming than a perfectly-organized toy wall? No. I didn’t think so.

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Thanks for stopping by to tour our playroom!

xo

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/136726538661745432/

11 Comments on “Our organized toyroom + a board game wall

  1. I'm totally in love!!! That's a great decoration idea! We are big fans of board games at home and for me , your room is like a heaven on Earth!

  2. So many cool things about this room, but I can't figure out how you hung these game boards? I see the framey-type thing, how does the board attach to the frame? I love this idea.

  3. this is a great idea!!!! and on the box on the back where you store the game pieces if you put a scrap board just like 2 inches tall on the back it would hold the Ziploc bag in the box and it wouldn't fall out when you go to hang it 🙂

  4. Heather, we love board games at our house, too. I love this idea and I can't wait to start creating! Since our basement tends to get humid, I may toy with the idea of some kind of laminate to put over the game boards and use something like brass brads to make them look nice. We like small plastic boxes – made by “Really Useful Boxes” to store game pieces inside – I use a label maker to label the plastic box so no game pieces get mixed up with others. I'm going to play with the idea of making the storage compartments on the back of these boards deep enough like a shadow box to hold these little plastic boxes. I'll probably use a larger, flatter box for games that have a lot of pieces, like Monopoly.

    I'm curious about some of the games on your wall – I don't recognize all of them. I see Pictionary, Scrabble, Cranium, Trivia Pursuit, Dogopoly, Scene it?, Men Are From Mars, I think I see Careers … and I have no idea what the remaining games are… can you fill me in? As many board games as we have – collected many over the years – I don't recognize these!

    Thanks!
    Kat

  5. Thanks, Katy! You're right — it is Careers. The others are Othello (never actually played it but received it as a kid), Rummikub for Kids and a locally made game called Super Tok (which is technically the game Trouble except with marbles).

  6. This is so adorable. We are looking for something fun in our Creativity Tribe Studio…this just might be it! Thanks a ton for sharing your ideas.

So what do you think?

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