Introduction: Kids Build - Board Game Note Book

About: I am Hazel's Dad - this is an account where I chronicle her making. It will be handed over to her when she is old enough to run it herself.

HI! I am Hazel and I am a maker! We learned to make these board game notebooks at our makerspace. We make all sorts of cool things, these were made from our old boardgames, either ones that we don't play with any more or the ones that have pieces missing or the board damaged. They would make a really great gift for someone who loves a particular board game!!!

They are lots of fun to make and it means you can reuse your old games rather than throwing them away. I love to upcycle as it is greener and it is a lot of fun and a challenge. These are not difficult to make but you do need an adult to help you in places.

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need:

  • The board from an old board game
  • Plain paper
  • Binding wire (if you are binding yourself)
  • Glue (if you are decorating with playing pieces)

You will also need:

  • Pencil
  • Knife and ruler
  • Set square
  • Paper guillotine (if not, you can use your knife and ruler again)
  • Binding machine (if you don't have one, you can take your book to a print and copy shop and they will be able to bind it for you)
  • Side cutters, to cut the binding wire
  • Adult help, for difficult and dangerous bits

Step 2: Plan and Cut Your Board

First, you need to cut your board up to make your covers. Most boards have a crease where they fold up so that they can fit into the box. If yours does, cut along that line first. If it doesn't, then you will need to work out where the halfway mark is and cut it there. You then need to decide how big your book is going to be and cut out covers that size. Most boards, it will be a quarter of the game board so you can just cut each half in half again. But sometimes they are bigger, in which case you will have to plan where you are going to cut so that you get halves that are the same size.

Measure where you want to cut and mark it with a pencil. Use a set square to make sure you are marking it straight, or your covers will be wonky!

Then, you can cut out your covers with a craft or Stanley knife and metal ruler. Use lots of shallow cuts rather than trying to do one deep cut, and make sure that your blade is sharp and that nothing will slip. That will keep you and the people around you safe. I had an adult help me to do the cutting part.

Once you have finished doing this, you will have two covers for your notebook!

Step 3: Cut Your Pages

Once you have cut your covers and you know what size you want your notebook to be, you can cut your pages out. We used normal copy paper but you can use any you like! We cut it out with a paper guillotine because that was what we had and it is safer, but if you don't have one, you can cut your paper out with a knife and ruler the same way you did your covers.

It is up to you how many pages you put in, but if you are binding it yourself you will have to make sure that you have a wire big enough to hold them all! We put in sixty sheets of paper, which is 120 sides. I like to have a lot of paper because I like to draw and write.

Step 4: Binding

The next step is to bind your notebook. If you don't have a binding machine you can take your book to a copy shop and they will do it for you. We have a binding machine so we did it ourselves.

First, you have to put the book in the order you want it to be in, making sure that the covers are the right way round. Then, you have to bring the back cover round to the front, as though it was already bound. You bind the back cover first so that, once you've finished, you can swing it back round to the back of the book and it will hide where you closed the wire. Then you can bind the rest of the book.

To use the binding machine, you punch the holes first. There is a slot at the top and you put whatever needs the holes in there. When you pull down the handle it makes the hole. You need to be strong! I had to get some help to do that part.

Once you have punched all of the holes, you cut a binding wire to the correct size using side cutters then thread it through all of the holes. When you have put them all on you put the wire into the big slot at the bottom of the binding machine. This time when you pull the handle it squeezes the wire spine closed.

Step 5: Decorating!

Once you have done that, your notebook is finished! You can leave it as it is, but if you prefer to, you can decorate it with other bits from the board game. I glued my name to the front of one of my notebooks with Scrabble tiles. I also made a charm to hang off the spine which will be another instructable, so stay tuned! I hope that you like this instructable and that you will make some notebooks with your old games.

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