Tetris Shaped Board Game Closet




Introduction: Tetris Shaped Board Game Closet

If you are like many board games aficionados, the more board games you get, the more annoying it is to get to the one you actually want. You can see what my board game closet used to look like. Every time I was trying to get to one game, it was a risky business.

Trying to have them all sorted correctly is kind of complicated too because there is actually a rule in the board game industry against having any box being the same size, like a very annoying Tetris game... or is it ?


I could have titled this instructable "Yet another Tetris shaped bookshelf" but I really I looked around and could not find any comparable board game storage alternative, so here it is !

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Step 1: Materials and Dimensions for the Tetriminos

For this project, I wanted to build 6 Tetriminos ('I" - "L" - "O" - "S" - "Z" - "T") and after carefully designing all pieces in Google Sketchup, I  added up all the pieces (all 38 of them), and categorized all the rough cuts in three sizes labelled : A-B-C.

All the Tetriminos are made of 3/8" plywood sheets. It took me 1.5 4'x8' sheet (with plenty leftover for errors !)

1) Determine the depth of your Tetriminos. For this project, I designed my Tetriminos 11" deep, it was driven by how much room I had in my closet (and the average width of my board game boxes). Having it less than 12" will allow to fit 4 pieces per plywood sheet.

2) I aggregated my cuts (A-long, B-medium, C-short) to speed up my time on the table saw. So I got 4 A pieces (22" x 11") 12 B pieces (16" x 11") and 24 C pieces (8" x 11"). Here are my 38 required pieces + 2 backups and some scraps wood.

3) With all my rough cuts, I now need to actually finish them to the correct length. You can see them all laid out on my workbench.
A - 4 x 21.75"'
B - 1 x 14.875"
B - 6 x 14.5"
B - 3 x 13.75 "
C - 6 x 7.625"
C - 2 x 7.25"
C - 7 x 6.875"
C - 9 x 6.5"
TOTAL : 38 pieces

Step 2: Assembling the Tetriminos

DISCLAIMER : I used a very simple (yet unpopular) joint for this project : the butt joint. This was the first project I did on my table saw and I wasn't sure that miter joint would work well with 3/8" plywood. If you are more experienced, I would suggest you go for a better joint. 

1) Assembling the Tetriminos at a precise 90 deg angle was critical here so they would fit nicely together. Since we will have to joint all the 38 pieces together, that will give us about 40 joints to do, might as well spend some time on making a good jig that will make the job more easy (and enjoyable).

2) Start building your Tetriminos by making simple 90 degrees joint like on the picture. You can see that for my "L" shaped Tetriminos, I needed 6 pieces, or 3 pre-assembled pieces.

3) To complete the joint, put a generous amount of wood glue on on end of the piece you are about to glue. Put on some C-Clamps to hold it in place on both ends and put about 5 nails with a nail gun into the joint. Having the right opening at the end of your jig will facilitate the placement of your nails in the joint. Wipe off the excess wood glue and move to the next joint. Remember, we have about 40 or so on these to do ! Let dry for 24 hours.

Step 3: Finish the Tetriminos

Now that you have all your Tetriminos built and dried, it's time to put the finishing touch to these bad boys. Now would also be a good time to check the stability of your pieces and make sure they nicely fit into each other.

If not, no big deal, take our the hammer and start over the joints that aren't solid enough. 

If you are courageous, you take the sanding paper (I used 220) and give them a nice feel to them. I got to say I am not convinced of how useful that really was. The spray paint I used was quite cheap and I can't say that the finished surface was fantastic. But again, this is going in a closet for me, not in the living room so as long as you are satisfied with your work, it's time to go outside and paint the Tetriminos to the correct colour. 


It so happend that when I put the Tetriminos in the closet I put them on the wrong side. So if you want to be picky about it, you could say that I got the color wrong. Well to you I would say that you are watching them from the wrong side. Also, why are you being a jerk about it after we have been through this whole project together ?

Also, quick note, the Tetris fans will notice that my "I" bar is actually three block long and not four, why ? Kind of an aesthetic choice. I did not want the bar to take the whole width of the closet and when I played around with post-it Tetriminos, I was not happy with the design a five block wide closet would look like. So you know, my house, my rules. But isn't what the Maker movement is all about, making your own stuff exactly the way you want :)

But you are probably awesome so you'll understand and will let me off the hook on this one.

So there you have it ! Your own Tetris shapped board game closet. I am quite happy with the result, and so is my girlfriend. She was so impressed that she told be it shouldn't be in a closet where nobody will see it. No worries, I'll make another one when we do our gaming room, it'll be way nicer, and so will yours.


- B00mrang

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    6 Discussions

    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    2 years ago

    This is amazing! Thank you for sharing the design :-)


    6 years ago

    this awesome! wanna do this for my kids rm


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is great! None of my boxes are ever the same shape or size! This is a fantastic way to make sure everything has a place! ~Thanks


    7 years ago

    Should've entered this in the game life contest! :D