Travelize Your Favorite Board Game

How to make a travel friendly version of one of my favorite games, Ticket to Ride. This is my first instructable, so gimmie some feedback please.

Step 1: Materials

The Hardware:
-Skil saw
-Miter saw
-Frame clamp
-Heavy stuff
-Chisel/Carving knife

The Software
-1/4" plywood
-3/4"x1/2" molding
-Wood glue
-Wood screws
-Spray paint
-Clear coat
-Spray adhesive
-Sculpey clay
-A scanned image of the board. Figure out how to do this yourself or find one at boardgamegeek

Step 2: Cut Some Shapes

Before you go into your garage and start cutting, have a plan in mind. The board will be split in half and on the outside of our neat-o folding box. I wanted a little border on mine, so I made my pieces a little longer than was necessary.
I cut the plywood into two 7 1/4"x 10 1/2" sheets. Then I made four 10 1/2" strips and four 6 3/4" strips from the molding. Thats it for the cuttin.

Step 3: Front and Back of the Box.

To make the top and bottom, glue the molding together with the long pieces on the outside. Throw it in your handy dandy frame clamp and wipe off any glue boogers. Now leave it alone!

Good! After a few hours come back and glue the plywood backing on your frame. I added a few nails around the outside, but I don't think they were necessary. Now take your heavy stuff and put it on top of your little half box, and leave it overnight.

Oh, and do this twice. You're gonna want two halves.

Step 4: Sanding!

Good morning!

Now sand!

Step 5: Hinges and Magnets

Now its time to thing about the hinges. Because we want this thing to fold up right, you need to inlay the hinges a bit. Set your two halves side by side, lay your hinges in the middle, and trace the hinges. Now take your chisel and cut out enough so the hinge and be flush with the wood. You can go ahead and drill your pilot holes now, but wait until after you paint to put the hinges on.

For the closing mechanism, I decided to inlay some magnets. On one of your halves, drill a couple holes the size of your magnets and super glue the little suckers in there. You may want to scuff up the bottom of the magnet a little beforehand so it will stick a little better. On the other side of your box, screw in a couple wood screws for the magnets to catch on.

Step 6: Paint!

Take the halves outside and give them a few coats of paint on both sides. Don't worry too much on the outside of the box, because it will eventually be covered by the game board. While you wait for the paint to dry, head inside to make some trains.

Step 7: Make Some Pieces.

For the trains I used Scupley clay. If you know a better, less tedious way, please let me know. The train spots on the printout I am using are about 1/8" wide and 1/2" long, so thats what I made. First I rolled out the clay, then used my pizza cutter to make 1/2" strips. Then I eyeballed 1/8" strips and cut away. And cut away. And cut away. We usually only play with four people, so I only bothered making four colors of trains. But still, 45 of each train is a lot of trains.

After you do 45 of each of your colors, remember to make a little score marker (smushed ball). Set the oven to 275, throw them on a cookie sheet and let them bake for about 15 min.

Step 8: Make It a Board.

I took the image I got totally legally online, and split it in two with my photo editor. After I printed them out, I trimmed off all the edges.

Before mounting the cardstock, put the hinges on. This way you can make sure the board halves match up when you glue them on. Take the spray mount and glue your pieces on there.

Almost done!

Step 9: Clear Coat

Take the board and give it a few layers of clear coat. The will seal up the cardstock and make the whole thing nice and shiny.

Step 10: Play!

I bummed the cards from my full size game, but Days of Wonder sells replacement decks, so I will have to pick one of those up. Throw the trains in a few Ziploc bags, grab some rubber bands for the cards, and you're ready to go! Have fun! Hope you guys enjoyed my instructable!



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    13 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 8

    Where did you get this image if I may ask?

    Here's the link from Make Volume 8: Toys and Games

    Sadly, I think you need a subscription to see it, although I'm not sure.


    9 years ago on Step 10

    If you are going to Days of Wonder to buy a replacement set of cards, buy the 1910 expansion set.  They are more expsensive ($20 as opposed to $5) but you get the full set of cards from the original game, plus the expansion cards which allows for 4 variations of the game!  Plus they come in a nice box that will fit prefectly in the travel case eliminating the need to rubber band them together.


    9 years ago on Step 7

    For mine I went out and got a few 1/4" square dowels.  Cut them to 3/4" lengths (6 dowels at a time) and then paint, paint, paint!  I only painted enough for 4, but the 5th player can use the unpainted ones until I get up the energy to make the last set. 

    I prefer the wood ones to the real plastic ones. 

    Eye Poker

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I'm planning on a magnetic travel Settlers of Catan game.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm... D'you think a CD case or similar could work as a 'backbone'?

    Love it! Ticket to Ride is one of my favorite games. I was expecting something more turn-upside-downable (not just compact) but this is great too. Anyway, where did you get the pictures of the board?

    2 replies

    I had considered doing the whole magnetic thing, but the cards are just as inconvenient as the trains when it comes to moving around a bunch. That and I pretty much did it in an afternoon.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    like threecheersfornick i too thought it might be magnetic or something... which i realised could be done quite easily... if you put some metal behind your board, then got adhesive magnetic strip and stuck it to the bottom of each train etc... it would be very effective!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! As an extra bonus you could make more of it magnetic. +1