Board game inserts have been popular since the early days of gaming. They are basically an insert or tray in which pieces, cards and other game components can be stored and organized. Inserts help organize the pieces, prevent them from shifting during transport, and even ensure that everything fits back into the box the way it was intended.
Due to their helpfulness, board game inserts have become increasingly popular in recent years. While previously an accessory only found in expensive collector’s editions, many standard versions now include them as well. Recently though, there has been a growing trend of DIY board game inserts made out of various items like foam core, cardboard or plastic. These home-made inserts often outperform their store bought counterparts due to custom-fitting exact pieces, increased protection against impacts and better organization tools.
The DIY board game insert trend allows creative gamers to take control of how they organize their games. Additionally, these crafted inserts enable even those with a tight budget to enjoy the convenience that comes with proper storage solutions for their games. From custom trays and holders to fully removable portable insert boxes – all sorts of designs have been created! There’s no limit to what you may be able to create as long as you are willing put in some time and effort!
Types of Board Game Inserts
Board game inserts are a great way to keep pieces organized and secure in boxes and containers. Most standard board game boxes come with customizable plastic inserts that can be arranged, cut, and re-shaped to fit various components. There are many different types of board game inserts available on the market, each providing their own unique advantages. Some of the more popular designs include drop-in trays, compartments with lids, four-way tuck boxes, drawers for tokens or coins, trays for holding cards or pieces that need sorting, as well as removable dividers. These customized pieces allow players to quickly access what they need during playtime.
DIY board game inserts offer an even greater flexibility and creativity in customizing your board game’s internal design than buying one off the shelf. It is possible to create your own custom insert design with either cardboard sheets or plastic materials like PVC or PETG (a non-toxic plastic). If you decide to make your own insert design, there are plenty of different templates and how-to guides online that provide diagrams and instructions on what shapes you need to cut out so that you can get the perfect size and shape for your specific purpose. Using specially designed tools like acrylic shears or a laser cutter significantly simplifies the creation process as well.
Benefits of Making Board Game Inserts
Making your own board game inserts is an excellent way to save money and ensure your game components remain organized during storage and travels. DIY board game inserts are also beneficial in terms of improving durability and quality. With homemade board game inserts, you can use different materials that offer protection from dust, dirt, heat, and other harmful elements. For example, when making a board game insert with cardboard material, you can reinforce certain areas with extra layers or stronger materials such as hard plastic or even metal. This helps keep the game components secure while also up-leveling your presentation quality with a neat customized look. Furthermore, this increases the total lifetime of your valueable games by reducing wear and tear from transportation or regular play sessions. By taking advantage of DIY techniques for your board game inserts, you will not only save money but also benefit from their improved and sustained quality.
Materials and Tools Needed
For those looking to make their own board game inserts, some materials and tools will be necessary. Of course, the kind of wood used in the insert will depend on preference, though traditional hardwoods such as oak and walnut are popular choices for this sort of project. Alternatively, plywood can also be used for a more budget-friendly option, though it is not advisable if you’re looking for something that can last long-term with lots of use. For those who prefer to experiment with something different, there are modern acrylic alternatives too, which require different tools for working with them.
As far as tools go, a jigsaw and various grades of sandpaper will come in useful for almost any type of insert material you choose. A drill or hole saw attachment may also come in handy for creating holes or cut circles and other shapes in the wood. Additionally, corner clamps can hold pieces together while they’re being glued and there are usually several different types available at most DIY stores. If investing in good quality woodworking tools isn’t an option right away, then consider using cheaper handheld alternatives such as chisels and hand drills until more advanced tools become available. Finally, depending on the size of your project one way to ensure accuracy is by using a square ruler along with a measure tape to ensure that measurements remain consistent throughout the project.
Making your own custom board game inserts can be a great way to organize and protect your favorite games. Most commercial game boxes come with simple cardboard inserts, which provide minimal protection and storage. With the right tools, materials, and a bit of creativity, you can create really useful insert designs that will last for many years. Here’s how:
Step 1: Get Your Materials Ready – You will need some cardboard or sheet plastic of a suitable thickness; scissors or utility knife; ruler; an Acrylic Permanent Marker (optional); a low-temperature Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks; and any other embellishments you may want to add to your insert such as foam pieces for customized compartments, or decorative paper for better presentation.
Step 2: Measure & Cut – Measure out the exact dimensions that you want your insert to be, using the ruler and marker. Cut out along the marked lines with either your scissors or utility knife. Smooth all edged with a nail file or sandpaper if necessary.
Step 3: Attach Foam Pieces (if desired) – For more customization, use pieces of foam cut into different shapes to create compartments inside of each box compartment in order to hold specific game pieces in place. These can easily be attached using the hot glue gun if desired.
Step 4: Decorate – To make your homemade board game insert look extra special, get creative! Adorn with papers cut into fun shapes or patterns and glued on with some scrapbook adhesive for added detail. And don’t forget about covers! Using heavyweight paper such as card stock will give them stability against regular wear as well as adding some eye-catching flair when sliding one open for the first time!
Step 5: Setup & Insert – After it’s finalized according to the measurements of each box, insert the board game insert into its spot within the box before playing a single turn of your favorite tabletop game – enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
1. Not Measuring the Box: One of the worst mistakes people make when making DIY board game inserts is not measuring the box accurately. Many game boxes are not a perfect square or rectangle, and it’s important to properly measure the space before designing and building an insert to ensure a snug fit.
2. Overcomplicating Design: Another mistake people make when making inserts is focusing too much on the aesthetics of their design and overcomplicating it. It’s best to keep things neat and straightforward in order to avoid any potential issues with stability and weight distribution during storage or playtime.
3. Going Too Deep: It’s tempting for many people to try and add deep compartments for components that go deep into the game box but this can cause serious stability problems when playing or transporting the game from location to location. A shallow insert allows components more room without sacrificing weight distribution or structural integrity so try to go shallow instead of deep!
4. Using Wrong Materials: Not all materials are suitable for making effective board game inserts, especially paper-based ones such as cardstock or light chipboard which can be flimsy and won’t last long over time with repeated use. It’s better to use sturdier options like wood, acrylic or chipboard since these materials will hold up better to wear and tear over time.
5. Skimping on Glue: Using glue on an insert may seem like extra work but it’s necessary if you want your insert to stay stable throughout use—especially when regularly removed from its box for play purposes! Make sure you apply solid amounts of glue at every connection point on your insert for best results and increased longevity.
Alternatives to DIY Board Game Inserts
Pre-Made Board Game Inserts: Pre-made Board Game inserts are ready-made wooden or cardboard dividers that will fit into the game box. These insert dividers can be purchased from several online retailers, from some local hobby stores, or even from a few woodworking websites. The downside to these pre-made board game inserts is that you may have difficulty adjusting the dividers for some games if they don’t fit perfectly in your particular board game.
Custom-Made Orders: Custom-made orders for board game inserts give you the chance to specify exactly what kind of insert you need and have it manufactured specifically for your box size and exact needs. You can contact local woodworking businesses or national retailers like Etsy to customize your own design with specific measurements and materials. Customizing your own insert requires an upfront investment of time and energy, as well as money, but will guarantee that the insert will fit perfectly with your box and provide precisely what you need to organize it optimally.
The introduction of board game inserts DIY is revolutionizing the modern board gaming scene in more ways than one. Though some traditionalists may disagree, the creative freedom combined with convenience make DIY inserts a perfect solution for any enthusiast at any level. From challenging customization that allows you to take game organization to the next level whether you are a hardcore collector or just starting out, to mixing pieces from separate games for unique experiences, the possibilities are truly endless. For many in the gaming community, DIY insert kits provide an affordable and convenient way to create custom inserts tailored to their specific setups and tastes. In addition, these installs allow gamers to embrace environmental consciousness by reducing paper waste common with printed cardboard packaging while creating materials with increased durability. Overall, DIY inserts seem set to stay as they make specific tasks simpler while adding tons of value at low costs and making the world of tabletop gaming better than ever before.
I love playing all kinds of games – from classics like Monopoly to modern favourites like Ticket to Ride.
I created this blog as a way to share my love of board games with others, and provide information on the latest releases and news in the industry.