7 Board Games for DIYers

This isn't child's play (for the most part!). Here's a rundown of grown-up board games for DIY enthusiasts to enjoy and be inspired by.

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Board Not Bored

Sitting around playing Monopoly, Scrabble and Risk have long been favorite indoor pastimes among friends and family. But since the onset of the pandemic, board games saw a meteoric rise in popularity. That’s likely fueled by the need for distraction, a little escapism and just plain entertainment.

The boredom of confinement means people are working and crafting around the house more, in the garden or at their workbenches. To appeal to those with a passion for table-top challenges, making things with their hands and home improvement,

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Patchwork Quilt Game

Created by renowned game designer Uwe Rosenberg, Mayfair Games Patchwork consistently ranks as one of the most popular two-person games on Amazon.

Pitting two quilters against one another, the competitive puzzle game challenges players in visual composition and pattern recognition. It’s a race to see who can make the most beautiful and highest-scoring quilt.

Each player chooses patches, then uses a token and a supply of buttons to strategically craft their quilt. Uneven pieces of fabric can result in masterpieces but may leave unfinished spaces, which cost players points. The highest score when time is up is the victor!

Number of players: Two.

Duration of game: 30 minutes.

Recommended age: 12 and up.

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Modern Architecture Game

Containing almost 1,000 questions, the Modern Architecture Game tests your knowledge of famous buildings and the people who drafted them. It’s a heady game best suited for curious design aficionados interested in gaining more insight into the trends of Western architecture.

The board is a construction drawing and game pieces miniatures of famous buildings. Roll the dice, move the pawns and wear Le Corbusier’s glasses (round eyewear favored by the famed 20th-century Swiss-French architect). Answer queries in six categories: Visual, Architect, Project, Style, Influence and Quote. The first one to reach the “heart” of the board is the champion! It’s like Trivial Pursuit for a specialized audience.

Number of players: Two to five.

Duration of game: Depends.

Recommended age: Unspecified.

Curious but not sure? This video might help.

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Home Improvement: The Hilarious Handyman Game

Based on the popular 1990s sitcom, you can still find Home Improvement — The Hilarious Handyman Game on Amazon and eBay. Neighbors (a.k.a. players) of “Tool Time” host Tim Taylor are assigned various do-it-yourself jobs to perform around the house. The goal is to increase the resale equity in their home.

Starting with a pocketful of cash and a to-do list. Whoever completes the tasks first adds $50,000 to their property’s value and wins the game. No tools required.

Number of players: Two to six (or teams).

Duration of game: 60 to 90 minutes.

Recommended age: 13 and up.

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Floodgate Games Sagrada

With lots of design and pattern cards to choose from, we love how this game’s repetition is low so re-playability is high. With Floodgate Games Sagrada, express your artistic flair to create stained-glass windows reminiscent of those found in the ancient churches of Europe.

Take turns building out the windows using colored dice placed on individual grid cards. Strategy is key as no two die of the same color, shade or number can ever be next to each other. A classic ending: The player with the most points after 10 rounds wins!

Number of players: One to four.

Duration of game: 20 to 40 minutes.

Recommended age: 12 and up.

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Bob Ross Art of Chill

Hearkening back to a more genteel time of soft-spoken affirmations, Bob Ross Art of Chill is, as one Amazon fan described it, “A great mix of strategy, easy play and immersion in the theme.” Join the legendary painting teacher and TV icon along with other players in simultaneously completing a landscape painting together.

Brushes and easels up! Roll the dice and strategically trade cards to earn “chill points.” Hone your artistic skills and techniques while Bob offers sage advice and encouragement. The first player to reach maximum chill on the Chill Meter wins! Couldn’t we all use a little more Bob Ross right now?

Number of players: Two to four.

Duration of game: 30 minutes.

Recommended age: Eight and up.

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Cottage Garden

Stronghold Games Cottage Garden is an enchanting “plant-based” puzzle game a la Patchwork (see above) that’s blooming fun to play! The game board, beautifully illustrated with walls, paths and hedges, invites you into a verdant fantasy world where even cats are helpful!

Design and tend your beds while moving along the scoring track, potting and planting as you go. Game pieces include a 3D wheelbarrow, plus a series of cards that depict flower pots, garden tools, a parasol, beehives and cats. The winner with the greenest thumb (most points) after five laps wins!

Number of players: One to four.

Duration of game: 45 to 60 minutes.

Recommended age: Eight and up.

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Brewcrafters Board Game

You don’t have to like beer to love this game! Delve into a local craft brewery’s foamy underbelly. Brewcrafters Board Game from Greater Than Games is where you, the manager, determine whether the brewery business sinks or swims.

Manage resources, upgrade equipment and hire and fire hipster staff to create outstanding specialty ales, porters and stouts. The Brewmaster with the best reputation (and most gold-label recipes) is crowned the winner. Grab a couple of cold ones with your fellow home-brewers while you play. Cheers!

Number of players: Two to five.

Duration of game: 90 minutes.

Recommended age: 12 and up.

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*Note: Some games may contain small pieces that could be a choking hazard and not suitable for children under three.

All prices and links were current as of publication.

Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a culture and lifestyle writer, reviews expert and DIYer covering everything from pests to pool cabanas to painting. For over a decade, Toni was the owner of a successful faux finishing, mural and children’s furniture business before moving to a career in writing. Her work has appeared in The Telegraph, Fodor’s, Italy Magazine, DK Eyewitness travel guides and others. She lives in a medieval hill town in Italy where her bicycle “Raoul” serves as her primary mode of transportation.