Stuck at home during the COVID-19 quarantine and I discovered that one of my flatmates had never played Monopoly before! This was unacceptable! But what to do – we didn’t have Monopoly at home and the shops were all closed; the only solution was, of course, to make our own one!
Maybe you’re stuck at home during the lockdown, maybe the virus is over and you just want a crafty project to do – whatever the reason, here is a tutorial for you to follow to create your own personalised Monopoly game: Palma de Mallorca edition!
1 – The theme
The first and most important step is to think of a theme for your game. Maybe it will be based on your family’s hometown, or where you grew up, or even your favourite movie or series (i.e. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones etc.). Whatever you decide, keep in mind that you will have almost 30 property and chance/community chest cards to create, and so you’ll need to choose something with enough options for all of these.
2 – The Board
The second most important part of the game is to get yourself some cardboard for the game board. A good, big, flat piece is ideal, if you don’t have anything at home you can scour the local supermarket for empty boxes. A standard Monopoly board is about 50x50cm (20×20 inches) and that’s just the actual playing area. If you struggle to find a piece of cardboard big enough, that’s ok, but ideally you want it as big as possible, otherwise you’ll run into trouble when it’s time to fit all the properties on the board.
Once you have the board, you need to cut it to size. I drew the outline and then used a sharp knife to score along the lines, then folded the board and used a serrated knife to finish (remember, we were short on options here!) If you’re going to want to fold the board for storage later, then you will need to score lines dividing the board into 4 quarters, cut one of the lines just to the middle, and then carefully fold the board along the scored lines so it folds as you like. Store it under something heavy for a few hours to really embed the folds.
The next step is to decide how you’d like to decorate the background. This could be with decoupage (our choice), paints, stickers, drawings, whatever your heart desires! Get creative and make it personalised to the theme of your game.
3 – Show me the money!
So we decided to do the money right at the beginning, because – honestly – it’s the longest and most mind-numbing part of the whole project. We decided to scrap the 1 Euro bills for this game (everyone hates them!) and made 30 of every other note (500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5) by cutting them out of plain white paper. Decorate them as you like, but remember you will have a LOT of notes to decorate so don’t go too overboard!
4 – Properties
Now you just need to decide the names you’re going to give your properties, what the stations and utilities will be, and, if you’ve decided not to use 1 Euro bills, adjust the rent costs accordingly. There are 28 property cards, with 8 different colour groups, plus stations and utilities. See below the excel table for a list of each of the properties for Palma de Mallorca and pricing.
When the names are decided, it’s time to make the cards. Ideally using heavy paper/thin card, cut out 28 property cards (maybe with a few extra just in case!). When you’re deciding on the size, write out one or two test cards to make sure you’re happy with them and can fit all the information on there. Choose your colour theme and make sure you can tell which group each property belongs to! With the stations, get creative! Choose four local beaches, or parks, or something related to your theme.
5 – Chance/Community Chest
This is where you can really get funny and creative! There are 17 Community Chest cards and 16 Chance cards. For me, I felt that the cards tend to be similar, and so I just went with one pile of 32 Chance cards all mixed together. You can keep these as similar or as different as you like, and get creative with linking them to your theme. You can cut these cards out of heavy paper/thin card, and remember to decorate the backs of the cards as they will sit face down on the board. The cards should be about the same size as the property cards.
Here is a list of our Chance cards, Quarantine edition:
– Get out of paying rent (keep card until needed). (x2)
-Get out of Quarantine (keep card until needed). (x2)
– GO TO QUARANTINE! Go directly to Quarantine. Do not pas GO, do not collect 200€. (x2)
– Payday! Advance to GO, collect 200€. (x2)
– Advance to nearest beach. If unowned, you may buy it. If owned, pay the owner double their entitled rent.
– Advance to nearest utility. If unowned, you may buy it. If owned, throw dice and payowner 10x amount thrown.
– Take a walk down Calle Oms. If you pass GO, collect 200€.
– Take a walk down Paseo Maritimo. If you pass GO, collect 200€.
– Beach Day! Take a trip to Playa de Palma. If you pass GO, collect 200€.
– Police fines you for being outdoors. Pay 150€. (x2)
– General Home Repairs. Pay 40€ per house and 100€ per hotel. (x2)
– Government subsidy package. Collect 150€.
– Gym membership refund. Receive 25€.
– Happy Days! You find money blowing down the deserted street. Collect 100€.
– Communal household dinner. Collect 50€ from each player.
– You receive rent assistance. Collect 150€.
– You’re infected – GAME OVER! Just kidding. Roll 1 dice. If it’s even, collect 100€. If it’s odd, pay 100€.
– Holiday cancelled. Receive refund of 100€.
– You sell your old vacuum. Collect 50€.
– You avoided getting coughed on at the supermarket. Collect 10€.
– Quarantined with full pay. Collect 200€.
– Good deed! Go shopping for a neighbour. Collect 10€.
– You forgot to sanitise! Pay 50€ to each player.
– Get tested for Coronavirus. Pay Doctor 50€.
– Stock up on toilet paper. Pay 15€.
6 – Houses/Hotels/Tokens
This is where you can let your imagination go wild, and go as simple or as detailed as you want! The original Monopoly has:
– 32 houses
– 12 hotels
– 8 playing pieces/game tokens
Think about the theme of your game, and what you have lying around the house that you can use. Some ideas are buttons, coins, beer bottle lids, pebbles, or even homemade clay you can bake in the oven and then paint/decorate. Just remember that the houses need to be small enough to fit four at a time on each property space on the game board.
We decided to use pieces of sea glass that we had collected at our local beach; small ones for houses, bigger ones for hotels, and we glued 8 different pieces on coins to make the game tokens.
7 – Finishing the Board
Now that all the cards and pieces are ready, you must be getting excited to finally finish! For the final part of the Game Board there are three main parts;
- Measure the game board and cut out four strips of paper to make the playing area.
- Draw the borders of all the playing spaces and decorate
- Glue the strips to the board and finalise the decorations
When measuring the paper for the playing area, make sure you do this carefully ensuring that all the strips fit together, you have enough room to write all the properties, and that you leave enough space in the middle (and outside, if you choose) for decorating.
The next step is to carefully measure the spacing and draw the borders for each playing space. The four corners are taken up with “GO”, “Jail” (replaced by “Quarantine”), “Free Parking” (replaced by “Free Delivery”) and “Go to Jail” (replaced by “Go to Quarantine”) and there are 10 spaces between each corner. Once you’ve drawn all the borders, it’s time to fill in all of the spaces with the property names, stations, and other details – really personalise it to link in with your chosen theme!
The very last task is to carefully glue, or decoupage the strips to the Board (making sure you put them in the right order!) and finish off any other decorating you want to include. Maybe put a fun title, or you may want to draw an outline of where your Chance/Community Chest cards will go.
Finally, once everything is dried and decorated and you’re happy, all you need is a couple of dice (unless you’re super keen and decide to handmake these too!) and you are ready to enjoy your masterpiece!
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