Apr 24, 2011

Vintage Board Game Shadow Boxes

When we finally finished our game room, I really had dreams of decorating in a 50's diner sort of theme, but since I am not the only voice in this family, I was out voted.  Which is okay, because I love our game room now.  I thought it would be fun to decorate the walls with various board games.  I had already thrifted some vintage games along the way.  I had also collected some favorites from my childhood that brought back good memories.  What I couldn't find, though, was shadowboxes that were the right size to display them.  I did go to a local framing shop to get prices.  They were in the middle of framing a scrabble board at the time.  I asked what the price would be, and they quoted me over $200!!  Well, I had six games that I wanted to frame, but I didn't have $1200.  So, I was off to the local home improvement store.  
I purchased some MDF and mouldings.  Then I purchased some plexiglass (cut to size) from a glass/window shop.  Altogether, I spent $120 ($90 for the plexiglass alone.)  Even though it was a chunk of money, it was only 1/10 of what it could have cost.  It took awhile to put them together.  Mostly just indecision on my part of how to lay out the playing pieces.  But once that was decided, I glued them down, put them together, and hung them on the wall.  Of course, my kids give me a bad time.  They always say, "It sure would be nice to sit down and play some games tonight, but, No, Mom had to go and frame them all!"  Which is so untrue!  We have a whole closet full of games...although, I have a few ideas for some of them!  I tried my best to get good pictures, but I was having an issue with lighting, and the flash didn't like the plexiglass!

My sister-in-law thrifted this parcheesi board for me.  She thought I would like the word "HOME" in the middle...and she was right!

Monopoly, a classic!  I have plans of decoupaging the left over money and cards onto serving trays and coasters for the game room.

I have to admit, I have never played Pente, but I really liked the graphics on this one, and the colorful playing pieces.

Clue is a great one for the color it brings into the room.

Scrabble took a while because I was trying to form words from the tiles that described a family.  Sometimes, I would think of a great word, but not have the right letters.  After I was finished, though, I realized I had another scrabble game that I could have used tiles from, which would have made it so much easier!  Oh well, it's nice to stretch the old brain once in a while!

Stratego is one that brings back happy childhood memories.  I used to play it all the time with my brothers.  I loved the inside of this box with the picture of the family, probably from the 60's.  The mom is in a dress, the dad is in a suit, two kids—one boy, one girl.  It is an ideal scene of family bonding time.  I just had to display that part of the box in the center of the board.  (Kind of funny that the whole premise of this game is two armies waring against each other, though.)


  1. This is such a great idea. I love the way you added some playing pieces to the boards. Such a nice way to display vintage board games.

  2. Probably one of my favorite parts of your game room!

  3. I too love the way you added the playing pieces to the game boards ~ The shadow box adds a lot too and makes it feel more finished! Not a small amount of work! Very impressive!

  4. Hi Susan, I LOVE this idea-- cute and clever... that game board with home in the middle is perfect too.
    xo Malia

  5. What a great idea!! I can't wait to try it! I'm a new follower and featured you on my blog today.

  6. These are fantastic ideas! I wish I could find a London version of Monopoly. Great projects. :-)

  7. I saw in a magazine a long time ago, a game room with vintage game boards decorating the walls. When I have a house (and hopefully a big enough house), I'd love to do something exactly like what you did. Clue was my favorite growing up.

  8. I have a vintage Clue that was either my mom's or grandmothers....1940s date on it. I would love to shadowbox it.

    Great job!


  9. This looks so expensive and cool! Perfect for a game room. My favorite is scrabble!

  10. I love this idea, and the scrabble game with words describing family is genius.

    I'm curious... did you just hot glue everything down or did you try to preserve the vintageness of the games?

  11. i love playing board games..scrabble is one of my favorite game..i was taught by my mom since i was 8 years old. when i grow up i still play scrabble..i usually bring my travel scrabble with me when i go to different places

    scrabble cheats

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  13. Would you please tell me more about the materials you used, i.e. backing, type of glue, etc. and the method you used to put the frames together? I'm very impressed!

  14. Wow, I love this idea! If I have a games room in the future, this is definitely something I'd like to do for decorations! The monopoly one is my favorite!

  15. I love vintage game boards, and this is definitely something I've been wanting to do! Yours look fantastic. And, good for you to DIY it! Custom framing is SO expensive, but you've done an incredibly professional looking job!

  16. Where did you get the shadow boxes? I can find ones that are that large.

    1. I actually bought plexiglass, molding, and thin hardboard to make them myself. The only place I found them available was at a custom frame shop, and I didn't want to pay the price they were asking! Good luck!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan