I was doing a little research to decide on which games we should include in this year’s DIY board game series and came across Shut the Box! Have you ever played? I fully admit I had never heard of it but now I’m sort of addicted. It’s cool because you can play by yourself or with friends — and it’s a perfect game for a weekend at the cabin or a summer afternoon. So here’s how to make a Shut the box game!
How to Make a Shut the Box Game
- wooden box
- fabric (we used velvet)
- glue (we used E6000)
- 3/4″ square wooden dowel
- 1/8″ brass tube
- 5/8″ wood beads (optional)
- number stickers
- craft paint
- drill with 1/8″ bit
- washi tape
Make Time: 1 Hour
I love this game because the finished product looks really cool and difficult but it’s very easy to make. It’s also a perfect beginner project if you’re just starting with power tools like saws or drills. The cuts are very basic with not a lot of measuring, so you kind of can’t go wrong. Read through our steps first, then gather your materials and get cracking!
Step 1: Measure and cut your fabric so that it covers the surface on the top and bottom of the inside of your box. Spread a little glue on the top and bottom and affix your fabric there.
Step 2: Cut your wooden dowel into 9 pieces, each 1 1/2″ long. Drill a 1/8″ hole through the side of each dowel, about 1/4″ from the bottom of the dowel. Sand all pieces until smooth.
Step 3: On the bottom half of your box, drill a 1/8″ hole through the right side panel, 1″ away from the top panel. On the inside of the left panel, drill a small notch about halfway through the panel, 1″ away from the top panel. Do not drill all the way through. Your brass tube will pass through the hole in the right panel and rest in the notch on the left panel, so be sure they’re aligned.
Step 4: Place sticker numbers 1-9 on each of the 9 pieces of dowel that you cut. Press the edges firmly to ensure that no paint seeps underneath. If you like, you can mask the top of the dowel pieces with some washi tape to add a dipped look. Paint the front of each dowel. Remove the washi and the stickers using tweezers if necessary.
Step 5: Use saw (or wire cutters) to trim the brass tube to the width of the box.
Step 6: Slide the brass tube through the hole on the right side of the box. Place one bead (if desired on the tube, then the numbers 1-9 in order left to right, then another bead. Add a drop of glue to the notch on the left side of the box and insert the tube into the notch. Allow the glue to dry completely.
That’s it! We used the pretty dice that we made for our DIY Yahtzee game, but you could use any dice that you have around. You could also make these cute ones by following this tutorial. You can find instructions for playing Shut the Box right here. I love this little game because it’s totally portable, and you can leave it open on your coffee table as well (since it’s so pretty!). Have you made any of our DIY games yet? Which ones? xoxo
P.S. If you like this, you’ll love our DIY Wes Anderson Guess Who Game.