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Do you have a game closet full of old games that you don’t play anymore? I know at our house, we frequently reassess our game collection to see if there are any games that we no longer play or that have lost important pieces so we are unable to play them anymore.

Here are some ideas for recycling or repurposing your old board games:

Donate them
If you have games that still have all of their pieces, consider donating them to a local charity, children’s hospital, church or school. There are a lot of people who would love to give your old games a new life.

Create a new game
Put all your lost pieces and boards together and have your kids use their imaginations to come up with a completely new game. The challenge: Make a new game using only recycling materials.

Decorate your wine glasses
Use your mismatched game pieces to make custom wine charms. They can also be used for when you have a number of kids over for a playdate. Putting charms on glasses helps to ensure everyone remembers which glass belongs to them. All you need is wire, or some baker’s twine, and craft glue to make your charms and then attach them to your glasses. Mismatched Monopoly, miniature chess or Candyland pieces would make adorable and memorable charms.

Dress up an outfit
Make earrings or cuff links with the mismatched game pieces. Find the fastenings are your local craft supply store. These would make perfect gifts for that eclectic friend or game-loving cousin.

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Get wordy
Scrabble provides endless possibilities. Tiles can be made into wine charms or magnets; used as place settings or to make a sign for a child’s bedroom (or for a craft room).

Decorate your home
The game boards can be used as wall art. They are so many unique game boards that would make a fun edition to any d├ęcor: framed or unframed, solo or in a collection, rare or vintage.

Protect table surfaces
Game boards can also make wonderful drink coasters. Simply cut your game board into your preferred shape to create a matching set. Use colorful duct tape or beautifully patterned Washi tape to trim the edges, and voila! You have a unique set of coasters. To ensure condensation doesn’t ruin your new coasters, you can apply a coat of clear sealer to them. If you’re really handy, you could also cut some ½-inch high scrap wood to size and use it as a base for your coasters.

Create a journal cover
You can also use the game boards as hard covers for a homemade journal or sketch pad. Just cut the board to fit and bind as you would any other book (the Internet has many tutorials depending on the style you prefer). I love the idea of customizing a journal with a favorite game – I would use Risk! Here’s a wonderful tutorial at Instructables.com for binding your own book. The only change I would make if using a game board would be to keep the board’s artwork or graphic uncovered to make a more personalized cover.

Jazz up your fridge
Any game piece could be made into an adorable magnet. Simply get magnet discs at your local craft store and apply to your piece with craft glue or your hot glue gun. Game pieces that have a flatter shape like dominos and scrabble tiles make especially cute magnets.

Use your imagination! There are so many creative ways you can repurpose old board games to make sure they don’t end up in your local landfill.