Author Topic: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts  (Read 7438 times)

ender

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Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« on: January 17, 2016, 05:59:15 PM »
One thing I really dislike about complicated board games is that organizing the pieces inside many boxes is... a chore. You can use a box like:



And I've done this for years. But you have to find one that works and even with moveable dividers, they still aren't that great. So... inspired by a post I read on a boardgame Q/A site, I set out to make foamcore box inserts.

I wanted to have removable trays for organizing and better setup/cleanup. Those parts of many of the games I like take a long time.

The final result turned out better than my wildest expectations (this is for Puerto Rico):





If you've ever played Puerto Rico, you will notice that this is organized in such a way to make organization significantly better.

Here's Agricola:






The total cost of each insert was less than $6 (apparently the black foamcore is 2x as expensive as the white stuff? Not sure what's up with that, but I liked the look better - this would be about half price cheaper if you went with cheaper foamcore). One piece of 20x30" was enough for each with some left over.


« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 10:15:12 AM by ender »

Rural

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2016, 07:32:00 PM »
Did you glue the pieces together?

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2016, 07:38:05 PM »
What a great idea!  Several years ago, I made a custom box for Settlers of Catan, with the help of my father-in-law, who teaches wood shop.

How sturdy is the foam core once it's assembled?  And what do you use for the outer box?  The original game box?

ender

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2016, 08:39:11 PM »
Did you glue the pieces together?

I glued it and put little pins to hold it when I glued it.

I think I could take most of the pins out at this point (I took them off the big box, since I made it ever so slightly too tall and wanted to remove even that short height to help).

What a great idea!  Several years ago, I made a custom box for Settlers of Catan, with the help of my father-in-law, who teaches wood shop.

How sturdy is the foam core once it's assembled?  And what do you use for the outer box?  The original game box?

It's very sturdy. Much more than I expected. Once you get a box shape glued it is surprisingly durable.

It's designed to fit into the existing box - just provide better organization. Some boxes just throw everything into the box without any organizer (normally lots of tiny little bags) which I find super annoying because you either have to take forever to setup or cleanup, one or the other.

I'm working on an Agricola one now, it's another game that has way too many separate little pieces...

Rural

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2016, 03:12:14 AM »
Did you glue the pieces together?

I glued it and put little pins to hold it when I glued it.

I think I could take most of the pins out at this point (I took them off the big box, since I made it ever so slightly too tall and wanted to remove even that short height to help).

What a great idea!  Several years ago, I made a custom box for Settlers of Catan, with the help of my father-in-law, who teaches wood shop.

How sturdy is the foam core once it's assembled?  And what do you use for the outer box?  The original game box?

It's very sturdy. Much more than I expected. Once you get a box shape glued it is surprisingly durable.

It's designed to fit into the existing box - just provide better organization. Some boxes just throw everything into the box without any organizer (normally lots of tiny little bags) which I find super annoying because you either have to take forever to setup or cleanup, one or the other.

I'm working on an Agricola one now, it's another game that has way too many separate little pieces...


Very cool! I bet I could use sewing pins for the pins, which would add virtually no height (or cost). Great idea.

ender

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2016, 10:13:37 AM »
Very cool! I bet I could use sewing pins for the pins, which would add virtually no height (or cost). Great idea.

Yeah, I looked at the type I got and the are sequin pins. Something like $0.99 for 250 at Hobby Lobby so the cost is nearly nothing.




nereo

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2016, 12:41:19 PM »
Ender:  Curious, did you use a hot glue gun or some other type of glue? 
I, too, hate a lot of the boxes our board games come in, and love the idea of making something more efficient and organized.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 01:00:01 PM »
I have to do this, now. All the different colors in Carcassone will be separated.

ender

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 03:38:02 PM »
Ender:  Curious, did you use a hot glue gun or some other type of glue? 
I, too, hate a lot of the boxes our board games come in, and love the idea of making something more efficient and organized.

I used elmers glue. With the pins it worked really well. You could probably use hot glue, though elmers is easier to place/position I'd think?

You could also do something like this and make one big box with separated games in it. A lot of games... don't need as much space as the box, that's for sure :)

Also hobby lobby has foamcore for 30% off right now. Going to get a few more sheets either tonight/tomorrow and stock up as I have quite a few more games I want to do this with....
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 03:41:20 PM by ender »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 06:32:40 PM »
I've heard that Dollar Tree is the best/cheapest place to get foam board (heard it from guys who make their own RC planes out of it).

Lizzy B.

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 06:20:38 AM »
This is a great idea. I've always wanted to do this, but didn't think they'd be sturdy enough. We kept Agricola pieces in little bowls for months because that game's such a pain to put away and get out again. Thanks!

Frankies Girl

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 06:45:58 AM »
I've heard that Dollar Tree is the best/cheapest place to get foam board (heard it from guys who make their own RC planes out of it).

It is. They have white paper covered foam board and black paper covered (but foam is white). The white is 2/$1 for the same sized boards in my area.

neo von retorch

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2016, 08:09:25 AM »
Great thread, ender! I went from zero board games to roughly 20 over the past 8 months. I was kind of shocked when I got some games with no insert whatsoever (Suburbia, Lords of Vegas, etc) especially since I own Lords of Waterdeep and Seasons, which really spoil you in comparison to almost everything else. I haven't been sure if I want to go the foamcore route, but if I'm realistic, I'll never get around to making wooden ones for all these games, so this is a much more realistic route.

ender

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2016, 09:02:07 AM »
I've heard that Dollar Tree is the best/cheapest place to get foam board (heard it from guys who make their own RC planes out of it).

It is. They have white paper covered foam board and black paper covered (but foam is white). The white is 2/$1 for the same sized boards in my area.

Ahhhhh good to know. I just bought more of the black stuff last night haha. I am pretty biased towards the black/black foamcore. Not really sure why.



This is a great idea. I've always wanted to do this, but didn't think they'd be sturdy enough. We kept Agricola pieces in little bowls for months because that game's such a pain to put away and get out again. Thanks!

I think they will last quite a while. I mean if you try to beat them up sure they won't last but the pieces all feel really solid. They might accumulate a few scuffs here and there but the overall shape I think will last years. Maybe if you had little kids you would have to be slightly careful?

aFrugalFather

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Re: Foamcore Board Game Box Inserts
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 10:03:42 PM »
Nice work! 

I love puerto rico as well.  Great game.