Growing up I loved to play board games with my family. My favourite was Monopoly and I’ve picked up a couple of vintage sets on recent charity shopping trips. Did you know that the game is named after the economic concept of monopoly—the domination of a market by a single entity? Yep, it’s not just a fun board game, it actually reinforces the idea that wealth creation is a good thing.
You may not believe in the ideas behind Monopoly but I’m hoping my children will enjoy playing it one day. I think it’s a useful way to learn about money and definitely a great way to introduce concepts of saving, paying rent and buying properties, even if the prices are a little unrealistic. When I used to play with my sister she would always run out of money and we would agree a loan with an outrageous amount of interest. If we played today we would probably end up debating the merit of personal loans, and how a personal loan is a more sensible option than a payday loan.
I have my favourite properties I have to buy, including Old Kent Road and Mayfair, and it was a real shock moving to London and discovering the places in real life.
14 ways to upcycle a Monopoly game
You know I love to upcycle so I thought I would share 14 ways to upcycle a Monopoly game, they are easy to find in charity shops and can be bought for a few pounds.
Monopoly sets usually contain the following items:
- paper bank notes in £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 and £500 denominations
- a game board
- 8 metal game counters (wheelbarrow, battleship, race car, thimble, boot, Scottie dog, top hat, iron)
- 32 green plastic houses and 12 red plastic hotels
- 32 Chance and Community Chest cards (16 Chance and 16 Community Chest)
- deed cards for 22 streets (divided into 8 colour groups), 4 train stations and 2 utilities companies
There are so many things you can do with a Monopoly game but here are 14 of my favourites:
My children always take the paper money to play with in their kitchen, they like to take my food order and give me some notes to pay them with 🙂 I managed to sneak some away to craft with and make cute little paper wreaths, I used my paper wreath tutorial here.
You can also use Monopoly money to make paper money bunting, paper money rosettes, a paper bracelet and a paper money lampshade.
The game board can be upcycled into a game board clock, a fun coffee table with a little help from an Ikea table, a game board treasure box or how about creating a journal from a game board.
I’ve seen some great jewellery using Monopoly game pieces to make a charm bracelet or earrings from the houses.
The Chance and Community Chest cards and deed cards make brilliant gift tags or how about upcycling them into deed card note books, perfect for popping in a school bag or handbag.
Of course you could always make a Monopoly clock from just everything in the game!