Thursday, January 3, 2008


What do you get your parents for Christmas? They are running out of wall space in their house. I can get my mom another frog thingy and my dad another book gift card, a hat, or a tie.

I got this idea from my Family Fun magazine, but I had to adjust it to work for our large family (they had like one uncle and one kid - never going to work for us) and for my interest level, so basically, other than the name and that it is a board game it is not at all the same. I am pretty proud of it. It was a lot of work, but my parents report that they LOVE it. You can look it up on line, or read below ...
How you play: The object is to go around the board and answer the questions properly. When you answer a question right, you get a treasure (which represent real treasures). When you have collected all eight treasures in your treasure box, you can then head for home. Most of the squares are draw a card, but there are also "Go to your room and lose a turn" and "Swipe another person's treasure".

This is basically how I made it, in case you are wondering (and I know you are).

First, I made a template in Power Point for the cards. I used Postcard paper from Kodak and then I put two cards on each postcard. I made one slide with the background that is used for all the cards and it is light blue and says "Memory ? Lane" in dark red with a dark green border. Be sure that you have them all centered for each card. Print trial runs until you are sure. When I was making the cards, I sent all the paper through the printer and did the back of all the cards first, then I printed the fronts.

Using the border of the back of the card as a template, I then made as many slides as I needed to, to make all the cards I needed. I have three sections - Name The Baby (dark red ink - baby pictures from newest to my parent's parents. I made them all black and white to make it harder - and it really did!), Family Trivia (dark blue ink - "What misdemeanor crime did Uncle Jon frequently commit his freshman year at BYU?" or "What was the airspeed velocity of Aunt Teilani when Grandpa booted her in the heiny out the trailer door?" or "Give a plausible theory for what you think happened the Grandma's polyester blue plaid pants." These are family legends and mysteries that always seem to come up and some that maybe everyone doesn't know - like how old Uncle Jason was when he drove for the first time.) and Do You Know Your Neighbor (dark green ink - "What is a favorite fiction book read by the person on your right?" or left, just a bunch of questions that don't have a right or wrong answer and will change depending on who is playing and where they are sitting.)
Making the cards was absolutely my favorite part! It took FOREVER but I tried to be sure every single one was centered and had the correct fonts and colors so you know what kind of card you have by the color. It took a while to get all the pictures perfect, too. But I think it was worth it. You don't draw your own card, your neighbor does and reads it to you. On Name That Baby cards, the person holding the card covers the name while you look at it. Also, the questions aren't necessarily about the picture, it might say, "Tell a story about this person" or "Who are these people and why do they matter to us?"
When all the cards were printed, BEFORE I cut them, I sent them all through my Xyron to laminate them and THEN I cut them along the perforations and then in the middle again (use a paper cutter for sure!).
Next, I made the Treasure Chests. I used Altoid tins and they were perfect. First, I ran the paper through my Xyron on sticky stuff and then I adhesed it to the tins. I covered it with clear contact paper and then I used colored duct tape to wrap around the sides. (I Xyroned everything sticky that I could.) The objects on the Treasure Chests coordinate with the game piece you use. I bought things that I could buy two of and I hot glued one to the top of the box, and one to a small wooden spool to make a game piece.
These are the "treasures". Yes, they are the little wooden thingies painted by 6 year olds in Indonesia that cost 25 cents each at Michaels. Each treasure represents a real treasure in our lives - an angel for spirituality, a cabin for home, a carrot for health, a dinosaur for creativity, a heart for love, a sailboat for prosperity, a sunglasses for fun, and a watermelon for happiness.
For the actual game, I took a Candy Land game that I bought new and covered the box with paper ran through the Xyron, put the title on and covered it all with contact paper, sealed with colored duct tape. I did the top and bottom boxes and I recommend peeling off as much of the original paper as you can.
Now, the game board. AUCK!!! It just kills me because it isn't perfect. I wasn't thinking, and Family Fun said to use 2 x 4 inch labels. So, that is the size of the template that I made. Once I got into it, I realized that my labels had rounded corners and they found straight edge ones. Plan B. I just printed them all out on cardstock and ran them through the sticky Xyron. I wish that I would have measured the sides and figured out what size square would have fit perfectly. But, it is okay. I guess. I try not to look at it too long. I made 21 squares that say "pick a card". The four corners say "Swipe your neighbors treasure". Two that say, "Sent to your room, miss a turn" and three that say, "Take a treasure from the pile". There is, of course, a discard pile, and a playing pile spaces. I printed a picture I found on line of a homey home and made that home. (No pictures of my parent's current house, it seems.)
I covered the board with scrapbook paper I sent through the sticky Xyron. Then I put on the squares and ... yep, you guess it, covered it all with clear contact paper, and then sealed the edges with colored duct tape.

Word on the street is that this game was a big success on Christmas Day. My parents loved it! I just love it when I am lucky enough to give a gift that is perfect!
If you get crazy and want to do this here are some tips, start early asking for pictures, I only had one sibling send me pictures of them and their kids and spouses as babies (one opted out all together) and so I had to scan from my photo albums. I don't know if it would have made a difference to start earlier. Also, when I asked for funny stories, only one sibling responded AGAIN (seeing a pattern here) so, I was kind of left to what I knew about. Again, I don't know if time would have made a difference. Start jotting down funny anecdotes as you go. And I did get a CD of pictures from my dad, which helped a lot.


  1. That gift is totally KICKIN'! You went to so much work!! My parents would LOVE something like that since they love to play games! It would be hard to get pictures and stories from everyone...that was a problem for us too. Great job! I don't know how you have time for such things!
    Shawn's other brothers and sisters got Barbara and Larry a digital camera so they got spoiled this year!

  2. Wow you rock!! That is soo awesome!! I think that is a great idea!! :)

  3. I love it! You did such an amazing job! I hope your parents know all the work you went through to do that. It doesn't look like an easy task. It cracks me up that the "Golden Child" blew up garbage cans at BYU.

  4. You never cease to amaze me. Do you ever stop to sleep, eat or breathe? :) I love it. Way to go!

  5. Great gift idea. I'm thinking I should start to gather information now to put it together for my parent's 50th. I have a couple of years. . . I read through your "how to" a few times and will probably have to just call you. I confuse easily.

  6. There is probably a reason I don't write technical support manuals - not that you confuse easily. Call me. I still have the templates saved. That would save you a TON of time!

  7. How fun is that? love it. Are you going to make one for Larry's parents too? or was this a one-time only project? I would love to make one for Larry and Barbara for their 50th this summer. great idea, you are my idol.

  8. I am probably not going to make one for Larry's parents (although I have thought of it for their 50th anniversary), not because I don't want to, but because I don't think I know enough stories and I don't think I would be able to get all the pictures I needed. But if one of his siblings wanted to take that on I would be happy to give them a disk with the templates.

  9. Btw, your welcome for not cluttering up the rest of your game with me, since we all know I am the favorite, I didn't send anything cuz I wanted the rest of you to be able to shine. :D