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How To Play ‘Guess Who?’ Without the Board – 12 Steps (DYI Homemade)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Guess Who? is the perfect two-player board game if you are craving a little fun and competition. Although you’ll not see many adults playing it, the game can definitely be optimized in a manner that people of all ages can enjoy

Being extremely easy to learn and having basic rules, the premise of the game is simply to guess your opponent’s mystery character before they are able to guess yours! 

Having an out-of-the-box Guess Who? board is certainly convenient, but making a customized one for yourself can be a lot more fun. 

Having your own board gives you the freedom to change up the characters to personal friends, family members, colleagues, celebrities, and other famous people to make the game a lot more interesting, personal and entertaining. 

However, what if you don’t have a Guess Who? board and still want to play? Can you play the game without the board? And if so, how? Well, to learn more about that, you have certainly come to the right place.

Homemade ‘Guess Who?’

Unfortunately, you can’t play a game of Guess Who? without the board. The board is what makes the game. However, you don’t need the original board to play the game. You can build one on your own, and here is how. 

What You’ll Need: Materials and Tools

2 x Wooden Boards 
1 Rectangular molding strip – This is to hold the photo the other player needs to guess
40 x Plastic Rectangles – You can use colored plastic sheets but make sure they are of two different colors. So, one sheet is blue while the other is red.Pencil – To make outlines
40 x Small hinges (with screws) Ruler – For measurement and accuracy
Glue (or tape) – It doesn’t matter what brand you choose. Just pick one that you know to be sticky and long-lasting.Scissors
3 x Picture sheets – These sheets allow you to have all the faces on one page.Printer
1 x Sheet cardboard – Used to make the cards placed in the bag more solid so they can’t be seen from behind. Screwdriver
Small Container (or bag) – To hold the mystery cards.Eraser

12 Steps To Building Your Own Guess Who? Board

1. Build The Base

Starting off, you’ll need to prepare the base for your Guess Who? board. This is where you’ll be placing each one of your card tiles. You will need two sheets, one for each player. Have the sheets cut to the desired measurements.

2. Soften The Edges

If you are using rectangle plastic sheets for the cards, make sure you give the pieces a quick sanding as it’s necessary to remove the roughness of the edges. This will help later on as while playing, you won’t have to worry about paper cuts; resulting in a smooth and comfortable playing experience.

3. Mark & Measure 

For the next step, measure the two wooden bases and mark the points where you want them to show the edge of the flip pieces. You will also draw lines outlining the rows where each one of these cards is to be placed, along with the placement of the hinges. 

Remember, the original Guess Who? has four rows on the board with five images in each row for a total of 20 slots. Make sure whatever you do, your measurements are in sync with each other, and no other card is bigger or smaller than the other. This will make the board look wonky and won’t feel as good. 

4. Remove Pencil Marks

You’re bound to leave pencil marks when taking your measurements and marking your cuts. Don’t worry, though, as there is an easy counter for removing those marks; an eraser

5. Glue It All Up 

For each of the tiles, you’ll need to glue a hinge to every single one. After measuring the exact middle of the shorter edges (the hinges; with the help of some sellotape) will be attached to each of the cards. Since using glue can result in a mess, you can use tape.

6. Create & Print The Images

One of the biggest steps in the whole process is creating the images. We recommend finding templates online that can help you do this a lot faster. Using these templates, you can then insert images from your own photo gallery or copy images from the internet. Simply place the photos on top of the template chosen to create your very own personalized version. 

You’ll require three copies of every image. One copy will be for the red board, one will be for the blue board, whereas the third copy will be for the container or bag that’ll have the mystery cards, of which you will pick one at the start of each game. 

Use a home printer to print the images. Cut each image and then use sticker paper to stick them onto the tiles if you don’t want to use glue or tape. You can find sticker paper from any print shop or stationery store. It certainly helps make the process a lot easier.

7. Glue The Images Together

For the cards that need to be placed in the bag, simply glue the image on a backing card and place them in the bag. You are done with these, as the cards in the bag don’t need to be glued to the plastic rectangles. 

All the remaining images (2 copies of each image) must be glued onto the plastic rectangles no matter how you decide to do it. In the end, you will have one set of cards in the bag, while having two full sets of plastic cards with images on them for each of the two boards. 

8. Lay Out Your Work

Once finished with the above steps, you’ll need to lay out every one of your game tiles onto the board. Once laid out, double-check the measurements you made and see for yourself if everything lines up as it should. This is an extremely important step, for if something was to go wrong during the game, you’ll only be blaming yourself for ruining the fun for everyone. 

9. Glue The Hinges In Place

After rechecking everything, make sure you glue the hinges to the positions you had marked out earlier. Confirm everything is aligned perfectly by using a ruler. This way, everything will be correct and accurately aligned, making the board aesthetically pleasing to play on. 

10. Use Screws

As you’re almost there, let’s not ‘screw’ the whole process up by ensuring that all screws needed for the hinges are tightly screwed into the board using a screwdriver. Using screws helps tighten everything together, giving the board a much more solid and rigid feel. 

11. Add The Finishing Touches

The last step you’ll be required to do to make sure your DIY Guess Who Board is set up correctly is gluing the cardholder to the frame of the board you have built. 

How you can do that is simple: You’ll need to cut short pieces of the rectangular molding strip (two for each board), and after doing so, glue them to the board. You’ll also need to make sure that no two pieces are joined together and that there is a small gap in between. 

This gap is where you will slot in the character cards the other player is trying to guess while playing the game. 

12. Recheck & Play! 

That should just about wrap it up. Make sure everything you’ve done is properly put together, and nothing is falling off or incorrectly placed. Test out your new Guess Who? board with one of your friends to ensure gameplay is smooth and entertaining. 

Final Thoughts

DIYing a nice custom Guess Who? board will take time. However, if you like DIY projects and are craving some of that nostalgia from years past, building your very own Guess Who? board game might be just about one of the coolest projects you could take on. 

Since it’ll be something you made yourself and have personal touches of your own, you’ll appreciate it more and will definitely have a lot of fun when playing it with your friends or even with your kids!

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.