As we maintain a healthy distance from one another as we await vaccine roll-outs, we’ve been finding small ways to upgrade our board game experience. Organizing and improving our games helps us keep our positivity about playing together in person sometime soon.
We’ve shied away from truly significant upgrades, like new game tables or remodeling. We’ve settled in to smaller, more bite-size projects like crafty upgrades and budget buys that bring big value to our table. It goes without saying that KALLAX shelves are the unofficial sponsor of board game storage everywhere. While you’re at IKEA expanding your shelving, there’s a few more things we think you should grab. We’ve found some great accessories that are ready to add to your game right away, or can be upgraded further for a premium experience.
First up, we have VARDAGEN glass bowls. At just under five inches wide, these thick glass bowls are a sturdy, stack-able, and stylish choice for holding and passing bits during games. We with with glass instead of a solid ceramic bowls so we could peak at the bits from the sides. At only $.99, we highly recommend this upgrade for even the tightest board game budgets.
If you have a bit more to spend, there are a variety of tableware options to give your bits a more elevated table presence. The MIXTUR set give you three small bowls, as well as a long, rectangular one that can be used to hold the small ones, or as a fourth container. The INBRINGANDE, KVITTERA, and GARNERA are great choices for a small table. These tiered serving platters will let you stack your pieces vertically, and the bottom levels are roomy enough to hold individual bowls. You’ll have a basic Token Sesame for a fraction of the cost!
Next, we have SKOGSVIKEN: a nice little tray for an even nicer price. At just $.99, this unlikely find was discovered while winding our way to the exit. Meant to hold bathroom trinkets, these 4″ x 6″ trays with 11/16″ walls are perfect for rolling dice. Like the bowls above, they stack nicely and are cheap enough to buy one for each seat at your table. We’ve tested them with dice from Corinth, Hex Roller, and King of Tokyo, all with great results. We’re thinking of adding a thin bit of felt at the bottom, and maybe even creating a foam board dice tower to attach to the side. These trays would also work perfectly fine for holding bits. It’s no Gamer’s Chest, but it’ll get the job done on a budget.
If you’re interested in some dice rolling and game component combos, BESTÅ and KUGGIS are options to consider. They’d look a bit better if you drop them in a cardboard or foam-board box, but they’ll allow you to hold pieces as well as roll some dice. They are a bit large, so you’d probably only want one or two at the table.
Last, we have our most unexpected upgrade. We recently got new bulbs for the light over our table. They were super-bright LEDs, which is what we thought we wanted. We soon realized that the light was too harsh, and created a glare on nearly everything. Now, we’ve switched to these extra big, glare blocking SILLBOs in 370 lumen each. While they won’t fit in every light fixture, they are just perfect in our builder standard fixture. These give off a diffused, yellow-orange light, which lends a cozy fireside vibe to the game table.
We didn’t see standard sized bulbs at IKEA, but they can be found on Amazon. You can also consider lamps or other lighting from IKEA to keep the glare off your cards and boards, allowing you to see the game better. We have other lights to the left and right of the table, allowing for a good mix of light while still avoiding glare.
All in all, we spent $55 on everything. The bulbs were certainly the most expensive, but we’ll get use for them outside of GameDays. In our next GameDay upgrades post, we’ll be talking about crafty upgrades for game components and boxes. The final post will discuss some of our favorite foods and cookbooks for GameDay. We hope you enjoy the series, and are inspired to upgrade your GameDay.