How to Repair a Board Game Box

How to Repair a Board Game Box

Board games are amazing but the boxes that they come in often aren’t. They can break easily and almost always this starts with a split in the corner. These corners are rarely reinforced and tear easily with repeated use. Thankfully, they can be fixed and here we look at how.

How to Repair a Board Game Box

For a quick fix, you can always rely on a bit of scotch tape. For those looking to preserve the box, there is an excellent glue method. We’ll look at all the repair options here in a little more detail.

Using tape

Many avid board gamers will frown upon using something such as scotch tape. That’s because adhesive tape can destroy the look of a box. If you wanted your board game to have any resale value then you should avoid using it.

For those who only care about keeping the structural integrity of the box, it’s a great option which is cheap and easy. There is not much technique needed here, just simply bring any broken pieces together and tape them up.

If you wanted to keep it looks then you could carefully use clear tape. Taping the inside of the box is an option but it’s very difficult to get a tight seal and the broken corner will still be exposed on the outside. It’s not the best solution but it is the easiest.

The glue method

Now, this is the best method. To do this perfectly you’d need white glue, a 90-degree angle bracket, 2 binder clips and some Q-tips.

The important aspect to appreciate here is to be very careful with your glue application. You don’t want it to be visible and therefore apply a minimal amount to each of the broken edges. If you use too much, then wipe it off with a slightly damp cloth.

In order to secure the pieces of cardboard, you want to use the angle bracket on the outside of the box and then use binder clips to secure it in place. This will keep the seal straight and allow the glue to settle properly in between the two cracks.

Once you have it secured in place, then it’s time to glue it again. This time it will just be from the inside. As you’ll be gluing the inside of the box, being careful isn’t as important here but you still want to wipe away any huge excess. It’s important to use white glue here for aesthetic reasons as some will go yellow over time.

Once you’ve applied to glue to the inside then it’s best to go over it with a Q-tip as this will leave a uniform and tidy line which will dry well. You want to make sure you’re not leaving a bead of glue at the top of the box as this can affect its closure.

If there are any loose bits on the outside of the box then you want to use a minimal amount of glue on the underside of the flap to stick it down. Once the glue has dried then you can then take off the binder clips and angle bracket for a great finish. 

Alternative Methods

Hot glue

If you wanted a quicker solution than the one above, you could always use hot glue. It is a very strong adhesive and it settles fairly quickly and therefore it’s a great solution for those who already have a hot glue gun. The problem is that it won’t be as tidy as the above method and is more of a quick fix.

Corner brace

Another way to keep the integrity of the box is by making a corner brace. This is a strong piece of card which is folded and glued to the inside. With the card bridging the two broken pieces, it will keep them glued together. It’s a good solution but it’s hard to make a seal that is as tidy and strong as the standard glue method.

Gummed tape

An alternative to using regular adhesive tape is to use gummed tape. This is a thick tape which I activated by a spray of water. The tape is reinforced and dries very strong and it’s ideal for games that have heavy contents. As with regular tape, this is a solution that will ruin the look of the box but it will be a secure fix.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best method to repair board games

We feel that the best method is the glue method. It is the best way of restoring the box to its original look while giving a secure hold. As we’ve seen here, if you don’t care much about aesthetics then you can just use some tape.

How do you restore old game boxes?

Old game boxes need to be treated with a great deal of care. The likes of watermarks are impossible to get out but dust, dirt and grime can be treated. They usually only need a damp (almost dry) cloth and a minimal amount of detergent. 

What is the best glue to use on cardboard?

The best glue to use on a cardboard game is white PVA glue which isn’t going to yellow over time. Other types of glue won’t be able to set strong enough or will start to look yellow after a little bit of light exposure.

Can you use hot glue on cardboard?

Yes, you can use hot glue on cardboard. It is able to set quickly and will generally give quite a strong finish. There are a few downsides here as not only do you need a glue gun to be able to use it but it can also be quite messy. 

Does rubber cement work on cardboard?

Rubber cement can be used on cardboard and is a good alternative to using glue. The probably with rubber cement is that it can deteriorate over time and may need reapplication. It’s not the cleanest solution and in that respect, it is quite similar to hot glue.

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