You can make a memory match game with a free printable in just over hour.
And by the second attempt, it will probably be even faster once you get the hang of it.
It just depends on how fast you cut chip board or lightweight cardboard and if you are well versed in undoing prefab perforated cards.
I have been meaning to create a free printable for a memory game and a tutorial to go with it for several months now.
There were just other tutorials and features with a higher priority like this must haves in a chemo care package for her for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I also really felt it was imoprtant to feature nursing homes that need handmade cards to help them combat loneliness.
Last week, however, a local special education teacher asked for donations of board games and other group games her middle school students could use in her classroom.
So I responded to her request to see if memory match game would be useful.
Since her response was basically ‘yes, please’, creating a memory match game template and tutorial moved to the top of my list.
How To Find Graphics To Make A Memory Match Game
One of the best things about making a memory match game of your own is all the ways you can customize it.
Some of these are:
- determining how many match pairs you want to include (I recommend you err on more rather than less because the recipient can always just not inlcude some pairs while playing),
- designing the size of the match game tiles specifically for the age of players, and
- creating a game theme that is specific to the recipient.
To some, the most difficult of these opportunities is finding enough graphics for a theme.
This is where websites like Creative Fabrica and Freepik offer some great options.
All you need to do is do a search for “icon sets” and you’ll have plenty of choices.
There are fun sets like the dogs above and more!
In fact here are the search results links to make it easy for you:
The beauty of an icon set is that you know exactly how many pairs options you’ll have.
It also ensures a professional and cohesive look to your memory match game.
Now Let’s Make A Match Game!
If you’re looking for a super simple way to make a picture matching game, you could always create a quick chart in Google slides or Powerpoint, drop in some basic clip art, and then cut out the paper squares.
As I mentioned earlier, I plan on donating this memory match game to a middle school classroom, though, so it should get a lot of use.
So, I wanted to use really sturdy materials and engaging visuals.
Materials & Tools For A DIY Memory Match
The materials you need for your homemade picture matching game are:
– Sheets of blank white 3″ x 4″ cards
Avery is my “go to” brand for blank cards I can run through my printer.
For this project, I choose the 3″ x 4″ cards because they will for a larger image size and are easier to handle.
– Chip board or a medium-weight cereal box
The printed cards aren’t hefty enough on their own.
So for a memory match game intended for long-term use, I always recommend using a backing of some kind.
Kraft cardboard/chip board is preferable because of its thickness.
In a pinch, however, you can use cardboard from a medium-weight cereal box.
– Free memory match printables from Create To Donate
There are a total of 13 free printable memory match game files for you to use.
I am calling this the “sassy vegetable match game” and had a lot of fun pulling together these silly, vibrant images.
So, with three matches per page, there is a total of 39 matches which translates to 78 cardboard backings. (Yes, that’s a lot of match game tiles.)
This allows the players to pick and choose the specific characters and number of matches they want to use each time they play.
The files are offered as a one large ZIP file or as individual files depending on how you want to download them.
– Craft glue
Use any glue you already have on hand, but a glue stick will likely be the easiest application for this project.
– Color printer
– Rotary cutter or craft knife
I am a big fan of a rotary cutter but a craft knife will work too.
You’ll need one of these to cut the 12″ x 12″ boards into the 3″ x 4″ pieces.
An acrylic ruler is the perfect ruler to pair with your rotary cutter or craft knife because you can easily measure the pieces.
A regular ruler will also work.
As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small commission if you buy a product using the links with an asterisk or using the links below.
Step-by-Step Tutorial: Make A Memory Match Game
- Rotary cutter with mat or craft knife
- Acrylic ruler
- Color Printer
- Silhouette (optional)
DIY MEMORY MATCH USING FREE PRINTABLE
- Print the memory match cards using Create To Donate's free memory match printables. There are a total of 39 matches but you don't have to print or use them all.
- Cut your chip board or cardboard into the number of matches you want in your game. Each piece should measure 3" x 4". If you have a Silhouette Cameo, you can also use it to cut the kraft cardboard or cereal box. If you want to have all 39 matches as an option for your game, you'll need to cut a total of 78 pieces.
- Use the perforated edges to separate each card from the prefab sheet.
- Glue each individual card to a piece of chip board.
- Take your new game out for a test drive!
MAKE A CUSTOM MEMORY MATCH GAME
- Determine how many matches you would like to include in your game.
- Cut the chipboard into size and number of pieces you'd like for your game. If you have a Silhouette Cameo, you can also use it to cut the craft carfboard or cereal box.
- Select a broad-based theme for your matches. Something like sports, animals, transportation, or flags of the world is a good place to start. This will let you find enough options that you can pick and choose which graphics you want to include. You can also just do a random group of images for your matches with no cohesive theme.
- Use a site like Creative Fabric or Freepik to find groups of images you'd like to use for your game.
- Select and download the images that you;d like to use.
- Download the Avery template assocaited with the blank 3" x 4" sheest you purchased. The product I use is Avery's name badge refill (5392) and you can download the template here.
- Place the images in the template and create as many pages as you need for your game.
- Print your game cards then separate them using the perforated edges.
- Glue the individual match game cards to your cardboard pieces.
- The beauty of a homemade memory match game is that you can tailor it to the recipient's favorite things very easily using free or paid graphics.
- Avery products always have a sepcific template you can download to make it easier for you to block out your memory match game.
As an member of certain affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Avery Name Badge Inserts, Print or Write, 3 x 4 Inch, 300 Card Stock Refills (5392), White
50 Chipboard Sheets 12 x 12 inch - 30pt (Point) Brown Kraft Cardboard for Scrapbooking & Picture Frame Backing (.030 Caliper Thick) Paper Board | MagicWater Supply
39 Pcs Rotary Cutter Set Pink - Quilting Kit incl. 45mm Fabric Cutter with 5 Extra Blades, A4 Cutting Mat, Craft Knife Set, Quilting Ruler and Sewing Clips, Ideal for Crafting, Sewing, Patchworking
Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth, 12x12 Cutting Mat, Autoblade 2, 100 Designs and Silhouette Studio Software - White Edition
Who Needs A Picture Matching Game?
A handmade memory match game makes a great gift for family and friends as well as a useful donation to organizations that servce kids and families.
I will be making several match games for a local middle school and will also see if any senior centers or nursing homes might like some.
Who will be on the receiving end of your match game handiwork?
And are there other themes you’d like me to offer?
Please leave a comment below and let me know other themes for free memory match game printables you’d like to have.