Last month was Daniel's birthday, which happened to coincide with the weekend my friends Brianne + Nick moved here from New York. I wanted to make something special for everyone, and had this great idea.
Me and Daniel always go to bar trivia, so I decided to make him his own personalized trivia game with all questions loosely based on his birthday. There were 4 rounds with 5 questions each and a special half time quiz. Each of the four rounds had a category - his birth date in history, the year he was born, famous people with the same birthday, and facts about the number 25 (the age he turned). I spent a while researching historical events and famous people, getting a lot of helpful information from The History Channel's This Day in History website. Then, I wrote out all the questions before the real fun part began.
I wanted to make some sort of loose logo, and ended up with a pretty solid one. I mixed three different fonts along with this cool font that is just dingbats (is that the right term?) called Nexa Rust Extras. It consisted of super cute animals and foods with a slight grunge/vintage feel. Perfect. I picked out the ones I knew Daniel would like best - elk, banana, bread, and owl - employing them across all the different booklets and things. I carried the three main fonts across everything with a simpler fourth font for the main body text, which really made everything cohesive and tied together.
From there, I made a few different printed items. First, the question booklet, housing all the questions and answers, for the host's eyes only. I bound it together with some embroidery floss and an easy pamphlet stitch (learn how here).
Then, a bunch of blank answer booklets, one per person per round. There is a way to make a 6 page booklet out of a single sheet of paper (learn how here), so I did that for simple no-binding-necessary booklets. Inside, the first page had a line to write down the round number and category, then each of the next pages had a line to answer each of the five questions in a round. It worked out really well, although it was a lot of folding.
After that, I made the half time round. It is based on half time rounds from the place we used to do trivia at in Chicago, Waddayaknow Trivia. They always passed out a paper with 20 pictures on it for halftime, with the category changing each week. Since the rest of the game was all based on Daniel, I wanted half time to be just for Brianne + Nick, so I chose the category 'Famous People Born in New York' (or more specifically, Long Island, where both of them were born). Thank you wikipedia for having such specific lists, all I had to do was cut it down to 20 and find images or each person.
Once of all of the questions were set, I realized that everyone might wonder how to play. Every board game included a page of rules, so I should, too. I made up the rules into a second small booklet, less fancy, just printed on a single sheet of paper.
Oh, and there is one more aspect to this game. I was looking online for fun party games, and came across this site that suggested its fun to do an auction with fake money for goofy prizes. Why not combine that with trivia? Each time someone got a question right, they were rewarded with fake money which they could use at the end of the game to bid on prizes. The prizes were all silly things I got at SCRAP and the dollar store, wrapped up so each was a mystery with just one clue taped on top. Everyone had fun bidding against each other on different prizes; it was funny to see how much they got into it and how excited they were to find out what their prize was. That way, too, everyone ends up with something (or a few!), no matter how well they did at the trivia part. This did require me to make one more thing - fake money! I couldn't decide between calling my money Daniel Dollars or Birthday Bucks, so I just went for both. I cut out tons of 1's and 5's to complete the trivia package.
It was a lot of fun and so personalized. I think Daniel liked it a ton, and everyone got to be involved. Now that I have the template set out, I can easily customize it for other friends birthdays or special occasions. It was also super fun to design and make a physical useable thing like a game. I really enjoyed it, and hope I can do more projects in this vein.
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