A DIY for the best game ever!

Yooo, ladies: I happen to be the QUEEN of Anagrams. I dunno if you know that about me, but I am the best. Truly, the best. Hahaha. But: It’s true.

Anagrams is the best game in the world, better than Scrabble (though I’m also a Scrabble queen). It’s not just making anagrams, it’s more complex and fun than that.

It’s super easy to make your own beautiful personalized Anagrams set. I’m gonna show you how, but first, do you know what an anagram is? It’s a kind of word game where you rearrange all of the letters of a word or phrase to make a new word or phrase. You have to use ALL the letters. Some examples:

Angered → enraged
Murder → red rum
I love glitter → I’ll get over it
Doctor Who → Torchwood
Daniel Clowes → Enid Coleslaw

In this game you’re competing with your friend or friends to make the most anagrams you can as fast as you can, using a bunch of tiles with letters on them. This’ll be easier to explain once I show you what we’re working with. So:


What you’ll need:

• A longish piece of cardboard, like from a big box.
• Mod Podge (or rubber cement, but Mod Podge works better).
• Some magazines or other printed paper to collage with.
• A pen.
• A straight-edge like a ruler or the side of a hardcover book.
• Scissors or an X-ACTO knife.

How to make it:

annagramsfeature22222 copy

1. Use your pen and your straight-edge to make 220 li’l evenly spaced squares (22 rows of 10) on one side of the cardboard. Write a letter (nice and big and easy to read) on each square. Here’s the letter distribution that I used (got it off Wiki):

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 4.19.41 AM

So you’ll make 14 A’s, 6 Bs, 6 Cs, etc.

2. Now flip the cardboard over and collage the back side. Mod Podge is nice for collaging because you can coat the top of the images collage with the stuff and it’ll dry clear for a nice glossy, hard finish. Let it dry, flip the cardboard over and cut out the squares, and…voilà! A beautiful Anagrams set!

Nota bene: This is a tile-flipping game, so it’s a good idea to have your collage be fairly uniform, color-wise, so that all the tiles will look pretty much the same when they’re turned over. Here’s a picture of mine (it used to be colorful but I was feeling blue when I finished making it so it turned gray):


And here’s a picture of the completed set:


Now that you’ve completed your set, let’s play this awesome game! Here’s the version I know:

1. Find people to play with. There should be at least two players. (Or you can be a big weirdo like me and play by yourself, pretending to be two people.)

2. Put all the tiles down on your table/surface facedown and scramble them around.

3. Decide who’s going first. That person flips over one tile. The second player does the same thing, then the third, etc. Keep going back and forth or around like this, each person turning over one tile when it’s their turn.

4. When you spy a word made from four or more letters from the tile pile, yell out the word (loudly, before another person calls it!), take the tiles and arrange the word in front of you (but such that all the other players can see). Keep doing this (flipping the letters, calling out words) until the last tile is flipped—once the last tile is flipped, it’s game over. Whoever ends up with the most letters wins.

So that’s basically it, but the FUN part comes in because you can STEAL OTHER PEOPLE’S WORDS (or your own words) by (a) adding new letters from the pool to the word, or (b) combining two words (could be your word and another player’s word, two of their words, one word each from two different players words, it doesn’t matter) and mashing ’em together to make another word/words (so long as each word is always 4+ letters), or (c) some combination of combining two words and adding new letters. Basically, this means the game can go on and on and on forever, because it’s always possible to make new words by mashing up some old words…

For example, if Bobby has the word MASH and the word PUMPKINS and there is a D in the tile-pool, Tina can yell, “SMASH! PUMP! KIND!” and then grab Bobby’s MASH and PUMPKINS and the D and rearrange all those tiles to spell out SMASH PUMP KIND (haha Bobby, sorry dude). Then let’s say Lucy sees an A R D and E on the board. “DEAR!” she yells. “DEAR! READ!” She grabs those letters. But then Tina sweeps in again: “DARE!” and she steals those letters from Lucy.

Now Tina is feeling really good about herself, because she has SMASH PUMP KIND and DARE and Lucy has nothing and Bobby has nothing and there is just a stupid T T E Q in the tile-pool and no one can make heads or tails out of that and, man, Tina is glowing and glowing and glowing and “SASH KINDRED MATTE!!!!!!” Lucy screams, sweeping in and stealing Tina’s SMASH and KIND and DARE and the pool’s T T E. Craaaap. Tina just has a dumb ol’ PUMP now. Bobby still has zilch.

OK, I think you get it, yeah? Basically it’s the best game ever, because it changes so very very fast, you’ve always got to be on your tippy toes ’cause some creep is going to go creeping in on your words and swipe dem away…that creep would be me, actually, because, in case you didn’t know this, I am the Queen of Anagrams.

Play it! It’s really fun. But remember: You’ll never get to be queen…because I am the undefeated queen of Anagrams/Annagrams.

P.S. Quick warning: If you play enough Anagrams, the WORLD WILL START REARRANGING ITSELF AS ANAGRAMS: you’ll be walking down the street and no longer will you be like, “Duuude, all these advertisements are lame; instead you’ll be enthralled, because the letters will come floating up off the ads and rearranging themselves and STOP will be OPTS! TOPS! POST! POTS! SPOT! and where’d that R come from? PORTS! SPORT! Ooh, what if there was an IC—it’d be TROPICS or ROT PICS gimme an E and you’d have ROTE or TORE or SPICE or EROTIC PEST ORE or EROTIC PETS ROE… And in this way will the world become even better. (Unless it starts giving you a headache and you have to go on an Anagrams break. I play Anagrams so much that sometimes I can’t stop seeing everything in Anagrams and it gets sort of distracting so then I have to give myself a cooling-off period. That’s how fun Anagrams is. But, haha, I just made this DIY set for Rookie so nothing can stop me now! Anna-grams, I’m back! ♦


  • Jessica Vixenelle September 20th, 2013 8:53 PM

    This is the cutest explanation for any game ever omg, now I wanna play!

  • Mimi7 September 20th, 2013 9:51 PM

    This made me smile! Sounds like a fun game :)

  • Clementine Rose September 20th, 2013 11:51 PM

    Naww! Cutest game EVER. Thanks, Anna! I’ll deffo try this.

  • Tara A. September 21st, 2013 4:37 AM

    This is such a perfect game. And I literally had a heart attack when I saw that as an example of an anagram, you had used Doctor Who and Torchwood. I already knew about it, but it’s still so perfect.

  • notnobody September 21st, 2013 3:27 PM

    Am I the only one whose mind has been blown by the Doctor Who – Torchwood anagram?

    That being said, I’m going to have to play this with my sister- we’ve been looking for a new word game to play.

  • Pocket Cow September 21st, 2013 3:37 PM

    You might like “decapitated” as well. That’s where you take one word that, with the first letter removed, makes another word. Then you make up clues for those two words and try to get someone to guess. For example: a promiscuous or morally questionable woman, decapitated, a brass instrument (strumpet and trumpet). It’s also REALLY addicting. [Note that you have to add if the second word only applies phonetically. For example: something quirky, decapitated phonetically, a skin discomfort. Kitsch and itch.]

  • peanutbutter September 24th, 2013 8:47 PM

    I downloaded 3 anagram apps to my phone after reading this, so I can practise my skills before challenging anyone to a game haha.

  • Ella W September 27th, 2013 7:53 PM

    No offence to other DIYs, but this is the first that I genuinely think I’m going to try! It sounds so much fun! Now I just need someone to play it with…

    Ella x