How to Design Your Own Bingo Cards

By Lisa Parris
'Spanish Vocabulary' Bingo

Bingo is a popular game of chance. The original Bingo cards were pieces of cardboard displaying 25 random numbers. You can design your own Bingo cards to fit a specific theme or event.

Create a grid. A grid of 5-by-5 squares is the gold standard, but Bingo cards are also commonly made as small as 3-by-3 or as large as 7-by-7. Smaller grids make for faster or easier rounds of Bingo. Make sure you have the same number of squares across as you do down and that each square is at least 1 inch on each side so you can insert a word or picture.

Choose a theme and create a list of relevant terms. For Travel Bingo, focus on things you might see on the road, such as McDonald's or Holiday Inn. For Birthday Bingo, you can include terms like cupcakes, balloons and ice cream. For more Educational Bingo, include short equations, foreign words or historical figures.

Write "Free" in the center space if desired.

Randomly insert words or pictures into the grid boxes. Write one term on each card and mark it off your list so that each card has at least one unique character. Insert the next term on the list in different locations on several cards. Continue in this manner until all the squares are filled. No two cards should be exactly alike.

Put a border around your cards using a computer program or by drawing freehand. Use a design that relates directly to the theme of your game. For example, if you're making Valentine's Bingo cards, you could use a candy hearts border.

Print your cards and laminate them so they can be re-used. Allot at least 2 days for computer-aided creation of Bingo cards and more if you're designing them for a group larger than 15 or if you're making them by hand.