How to Make Your Own Bingo Cards

It's easy to make your own bingo cards, whether you're sponsoring a bingo night or looking for a fun activity for the kids. Bingo is a fun game that anyone can learn to play. It requires no special skills, and you only need the cards, a random way to select objects and a way to mark off the squares to play.

Bingo Basics
Many people think that bingo is only limited to drawing numbers out of a hopper, but that isn't true. If you use a customized bingo card, made either online or with your word processing software, you can design a bingo card around any theme. Your bingo cards can have pictures, numbers, math facts, or letters. The first person to complete a line vertically, diagonally or horizontally across the card wins the game.

For organized games and fundraisers, you will need a bingo hopper and a set of balls. For a homemade game, any objects that are all the same size and shape will do. You can write numbers and letters on ping pong balls or golf balls. You can also use business card stock or small sheets of photo paper to create a photo bingo game. In a pinch, a deck of cards pulled from a hat will work.

Making Paper Bingo Cards
To make customized bingo cards, you will need a computer with Web access and a printer. There are several online bingo card generators, such as DLTK-Growing Together, teach-nology and Perceptus' Bingo Card Generator.

Bingo card generators allow you to choose the size of your bingo card. It can be anything from 3 x 3 (3 rows of 3 squares each) to 5 x 5 (5 rows of 5 squares). The sites will let you enter the information to appear in each square, the background color and the theme. Many sites allow you to print in black and white or color. Several of the sites allow you to print out a call sheet.

If you do not have access to a bingo card generator, you could make one using word-processing software. First, create a new document. You can now set the background theme either by importing a photo or other custom design. If you prefer to keep it simple, just use colored cardstock.

Next, create a box with the table tools. Across the top of the box, write the word BINGO. A standard bingo card has five numbers ranging from 1 to 15 under the B. Under the I, numbers are 16 to 30. Below N, the numbers are 31 to 45. G has numbers 46 to 60, and O has 61 to 75.

You can put in pictures, words or any numbers you want. You can also add designs to the sides and corners of the card. The key is to make every bingo card unique. If any two are exactly the same, you'll wind up with more than one winner. This can get taxing if you've got a lot of cards to make, but avoid the temptation to use sequences of numbers (1, 2, 3, or 6, 4, 8 for example). One shortcut to creating seemingly random combinations of numbers is to work in multiples of the numbers 7 or 9, since these cycle through even and odd numbers.

Once you've got enough cards for everyone, all you need to do is print them. Bingo cards only get used once, so there's no need to invest in fancy paper. Plain computer paper will do. If you regularly hold bingo events or play the game often with your kids, you may find it less expensive to run off a set of master bingo cards and have them copied with a photocopier.

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