Settlers of Catan — Homemade Version

I’m currently in the process of making my own homemade version of the boardgame Settlers of Catan since the retail version is around $50. The game is about intermediate on the simplistic-scale, and it has a lot of pieces. I would classify it as a combination of RISK, Monopoly, and the somewhat obscure old BBS door game Baron Realms Elite.

So far, I’ve experimented with a number of media for the board tiles. These tiles are hexagon shapes that represent different land regions from which a particular resource (ore, grain, lumber, brick and sheep) come from, which are laid out at random at the beginning of the game so that the logistics and strategy changes each time.

Instead of making individual hex tiles, I’ve instead opted for an alternative — creating a one-piece (or two-piece in this case) solid game board with drawn divisions for the hex borders. I’m taking a number of circles cut from patterned scrapbooking paper and placing them within the hexes to indicate which hex is which region, so I don’t have to worry about cutting perfect hexes anymore and making sure each one fits with every other one. I’m using two main pieces because the whole layout is slightly wider than the foam board, so I opted to cut the board in half and separate them slightly to fit within the usable area of the board, and I’ll just line them up side by side as normal when it’s time to play.

I bought a pack of thin foam sheeting that was on sale at a local hobby shop and will cut out and glue together little pieces for roads, settlements and cities by hand.

When I get the pieces made as I’d like them, I’ll be sure to post pictures and such. I may even call it my own version of the game, so that I don’t have to fuss with trademark issues by posting such things on the web, just as another website has recently gotten in trouble for doing lately.

The ocean pieces that make up the border have pieces of paper designating them strictly because I may opt to make expansion packs so I won’t be limited to strictly one size board to use.

14 thoughts on “Settlers of Catan — Homemade Version

  1. Hi

    I would love to make settlers of catan myself. To make the tiles and all the pieces, I think is not so difficult. But where can I find the text for the developmentcards and the soldierscards?


  2. Hi ,
    I would like to make my own catan set like Deb. but i need a copy of cards and photos of all other pieces..etc. how can i find them?

    thanks a lot.

    • Deb and Eylul-tr,
      If you are really good at using Microsoft Excel, then make the cards in that program. My husband did that. He also made the flip chart cards for Cities and Knights in Excel too. I don’t know how he did it, and I don’t know how to get the file to you. The only way I can think of is getting both of your email addresses so I can attach the file to the email I would send you.

      • Hello Alli

        Do you still have that excel document with the cards? I’m in the process of making my own set and it would help me a lot to have that file

  3. Your best bet is to just make your own versions of the text and such, and your own kinds of pieces instead of duplicates. The wikipedia entry for Settlers has quite a bit of the details..

  4. I’ve seen blank hexagon cardboard pieces for sale on the web that you can use as well. You wouldn’t really need text on any cards you made so long as you know what they are for. You could also buy the extra cards separate from the game if you wanted to save yourself the trouble of making cards.

    So far all of the DIY Catan games I’ve seen are more than $50 to make. I got the original game on clearance at a seasonal store, but I would love to make my own just for the fun of it (crazy me).

  5. The entire purpose was to make it as cheaply as possible, so buying extra card packs would undermine the idea, and blank hexagon cardboard pieces are generally more expensive than buying posterboard and cutting out forms ^_^

  6. Hi, I found a great website that allows you to play ‘explorers’ (catan) for free. It has around 1,000 players at any one time and is simple to sign up and use. It may also aid those looking for map ideas and card texts. See

  7. NOOOOOOO!!!! don’t go cardboard! I’m in the process of planning my own version of this game for an awesome xmas gift to my brother and I say at the very least go wood!!! you can get quarter inch maple or oak from home depot for a song! I happen to be fortunate enough to have purchased a fairly fancy ass wet tile saw a few years ago and I intend to make it (the board at least) out of tile…natural stone if i’m super lucky.

    as for the cards, that may require some scanning and/or internet work 😛

  8. I have seen card packs for sale for 9 dollars, which is pretty reasonable if you can make the board yourself. I’m currently making my tiles from foamcore, and will base them with various railroad/miniature gaming ballast and flock that I have sitting around the home. Just need to figure out what to use for the ocean tiles and I’ll be set.

  9. Instead of buying the expensive game, my husband and I have started to create our own knights and walls. Now we are on the city gates. We plan to print out the cards too. I think my husband created the cards on an excel file. I bought sticker paper for the knight pictures to go on the knight tiles. I bought the craft wood and the paint from our local hobby store. I think the peices are coated in a thin layer of clear varnish. That’s why they have a smooth texture.
    Any ideas on the exact dimensions of the city gates? Does anyone have that info? We’re just eyeballing it here.

  10. Also have you found wooden cones for the merchant? I decided to be creative with the merchant. I bought a small bag of “candle cup” wooden peices from the hobby store. They look like money bags, and merchants collect money, right? I thought it was creative.

  11. Would be lovely to put all expensives aside and make the tiles (wood, stone, brick etc) from the original materials that they represent, or make a best match, as im not sure how you would do sheep or corn! 😀

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