Free “Do-it-yourself” Bingo Generator Program

Bingo has become a favorite game for us at our New Year’s Eve parties. My computer whiz husband wrote a program that lets you enter in what you want on the cards, and it generates as many cards as you want (with the words or even pictures on the squares all mixed up just like real bingo) and slips of paper to pull out of a “hat” and call out.

For our New Year’s Eve party, we have one of the kids ask each of our guests soon after their arrival what is something significant that they did during the past year. We use their answers on the bingo cards. We usually also have each of their names on another square. Then when my husband pulls out a slip of paper and calls out what’s on it– “N48, graduated from middle school” or something like that–everyone guesses who it was that did that this past year.

At Thanksgiving, we put on the cards what we are thankful for (see images below). At Valentine’s Day, you can put something you love about different members of your family or party guests. You can use it for school parties, bridal showers or birthday parties, etc. It’s great for adults, teens, and little kids.

Do it yourself Bingo Generator by FiveRealMoms.com

Data entry screen for the Bingo Generator

DIY Bingo Generator game board for Thanksgiving

One of the resulting game boards created by the Bingo Generator

Pieces for the Thanksgiving Bingo game created with the DIY Bingo Generator

Pieces for the Thanksgiving Bingo game created with the DIY Bingo Generator

For Christmas this year, my 2 year old daughter gave my husband a “Deluxe Metal Bingo Cage Set”. He will probably throw out the cards but he will use the “Bingo Cage With Automatic Random Ball Selector” to pick the numbers and keep track of what has already been called out. He can then reference the printout from his Bingo Generator to say what the custom phrase or picture is.

Besides being able to put in your own short phrases for each bingo number, you can insert pictures or clip art in each cell. You will want to keep the file sizes of these very small or your printer may have a very hard time printing it all. You can also change the BINGO title to a different 5-letter word, but make sure each letter is unique. A friend of ours used it at a bridal shower and replaced “BINGO” with the bride’s name–LINDA. Perfect!

DIY Bingo Creator for a wedding

You can be creative in the markers you use, too. You can just cut up squares of paper, or use cold cereal, candies, whatever.

The disclaimers and terms of use? This is free, but please give credit where it is due. And you can tell people where you got it from. It is written in Microsoft Excel with macros so you will need to have Excel to use it and make sure you enable macros when you open it. We know it works on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7 but we haven’t tried it on a Mac (Note: Excel 2008 for Mac does not support macros (?!?) so it will definitely not work with Excel 2008). We also have only tried this on Excel 2003 and Excel 2000. It is also in a zipped format. Some versions of Windows include the options to extract files from zipped folders but if you don’t see that, you may have to find a zip file extraction program. The Bingo Generator program doesn’t come with any guaranties or warranties. And even though we have scanned it for viruses, we are not liable for any real or perceived issues resulting from you downloading or using this program. If you enjoy using this Bingo generator program or if you find bugs in it, please leave a comment on this post.

Are you ready to play? Do you agree to the disclaimers and terms of use? If so, click here to download the free “do-it-yourself” Bingo Generator program”. You will probably get a message asking if you want to open it or save it. Save it somewhere on your computer and then unzip it. You can then open it in Excel (enable macros!) and follow the instructions on the top of the first worksheet. The game boards and playing pieces are in the 2nd and 3rd worksheets, respectively.

Have fun playing your custom Bingo game with your family and friends!

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About Sunny

My name is Sunny, and my husband and I have five "children" ages 19 to 4. I love learning. I have a M.F.A. in Humanities and dream about going back to school some day. I run around doing "mom" stuff, try to put a nutritious dinner on the table for whomever shows up, and I thrive on creative projects when possible. Mostly I strive to just keep up with the mountains and mole hills of day to day life.
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25 Responses to Free “Do-it-yourself” Bingo Generator Program

  1. Julia Trapp says:

    When I click “Create Boards” a prompt comes up saying “There must be * or more entries for ‘B’. Please start again.

    What might this mean? I enabled macros and filled 25 of the boxes with my content (5 down, 5 across).

    Please advise.

    • Brent says:

      Julia,

      Each letter in B-I-N-G-O needs to have at least 8 entries (except N only needs 7 because of the free space). Right now you entered only 5 entries for each letter.

      You will notice that the first 8 cells under each letter in BINGO are a brighter color of yellow than the 7 cells below them. At a minimum, those brighter-colored cells all need to be filled in before you click the “Create Boards” button. You can continue filling in the rest of the colored cells, too, if you like. But the minimum of 8 entries each is required for the cards to be random.

  2. MaxineS says:

    Well I’m hoping this is still live, as I just came across it. My daughter’s baby shower is next week. Although I’ve already got a bingo game, this looks much better, there are so many duplicates on the cards I’ve already had printed. Also, her name is 5 letters, so she’ll be the BINGO title lol. I’m not EXCEL skilled, but I’m willing to give it a try!

    • Brent says:

      Yes, Maxine, we are still around but as life continues the 5 real moms got a bit too busy to keep up the blog posts. Let us know how things go with using our Bingo creator with your daughter’s baby shower. Congratulrations to her and to you!

  3. Brandy says:

    Brent,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to modify the Bingo Generator to get rid of the FREE SPACE for me so we can use it for our company Christmas party next weekend. We thought we would add a little excitement and change to our normal White Elephant Gift Exchange and incorporating Bingo seemed like a good fit. Thanks again!!

  4. Vineta says:

    I wanted to try it out, so I filled Data Entry sheet with text and pushed to ‘Create Boards’: MS Visual basic error message showed up: Run-time error ‘1004’ . Unable to set the Value property of the Borders class.
    Macros generated Boards, but Drawing Pieces – only one cell A1 has text.
    What should I do different?

    • Brent says:

      Vineta,

      What version of Excel are you using? I haven’t seen that error before. Perhaps you could send me the excel file and I can take a look. I’ll send you an email that you can respond to.

      Brent.

    • Brent says:

      Vineta,

      I actually got the same error finally. I made some changes and just uploaded a new version of the Bingo Generator.

      You can try downloading the file again using the link above. Please let me know if you have any additional issues.

  5. June says:

    This is a great program. Easy to use, even for someone like me who is not very tech-savvy! No special software to install, just follow the instructions and customize your cards. If you do use pictures or photos, make sure they fit within the cell, with no overlap outside the border. As someone else mentioned, the bingo call numbers do show up on the cards, so if you don’t want those, you will have to manually remove them before printing. I volunteer at a high school that has a Japanese language course, and I am showing a weekly Japanese television drama to the students. I thought it would be fun to have a bingo game based on the drama, using pictures of the cast and key words heard in the drama. This way the students will become more familiar with the characters and become drawn into the story, as well as picking up some Japanese vocabulary.
    The possibilities for this program are endless – imagine inviting your friends over for ‘Breaking Bad Bingo’ or ‘Downton Abbey Bingo Night’ !

    • Brent says:

      June,

      I am glad you enjoy the Bingo board creator. I still have plans to create another version with more options, including removing the cell titles (B1:, etc.). hopefully that will be in the next couple of months.

      Brent.

  6. Hi. I just found this post. Thank you!! I had been looking for a Bingo printable sheet that I could enter my own words for a retreat I am leading. PERFECT! Thanks for sharing!

    • Brent says:

      You are welcome, Emily. Retreats, family reunions, and other large gatherings are great opportunities to play a customized Bingo game. Several years ago our elementary school was having a carnival night so we created a Bingo game with the names of all the teachers and administrators and some facts about the school. It was a hit then, too. Enjoy!

  7. Vanessa says:

    My mother enjoys playing bingo so, for her surprise 75th birthday party we decided to make bingo cards using pictures of all of her offspring. This program was perfect. The instructions were simple enough to follow and the random generation of cards was an added plus! Needless to say, the great-grandchildren had a ball, first in choosing a card with their own picture on it, as well as finding ones that included their siblings or cousins. I also used mom’s picture as the free-space. Everyone enjoyed playing and with mom having a 5 letter name, it came together nicely. BTW, some of the card “mysteriously” disappeared as family members packed up to go home!

  8. megan says:

    This works great but I want to have pictures not words. Could I do this?

    • Brent says:

      Megan,
      Yes, you can use pictures. There is one trick to being able to do it, though. You first have to unprotect the BINGO Data Entry sheet.

      To do this in Excel 2003, go to the Tools menu, select “Protection” then select “Unprotect Sheet”.

      To do this in Excel 2007 and higher, go to the Review tab and select “Unprotect Sheet”.

      In a future version I will try to fix this glitch. Thanks for asking about it.

      Enjoy!

      Brent.

  9. A New Year’s Tradition | Five Real Moms said:

    […] fun idea for New Years', and great for other holidays and celebrations as well.  Here's a link to her post, where you can download the free “do-it-yourself” Bingo Generator program”.  It's a free […]

    [Comment imported from blog at 6:17 pm on December 29, 2011

  10. Denise says:

    I have used this in the past and is great! I’m now trying to create a Bingo game for a baby shower and I was wondering if there is a way to omit the “cell” numbers from being merged (so that each bingo square contains only the word)? I can of course manually remove each one, but I’m creating 25 cards so just thought I’d ask first! 😀

    • Brent says:

      Denise,

      Thanks for asking. At this time there is not an automated way to omit the Bingo numbers (B10, N48, etc.) from the cards. Sorry about that. But we will soon be coming out with a very inexpensive paid version of this Bingo generator that will have this as an option.

      I’m glad it has worked well for you in the past.

      Brent.

  11. Hannah Fell says:

    Hi Thanks so much for this – it is absolutely perfect for what I am looking for! We will have great fun with this!

  12. Lynet Witty says:

    Hello! I just tried using this and inserted all my 75 numbers (in all yellow blocks) and I didn’t edit anything else and it said the macros are disabled. Please help?

    • Brent says:

      Lynet,

      I know this is late, but you do need to enable macros as it states in the post. Some Excel versions with the default settings will bring up a message when you open the program asking if you want to enable or disable the macros. Other versions will have a message shown in a bar above the spreadsheet telling you that the macros are disabled with a button that will let you enable them. If you need help enabling macros, do a quick search on Google and you will find the easy steps to do it.

      By the way, this will not work on Excel 2008 (Mac) because Microsoft did not include macro capabilities with that version. What were they thinking?!? But they have restored it in Excel 2011 (also only for Mac).

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