Thursday, December 5, 2013

Crafty Gamer - DIY Dice Trays

One of my favorite things about most board games is the dice.

There's nothing like rolling dice from a board game; to leave decision-making up to chance in a single throw, with every bounce and tumble a nail-biter until the dice settles. The cradle of plastic objects jostling in your hand as you vigorously rattle them around, secretly thinking that the extra shake will be the lucky one. And the moment they're free from your hand and still airborne, they appear to just float for a millisecond...until gravity steps in and weighs them down to the table with pierce tapping sounds. The dice, as if listening to their own brand of music, dancing independently until the music stops, and everyone rests.

What better way to preserve the majesty of this boardgaming moment than with a DIY dice tray?

What You Need

- A wooden open shallow box

You can find many inexpensive wooden boxes in your local craft store. Sometimes it's worth it when you find one to just disassemble and use. In my case, I found a square wooden frame used to stretch canvas over for a painting to be an idea fit. A little more than most wooden boxes, but you get a nice solid piece of wood for it.

- Felt

This will be the color of choice for your dice tray. I went with the typical green felt, but you can go wild here.

- Spray adhesive

Most anything will work with getting felt onto wood.

Step 1: Measure and cut the felt

You'll want to make sure you have ample coverage for your tray's insides before making the necessary cuts in the felt. It doesn't hurt to measure and re-measure as you're cutting it. I've made poor judgements in measurement, causing me to get another a piece of felt to compensate. Once you have your felt cut, you'll have a fat cross-shaped piece ready for you to line your box innards.

Step 2: Spray adhesive and apply felt

This is a bold do-or-die (pun intended) moment. You have to relatively quickly apply the felt after you spray the adhesive. You can try to apply some hard crease on your felt so you'll know where the inner edges are, but OCDers be aware that there may be some slight edges that can be off.

The main thing you want stuck first is the felt's cross center to the base of the box. So, isolate your spray adhesive to mainly the center and spray liberally. Once that's done, apply the felt to the center. Once you confirm that it's in place, proceed to spray the sides and apply each side individually.

Bear in mind, this will get messy. If you like, you can apply some masking tape over the edges to make cleanup easier. That way, you can just peel away the sticky residue that's left over. I didn't, and I spend a while either trying to rub away the adhesive excess, or just waiting for it to just merely dry.

Step 3: Enjoy!

And there you have it! A dice tray for rolling! Overall cost, roughly about $15, which isn't too bad considering it's homemade. From this point on, you can decorate it however you want!

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