Introduction: DIY Playing Cards and Casino Chip Sets

About: Crafting as a hobby.

If you have ever watched a casino game on television or played one yourself you have noticed that playing chips are used in place of actual money. Casino chips are a cool accessory that every casual and professional player should own. You can use them in your own private games to make the atmosphere more casino-like. A set of chips, however, might end up too costly for the average player. For a 6-player poker game, you would need between 700-1,000 chips and a premium set can cost anywhere between $100 and $200. If that seems too high a price to pay or you simply wish to craft the chips yourself for the fun of it, consider the following method.

Step 1: Creating Your Own Chips

Creating your own chips is rather simple, though you would need some preparation before you can begin. To do this, you would need a hole drill and a piece of plywood. You can also use cardboard, though plywood is a better fit due to its sturdiness and weight. Typically, professional casino chips have a diameter of 39mm and that is what you should aim for when you cut, although if you are off by a few millimeters, it certainly would not be too big of an issue. Cut out as many chips as you feel you need.

Now that you are done cutting, you need to give those raw plywood circles a look resembling casino chips. You can go about that in several ways. The best way is to print out a chip pattern for each separate denomination and glue it to the front and back of your freshly cut-out chips. The other way is to paint the chips yourself, though this would be much more time-consuming and it also requires a fair bit of talent that frankly not all people have. Even though classic casino chips are made for the most part of clay, the fact that these are created from plywood does not constitute a loss in quality. On the contrary, hand-made stuff is often very neat and your fellow players will certainly like them.

Step 2: Customizing a Purchased Set of Chips

If you would rather purchase a set of chips and then customize them to your liking you can certainly do so. The process is rather simple and anyone can do it. All you need to do is print out the images you would like your chips to show and use some strong adhesive to glue them together. Using a pair of scissors to cut or a hole punch to cut out the pictures then glue them to the playing chip. Alternatively, you can get a brush and some paint to draw the image yourself or if your handwriting is decent, you can inscribe something. It is that simple. You can customize them in any way you want and the only limit is your imagination.

Step 3: Newly Printed Cards

Given the fact that most table games are played with a deck of cards it is reasonable to own a deck of quality game cards. The problem arises when you actually look at the cards in question. Bluntly put, most cards look plain ugly. Luckily you can fashion your own playing cards out of things that you most likely have in your household already. The first and simplest way requires you to have some old playing cards, card sleeves, plain white printer paper, and a printer.

What you need to do is print out the texture you want for your cards and put the newly printed card along with the old one in the sleeve. The old card serves as a hardener for your new card so that it will not wiggle about. You can use old Magic the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards among other things, because you can get them for next to nothing at many places. Alternatively, you can opt to use high-quality heavy paper, but it will certainly increase the cost.

Step 4: DIY Dice

For a full set of poker, you would need more than just cards and chips, however. In order to host a successful poker night you would have to go over the web and look for poker variations explained, tutorials and strategies. Dices are also an integral part of many games. If you would like to customize your dice, you should consider the following method. What you would need is oven bake clay - these come in different colors so pick whichever suits you best. To shape the clay, just take it in your hands and roll it between them until it becomes a perfect ball. After that, you need to flatten it so just take anything with a flat edge such as a butter knife and just press down on each of the sides until you mold it into a proper die shape.

This process may be tricky, so do not worry about it if you get it wrong the first few tries. Just keep doing it until you get it right. After you have done this just place the die in the oven for about 15 minutes to harden. When it is ready, you can take it out and let it cool off for a minute. Then take a pen or a painting brush and write anything you want on it. If you have a more artistic personality you can paint some image on it.

Step 5: Making a Case to Store Your Set

Naturally, you will need a case to store your new hand-made game set in. Making a case from scratch is not as hard as it may seem at first, although it might take you a few tries before you get it right. To make a simple case, you would need the following things: several flat boards (not too thick), hinges and a handle. Put the case together either by gluing the parts together or by using a power tool to drill holes and screwing fasteners in.

It is generally better to use screws rather than glue to give the case more stability and hardiness. After you have put together the top and bottom halves, it is time to attach them to one another by placing the hinges. You should attach at least two hinges and even a third one if the case is big enough. After that is done, you should line the inside of the case with a soft cloth to give it that more premium feel. Use hot adhesive to glue the cloth to the inside and let it sit for a couple of hours. You can also opt to coat the outside of the case with wood polish or decorate it in another fashion.

Step 6: Table Felt

For card game enthusiasts, there is also the option to decorate the table with a felt like those found on casino table games. These are relatively easy to come by and they do not cost a lot. Simply get a hold of a cheap plain one and you can customize it yourself from there. Since it is a textile fabric you can easily paint on it without any difficulties, you just need to put it in the washing machine first. Now that that is done stretch the felt and paint whatever you want on it. You can make it look like a poker, blackjack, baccarat table or whatever other type you wish. After you are done painting let the paint dry for at least 24 hours and do not wash the felt for at least 3 days, otherwise you risk the paint coming off.