Introduction: Simple DIY Sparkling Wooden Dice
If you were interested in reading my articles you may have noticed that from time to time I like to make decorative things using more special methods or tools:
- V-carving 'Hidden Messages' on Wood
- A CNC As Metallic Foil Embossing Machine
- Easy Designing of Copper Pipe Industrial Style Furniture for example...
This time I would like to show you how I made several types of dice from wooden cubes decorated with Swarovski crystals 😊
Yes I know… When we hear about Swarovski crystals the first image that comes in our minds is associated with luxury, brilliance, exorbitant prices but things are a little different. Swarovski or Swarovski Elements crystals are decorative objects made of very good quality crystal glass, with a recipe that was developed since the last century by the Swarovski family but the main element that ensures their spark is the process of cutting and grinding the crystal glass which is made exclusively mechanically, with some machines specially designed for this purpose. A great advantage of using machines is the exact quality and dimensions that are obtained as opposed to manual cutting and grinding. At the same time, the price of a crystal is particularly low due to the low production cost. And yet, why we are finding very high prices when looking for jewelry with Swarovski crystals? The great value of these jewelry does not come exclusively from the value of the crystals but from the material in which they are mounted: platinum, gold, silver and clothes (for example wedding dresses) use thousands or tens of thousands of Swarovski crystals and so the value of the dress can reach get very high.
In the case of my project I need to make a dice with 21 crystals, at a price of 9 cents per crystal for example, $2 is not really a fortune 😊
Step 1: Materials, Tools
- Wooden cubes - I used 15mm and 20mm cubes in this project, I was lucky and I found in an online store hardwood cubes of very good quality and with the exact dimensions and cut. You have to make sure that you also use quality material otherwise the results will not satisfy you.
- Swarovski Elements - I ordered several colors from the 2058 series - Xillion Rose Enhanced with a diameter of 3mm and 4mm. These crystals have a flat back so they are very easy to glue to different materials.
- Template for marking the place of soldering and for checking the correct position of the crystals. I printed them on a 3D printer, I attached the STL files, if you want to edit them they are also on Tinkercad. If you do not have a 3D printer at hand then you can make a cardboard template, it is not particularly difficult. The printed template has the advantage that it lasts longer and can be used to make a lot of cubes;
- Universal hobby adhesive. It is an adhesive that I like to work with because it does not stick to the skin, the intermediate gluing is done very quickly, in a few minutes and the final one in a few hours, so you can work with it without haste and the adhesion of glued objects is very good;
- Stain for coloring the cubes. I didn't varnish the cubes, I liked them in their natural state, but by painting the cubes, the texture of the wood stands out and also the contrast between the color of the cubes and that of the crystals is more obvious and I think it looks beautiful. I used some walnut stain dissolved with a little water because I did not want them to be to dark. You can use what stain color you like the most.
- a 3D Printer could be useful;
- sanding block;
- toothpick for gluing 😊
Step 2: The Making
The process of making the dice is very simple and requires very little time and effort and does not require special skills. The steps would be as follows:
- Checking the dimensions of the cubes that will be used, I checked with the template the faces so that the dimensional differences are not big but I also checked if there are any defects in the material of the cubes;
- Slightly sanding the edges and tops of the cubes;
- Staining the cubes and wait for during;
- Marking with a sharp pencil the template where the crystals will be glued;
- Gluing of the crystals and checking the position also with the help of the template.
I made a video in which you can watch the process and what the final result looks like. In the video it is my niece who helps me make the dice (I was recording the video) in the house it was terribly hot I filmed it on the terrace.
(Sorry for the irritating but very curious fly in the video 😊)
Shiny isn’t it? 😊
With these materials you can make sets of 2, 3 or 5 cubes. It would make a great gift for a gambling enthusiast or it could be used as a special decoration for the house. If you want to make some unique key-chains then you also need a key-chain with a ring and some screws with rings which are not expensive either (see photos below).
Step 3: As a Conclusion
You can complicate things a bit more…
In the photo below you can see what it would be like for all nine places on the face of the dice to be occupied by crystals and the darkest ones to show the four-point face.
And if you want, the size of the cubes can be bigger and the crystals used to be 8-10mm, those would be some damn sparkling cubes 😊.
This article is one of the shortest I have written so far but it fits the theme of the contest I want to participate in: ‘Pocket Size Contest’ 😊.
I hope you liked it and that you will make these dice too!
Participated in the
Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge