Custom Dice

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About: Art Teacher, Artist, and Maker - Follow me on Instagram to see what I'm working on before it hits Instructables.

Intro: Custom Dice

My husband plays a lot of tabletop games, so I decided to make him some custom dice for his birthday and a personalized set for some friends who were getting married. While I was at it, I tried some cool alternate materials in some dice for myself. Sprinkles make great dice!

Step 1: Materials

You'll need some sort of silicone mold making material. There are tons of different kinds. I opted for a two part pink product.

casting resin

die

spoon or other utensil for stirring

toothpick or other disposable stick for stirring

disposable cups

stuff to put in your dice

Step 2: Mold

Mix up a small batch of silicone mold by the directions on the package. Whatever utensil you use to stir this material will be easily cleaned, so it doesn't need to be disposable.

Pour a small amount (1/4") of silicone in a disposable cup. I used disposable medicine cups and paper baking cups. If you have more than necessary for one mold, I recommend pouring a small amount in several cups so you can make several different molds.

Mix a fresh batch of silicone.

Pour a small amount of fresh mold maker over the dry silicone.

Place the die you want to mold in the center of the cup with the 1 side face up. Insert it at an angel so air doesn't get caught in the number depressions. Press it down so it makes contact with the dry silicone.

Fill the cup around the die with silicone, but stop at the top edge of the die.

Set aside to dry.

Step 3: Remove Die

When your silicone is dry, remove the dice from your mold(s).

Step 4: Resin

Mix up a batch of resin according to the package instructions with a disposable cup and stir stick.

Mix in your chosen items. I particularly liked the sprinkles and glitter. In these pictures, I used some small beads.

Pour the resin into your mold. Be careful to pour just enough that the resin is rounded on top and not concave. Don't put too much so that it spills out over the top of the mold either. You can dip your stir stick in the resin and add one drip at a time to the top if necessary. The resin will shrink a bit while it dries.

Step 5: Remove Dice

Pop your new dice out of your molds. The top will have no number depression, but you'll know that side is the 1.

If they dry and the top has shrunk and become concave, you can mix up another batch of resin and add a couple drops to the top.

Step 6: Personalize

To personalize the wedding dice, I drew the bride and groom's initials with a paint marker on a piece of clear plastic.

After pouring most of the resin into the mold, let the bubbles rise to the surface for a 10-30 min. When they rise to the top they'll pop.

Once you're happy with the lack of bubbles, carefully place the personalized plastic piece into the resin one side at a time like you would apply a screen protector. This will prevent new air bubbles from getting trapped underneath.

Gently pour the rest of the resin into the mold until you've got that nice concave top as described in past steps.

You may need to babysit the resin for a few hours. The center of the plastic kept wanting to bow up because it was thin, and as you can see in the image before it was placed, it was bowed up there too. When it would bow up, I would just use a toothpick to gently poke it back down. As the resin cures, it thickens and stops moving. Next time I'll use a thicker and flatter piece of plastic.

Step 7: Enjoy

Use a permanent marker to color in the number depressions. Add a single dot to the flat sides of your dice. No, they are not perfect and surely would't be allowed in a vegas Craps game, but they're fun, easy, and pretty.

These dice could be further customized with an Epilog laser cutter by adding designs, patterns, and monograms, though that's not the only thing I can make. Check out my portfolio if you don't believe me.

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47 Discussions

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KittieBat

2 years ago

Can I ask how you got such a uniform fill with the objects? My first cast resulted in a clear layer forming between where the sprinkles settled to the bottom and where the resin filled to the top.

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BrooklyntoniaKittieBat

Reply 2 years ago

It's been a while, but I think I continued to add sprinkles as I filled to pile more on as they settled.

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dissdude22

2 years ago

+1 for the Zelda wedding invitations!

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fixfireleo

2 years ago

the only problem with this is, they arent usable. dice have to be precision balanced or they will not throw randomly, they will have a statisticly observable propensity to come up a certain way.

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richieb28fixfireleo

Reply 2 years ago

In a perfect world, all dice would be perfectly balanced. Sadly, most dice are not. If you want perfectly balanced dice you buy them from the professional casino dice makers. You want personalized dice, you don't worry about balance.

Her dice are usable. She clearly states that they won't be useable at a vegas crap table. She knows that they are not perfect. Though one cannot take their own dice to a casino. That's called cheating. Nothing says that they cant be used for in home gaming. So it is a matter of personalization and fun rather than going for perfection.

Aside from that, the only dice that are precision balanced are casino dice. Otherwise they are just slammed in and out of industrial molds. At most they are weighed to ensure quality control. No non-casino dice maker is going balance check every die before shipping and packaging. It would add to the cost of the product. Most manufacturers just want to get the product out as cheap as possible

The numbers or pips (dots) throw the balance off. Also, the polishing process further changes the balance of typical dice. Even normal wear will throw the balance off of any die.

When it comes down to it, unless there is money on the line, very few dice are ever balance checked.

It's about fun, not perfection.

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Kozzfixfireleo

Reply 2 years ago

I think this would be an opportunity to deliberately craft some "gag" dice by placing something like lead shot in the mold which would cause one face to come up more than any other.

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Brooklyntoniafixfireleo

Reply 2 years ago

Yes, I did express that in the conclusion. But, they're pretty!

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tenthzBrooklyntonia

Reply 2 years ago

They would be great to use in various dice jewelry & other projects without having to canibalize your existing (possibly precision weighted) dice.

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Brooklyntoniatenthz

Reply 2 years ago

Very good point! They'd make great pendants.

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Divergent Realityfixfireleo

Reply 2 years ago

Most all dice on the market are not exactly balanced. Unless purchasing specific dice that are designed to be balanced all dice favor a result.

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LuciferJr

2 years ago

you could get a nicer finish on the dice if you put some acrylic pain in them then wipe the top. that's the way I do my dice I don't like the numbers on.

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shazni

2 years ago

This is awesome! wish these supplies were easily and cheaply available here. I've been to craft stores and not found them...only online and that is way to expensive for me. :-(

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JenniferM99

2 years ago

What is the highest number of sides that you have done with this? Did you rip the mold ever during removal, or was it pretty forgiving?

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BrooklyntoniaJenniferM99

Reply 2 years ago

The highest was the D12 you can see in the images. I thought it might be trouble since the sides are much smaller than the width of a D12, but no, it didn't rip or feel as though it might.

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randi_s

2 years ago

you can also use this method of mold making to do candy molds and make dice shaped candy for the gamers in you friends and family and the nice thing is you can get everything at Hobby Lobby

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Brooklyntoniarandi_s

Reply 2 years ago

Good idea! Just make sure you use a food-safe mold maker.

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Poppyburner

2 years ago

Could one essentially make the mould from a putty of cheap silicone sealant and talcum powder?

Does that particular clear epoxy resin, yellow over time?