In the realm of tabletop gaming, there’s a number of essential items that are cheap and extremely useful. And while a dice tray isn’t so much essential, it is an item that substantially improves the quality of life of a gamer. Sure, you can buy really nice dice trays which make lovely gifts (I own a couple from Wyrmwood which I adore), but making one is extremely easy. Between the nominal cost of materials and how little time it takes to make one, there really isn’t a reason not to have one for gaming night.
Also: stepping on dice is a special kind of pain — sort of like stepping on Lego. So anything that prevents dice from ending up on the floor is definitely a good thing.
Step 1: Start with a box.
Personally, I like boxes that come with chocolate in them (and I got a couple for Mother’s Day). This one was a, see-through, hard plastic — a quality I rather like. I also like that it had a lid: it means I can actually transport dice in it. Other options include sizable shoe boxes (use the lid) or gift boxes from the dollar store. Keep in mind that if you’d like to decorate the tray on the outside (particularly if you’re using a shoebox lid or other similarly branded product) it’s best to do it before you start doing any further crafting. What you ultimately want is a container that has a flat bottom and a lip at least as tall as standard gaming dice.
Cost for box: Free
Step 2: Line the box.
The lining of the dice tray helps absorb some of the harder dropping of the dice as well as ensures the dice lay flat after being rolled. You can use all sorts of materials; felt, leather and suede all make great options. I’ve using craft foam from a dollar store for this dice tray. Just measure out the bottom of your tray (you can even trace it and cut slightly smaller than the tracing) and cut the lining out to fit.
Cost for lining: $1
Step 3: Glue the lining in.
The step is as easy and as straightforward as it seems. Apply glue and spread it out. Some lining materials (including felt and foam) may have an adhesive side to them, meaning you can even skip this step.
If you are using glue, look for a material appropriate glue. PVA or wood glue (most white glues) generally work well all around. Spray adhesive is also great for an easy application. Superglue may make a porous lining somewhat crunchy or hard, meaning the end result may be somewhat bumpy. Superglue may also melt your craft foam, so avoid it for this application.
Cost for glue: less than a nickle’s worth. Is it even worth mentioning?
Step 4: Rock and Roll
After the lining glue has dried, you’re good to go. If you’re so inclined, you can decorate the outside of your tray or you can start rolling those dice and winning all the things.
Total Cost: $1.05 (ish)
Total Crafting Time: About 10 minutes
Have you crafted anything for gaming sessions that improve the quality of your gaming life? Share your crafts with us in comments!
Interested in other tabletop games? Want to paint miniatures for you games, or build your own custom terrain? Check out Teri’s YouTube Channel for videos about tabletop and miniature wargaming.