The internet is full of beautiful dice, but you want something extra special. If you want those dice done right, it’s time to learn to make them yourself.
By now you have undoubtedly seen a seemingly endless stream of beautiful custom and small batch tabletop roleplying dice. Whether you want colors that suit your character’s aesthetic, a specific design, or something interesting to be trapped within the die, there is a dice set out there for you or a small shop willing to take your commission. But what if you’re a creative person who likes to get a little more hands on with their hobbies? Maybe you have dreams of making your own unique dice and opening up a shop of your own. If you’re that artsy tabletop gamer with dicey dream, this is what you’ll want to do.
You’ll need to start with dice molds.
Silicone dice molds are readily available online in a variety of sizes, quality, and price points. The collection above came from a two minute etsy search but you’ll find a similar quantity of hits on many other online market places as well. Not every mold is made equal, of course, so while getting a set of seven for twenty dollars may seem like a better deal than a single d20 mold for that same twenty, there’s a better than good chance that you’ll see the difference in the quality of dice you produce. That said, are you making dice for yourself as a hobby or to produce for other people? Imperfections may not matter to you for your own personal use and that’s perfectly valid; just know before you purchase.
It’s resin time.
Resin is a surprisingly easy medium to work and most any cosplayers are at least passingly familiar with how manageable resin can make custom embellishments, decorations, jewels, etc. In a disposable cup mix the resin and hardener at a one to one ratio, add any food coloring, ink, glitter or other decorations or colorings of your choice, and pour. If you want to put something a little extra in your die you may need to drop that directly into the mold and pour the resin around it, but if it’s your first set of dice start with something simple. Then take your resin and fill those molds. You can pour directly into the mold or use a pipette to dispense the resin through the little hole in the mold. And then walk away; they need to harden.
Your fresh dice ready to harvest.
New dice fresh out of the mold aren’t quiet ready to roll with yet. There will be a little extra resin left over from the pouring hole, and if you’ve done any 3D printing you’r probably very prepared for the next step. I use small craft cutters to clip off excess material and then start sanding whichever corner or side you poured the resin into the mold from. The goal here is to make the corners equally rounded or sharp and the flat sides flat and smooth and for this you will need to start sanding starting at a grit of 150 or so and working your way up to the highest possible grit you’re willing to work with. Eventually your dice will look so polished that you won’t be able to tell which side had the imperfection.
Paint by numbers.
Once everything else is done, fill in the numbers on your dice with your point of choice, wipe away any excess paint quickly with a rag or your thumb, let it dry, and you’re done! You have brand new custom dice made lovingly by hand by you! Go brag do your D&D group!
The Advanced Stuff
For more advanced dice making techniques or for visuals, there are a plethora of very helpful and surprisingly soothing dice making videos on YouTube. I personally recommend Rybonator for his in depth explanations, homemade silicone molds, and personable approach that makes it feel like a friend is walking you through your new favorite hobby.
Now that you know the basics of dice making, will you be making any sets of your own? What dream dice would you make? When you see especially interesting dice with weird things inside do you also immediately wonder how evenly it rolls? Let us know in the comments!