Paper Crafts (part 2)

Last time, in my small craft corner of this website, we looked at making Cubee Crafts.  They are simple, yet make great decorations, and of course, best of all, they are free.  Today I’m going to talk about something else you can make with paper, just as free, but a bit more geeky.

I’m talking about making dice.  Have played Dungeons & Dragons in my youth, I was familiar with many different dice, and as I still play a game of magic now and then, I have a few d20s still lying around.  Today I’ll show you 6 oversized dice I made, which are the most common ones used in gaming.

There are five platonic solids, the tetrahedron (d4), cube (d6), octahedron (d8), dodecagon (d12), and icosahedron (d20).  If you’re unfamiliar with platonic solids, they are 3D shapes that are made of regular polygons.  Regular polygons are shapes with equal sides and angles, such as squares.  Each vertex of a platonic solid is also identical to the others, meaning that the same number of sides always come together.  I found the nets for the platonic solids over at this website.  They also have nets to make a lot of other 3d shapes, but none that I would use today.  I have used several of them when I teach mathematics, though.  The last shape, a decahedron (d10), I found over here, is not a platonic solid.  Even though every side is the same shape, the sides are not regular polygons, and the vertices are not all identical.  Okay, that ends the math lesson, so I’ll get to the art side of things.

First thing to do is to print off the actual patterns.  Like the Cubee Crafts, I would recommend using a thicker paper, however, this time around I just printed them on normal paper to start with.

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I also got some different paper from my work.  It was thicker, colored, and also had a nice texture and pattern already, which I thought would look good on the dice.  I wanted to use the thick paper for the dice, but couldn’t get it to print onto it.  I chose the sandy brown color to do my first set on, as I had enough of it, and I do live in the desert here.  I think when I return to my home, I will make a few new sets in various colors.

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I then just stapled the patterns to the thicker paper.  This allowed me to cut out the pattern easily, without the thinner paper moving away, which would have resulted in some edges not being exactly right.

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After cutting out the patterns comes the harder step.  Not too difficult, mind you, but the hardest part of this project.  Folding.  I enjoy origami, and so it wasn’t much of a issue, but it can be challenging.  The lines that you would normally fold on are not on the thicker paper, so you have to try and eyeball where they would go based on the printout.  There are several flaps that need to be folded correctly to held hold the sides together.

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Finally, when it is all folded, you can start to glue.  I used superglue for some, and hot glue for others.  It doesn’t really matter, as long as you hold it until it dries.

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And then you’re done!

Here you can see my the other four of my five platonic solids, all completed.  I have the 3 triangle-based ones…

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and the pentagon-based one.

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And here is the last, non-platonic solid, but just as important, d10.  I actually added the numbers onto this one, although I’m not sure if I like it like that or not.  We’ll see what I do next time.

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I hope you enjoyed this small tutorial of making your own dice.  I don’t know if I’d use them for a D&D or Warhammer game, but I might keep them around on my shelf, make them heavier and into bookends, or even make larger scale models.  Our Nerd Home did a giant d20, which looked awesome, but I think you need the whole collection.

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