Dice Trays Two Ways
We play on a big table, and I want to keep my dice from wondering. So I decided to make dice trays after watching a few videos online. My girlfriend and selected two methods, the first used a picture frame, the second repurposed an inspirational wooden box I found at a local discount store.
Easy Mode - Using a Picture Frame
This is deceptively easy. You need a deep picture frame, a swath of felt, a butter knife, a hot glue gun, and scissors.
Take the picture frame and remove the stand on the back. You can use a butter knife or a flathead screwdriver. It should just pop off with a bit of minor damage to the backing. Then disassemble the entire frame.
From there, you can use the inserts to measure the right size of felt to cut.
Once you have the right size of felt, take your hot glue gun and use a minimal amount of glue (a dot in each corner) to a fix the felt to the cardboard backing. Then reassemble the frame with felt on top.
Note: We still had to use the glass to get the felt snug in the frame. We placed the glass between the backing and the cardboard, so it should be well protected.
Medium Difficulty - Repurposing an Inspiration
The next attempt started with a positive affirmation box that I found in the back of Big Lots for $5. Along with the box, this method requires a palm sander, stain, polyurethane (to coat the stain), gloves, rags, felt, a hot glue gun, and pliers.
Pop off that annoying hanger on the back. Just use some needle nose pliers and a quick yank or two.
Next, we are going to sand off that hopeful message. I want the players to feel uncomfortable when I am rolling dice, not "stay[ing] calm". I used a basic palm sander with 60 grit sandpaper, which actually smoothed it out pretty well. It took two sheets to fully sand the whole box.
From there, I decided to stain it. Might as well look classy while you are threatening your players and I had a dark stain left over from when I refinished my hardwood floors. Since this is a small project, I just used a rag and some gloves.
This pictures shows I didn't stain or sand the inside because it is going to covered with felt. Although I applied a heavy stain (or at least I think I did) it came out pretty light. It took a couple of hours to dry.
The wood was already distressed so it it came out looking great. Then I did a coat of polyurethane, which followed the same process as the stain: Rags, gloves, and waiting for 12 hours. From there you just need to cut felt to size. I snagged a half a yard of "Forest Green with Sparkles" for $4 or so at a local crafting store. I afixed the felt with a couple of drops from a hot glue gun.
And there you have it. Two dice trays ready for gaming. They aren't perfect, but they are ours. If you need a dice tray, I recommend making it yourself.