We’ve been talking about getting a dice tray for a while, and we’ve seen some beautifully crafted ones from a few different companies, but they’re a bit pricey if you get a nice one. So I decided to try to make my own. Worst case it wouldn’t come out well and we’d be no worse off for it. I poked around on the internet to see what other people had built on their own to get some more ideas and set off for the craft store with a solid plan. Then I got to the craft store and started looking at supplies and changed everything I had planned. But with my new, fully revised plan, I was excited to get home and put together my dice tray.
I was too excited to take pictures of the tray making process, so hopefully this explanation will make sense without visuals.
I started with a picture frame, shadow box type thing with no backing or glass covering (I’m still not sure how it was meant to hold a photo). I removed the metal piece from the frame and was left with a simple four sided box in need of a bottom. I cut out a piece of fairly sturdy cardboard that I had to fit snug into the frame. I glued some felt onto the cardboard to fully cover one side of it, trimmed the excess felt from the edges, then hot-glued the cardboard into place in the frame, felted side up. At this point it was basically done and fully functional. I had a dice tray with a felt lined bottom. But I wanted it to look more finished, so I used another piece of felt to cover the bottom of the tray where the cardboard was left exposed. It looks so much nicer now and is less likely to scratch whatever surface we use it on.
I added a lid using another piece of cardboard and two small hinges. I then drilled a hole through the cardboard and the side of the box opposite the hinges so that the holes line up when the lid is closed. I hot-glued a small magnet inside each of these holes. The two magnets work to keep the box closed without a latch. The outside of the lid is covered with the same felt I used to line the bottom of the box.
On the inside of the lid, I used a sheet of adhesive whiteboard to create a surface we can write on while we play games. We use this to create quick reference maps, keeping track of turn order, and any temporary notes we may need.
I like having this as a box rather than just a tray because, not only does it give us a shared place to write, but I can keep my marker, pencil, and dice inside and have less little things to carry with me