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How to Make Jumbo Dice
As the weather turns and we trade our cozy sweaters for tank tops, the outdoors beckon. Perhaps the best part of summer is spending all day–and often evening–outside with family and friends.
Yard games are a great, active way to entertain the whole family on a sunny day. They make a fun addition to any outdoor gathering.
Adapting your favorite board game into a lawn-sized sport is easier than you think. Follow our tutorial to make your own DIY yard dice to play your favorite dice games. If you have access to lumber, a few power tools, and a craft store, you’re set! This is a relatively easy project any novice woodworker can tackle.
You don’t need a ton of supplies to make your own set of yard dice. Most of the necessary items can be found at your local hardware store. You can even customize each item to your needs, depending on how you want the finished product to look.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
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Gather Your Materials
Gather the following materials and read through all of the instructions completely before getting started on this project:
Continue to 3 of 8 below.
- 4” x 4” piece of wood, at least 2 feet in length: Any variety works, just choose one that fits your needs.
- Measuring tape
- Sandpaper or electric sander
- Wood stain
- Black acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Circular saw or other suitable power saw
- Electric drill
- Forstner drill bit
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Cut the Wood Into Cubes
The name 4” x 4” is misleading, as the lumber actually measures 3 ½” by 3 ½”.
Use a measuring tape to measure 3 ½ inches from one end of the wood. Mark this measurement with a pencil for reference, then use a power tool like a circular saw to cut the board into 3 ½” cubes.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
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Sand Wood for a Smooth Finish
Electric sanders make this task quicker, but a little elbow grease and quality sandpaper do the job just fine. You can always use both for good measure.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Drill Holes in Each Die
Model each cube like a die and mark numbered dots, also known as pips, on each face with a pencil for future reference. Grab a die from one of your board games and compare side-by-side to make it easier to get an accurate layout.
Then drill holes in each of the pencil marks to establish pips on every side of the dice. Try to drill each hole at the same depth for a clean and uniform look.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
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Stain Your Dice
Use whatever wood stain suits your fancy–the resulting look of the dice is completely up to you. If you use a light stain, you can add more layers to create a darker look if needed.
Apply the desired number of coats of stain to all sides of each woodblock using a rag or brush. There’s no need to stain the insides of the drilled pips.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
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Paint the Inside of the Pips
Acrylic paints work best for this step. Black paint stands out nicely, but feel free to choose any color you prefer. Use a small, stiff paintbrush to paint each hole completely for best results.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
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Once dry, bring your new lawn dice outside for a rousing game of Yahtzee!