Saturday, 23 March 2013

Templates for a Full Set of Polyhedral Felt Dice

A few months ago, I saw this Geek DIY video guest starring Wil Wheaton, in which he mentions how awesome it would be to have a full set of oversized felt polyhedral dice. I instantly realized just how hard I could rock that project, and rounded up a ruler, protractor, and cardboard index cards to get started.

Many months later, here they are!


Ok, so they're not pillow sized. They're about the size of a big man's fist, and there's a reason for that. Designing templates for a set of three dimensional objects is easy, but designing them in such a way as to make all of the objects in the set the same size after assembly is actually pretty hard.

I started by making a bunch of card-stock models to experiment with size. The cat loved these.


Once I was fairly confident that everything would fit together appropriately, I cut the required number of templates out of felt and hand sewed a number onto each. How long did this take? About one hour per face. Total number of faces: sixty. (Don't worry, I did this mostly while travelling or watching TV.)



The number distribution on a die is not random. There's a rule that determines the position of each face relative to the others. I used actual dice as guides during assembly to make sure each side was in the correct spot, and facing the right way.

Here they are, sewn together and ready to be stuffed:


I considered stuffing the dice with polyfill, but it seemed too light to be satisfying. Walnut shells are another common stuffing material (usually for pincushions), but they lack the springiness that one looks for in a proper throwing die. I settled on good quality cotton as a stuffing. It's got a nice weight, and still manages to be a little bit bouncy.

The finished dice turned out great! The hand sewing makes them look really fun.





So here is the really awesome part... since I've done all the work of designing these dice templates, I can now share them with everyone else who wants to geek out and make themselves a set. With International Tabletop Day coming up on March 30th, how can you resist?

Click HERE to download the templates!

These templates make dice in the size pictured. However, I'm also scaling these up to true pillow size eventually!

Update: Looking to simplify things by making dice out of colourful card-stock? Check out this awesome page for platonic solid paper projects and printable/foldable templates!

Next week on Felt Pattern Friday, I'll be moving on from the woodland series to something new for spring. Stay tuned for a preview of the cuteness to come. In the meantime, here's a last look at my favourite die!


Le Challenge

I am participating in the very first Le Challenge, a monthly themed challenge for crafters. The kickoff theme is geometrics. This is one of my very favourite elements to any project, and these dice were probably my most complex geometric project so far. (Working in 3D is hard!) I am happy to have the occasion to share my geekcraft!


11 comments:

  1. These are so fun! My son would love to play his games with these.

    I'm visiting from the Someday Crafts link party.

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  2. These are amazing, thanks so much for posting the pattern! About how much felt did you use for each die?

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    1. Thanks! Each die can be made using one standard size sheet of felt from the craft store. I discovered that Eco-Felt (the stuff made from recycled bottles) stands up much better than the softer stuff.

      More details about the construction process to be posted soon!

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  3. Doh, these are too cool. :)

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  4. What incredible work!!! You are so skilled (and I am ridiculously bad at maths!!)! Love those dice and think cushions would be awesome too! Thanks for linking up to Le Challenge :)

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  5. I am so going to make these! Thanks for sharing in le challenge!

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  6. Gee!! You are really talended!! I am mesmirized your dices...the blook so awsome!! My baby boy would love them for sure! Thanks for sharing the templates!.

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  7. Very cool! I never knew there were pyramid-shaped dice.

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  8. These are great. I shared the link with my husband, he is now demanding a full set!

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  9. I love these patterns, thank you for all your hard work and for sharing it. Do you have a pattern for the 6 - sided die? I did not see it in the pdf.

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