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Did you just bring out your favorite board game, only to find the dice missing from the box?
We know how annoying that can be, given that several tabletop role-playing games like “13th Age” need quite a few dice to be played correctly. But there’s a way you can end this inconvenience once and for all. And that’s by making your own dice with patterns and designs of your choice.
Plus, playing the game with your own DIY dice will definitely make it more exciting and cherishable for you.
Speaking of the procedures involved, there are quite a few factors you need to be aware of and several techniques that you need to understand. That’s why we’ve compiled all the essential information for you in a way that will be most easy for you to understand.
So, without further ado, let’s start this exciting ride!
How To Make Resin Dice 101
- How To Make Resin Dice 101
- The Different Types Of Dice
- The Types Of Resin Dice Molds
- Making Resin Dice Using Premade Molds
- Choosing The Best Casting Resin
- The Procedure
- Making Resin Dice Molds
- Why Is Silicone Rubber The Best For Making Die Molds?
- The Procedure
- Some Interesting Resin Dice Ideas
- Safety Precautions While Working With Casting Resin
- How To Make Resin Dice Frequently Asked Questions
- How To Remove Bubbles That Persist In The Resin Even After Tapping It?
- Can Resin Dice Be Called Balanced?
- How Is Casting Resin Different From Epoxy Resin?
- How Much Resin Do You Need To Fill An Entire Set Of Dice Molds?
- Ann Hutchinson | Head of Product Reviews
To understand the art of making resin dice, you first need to be acquainted with several vital aspects of these colorful, intriguing objects. And that’s what we’ll discuss in the beginning before delving into the details of the procedure.
The Different Types Of Dice
You can obtain many different dice using dice-casting procedures, with each of these being suitable for playing a specific game. Note here that dice can differ in the number of sides, colors, and the images or inscriptions used for decorating each side. Here are the different types of dice you can create:
- Colorful dice which have a different hue on each face
- Dice with both negative and positive numbers on each face
- Standard dice, which have a particular number of dots or digit on each face
- Dice with different pictures on each face
- Poker dice, which carry pictures of car characters on the faces
The Types Of Resin Dice Molds
There can be at most seven variations in the molds for casting standard dice made of resin. You can use these molds to make polyhedral dice, implying that the shape will have several straight edges, sharp corners, and flat faces.
The seven kinds of dice together constitute a set and are generally used for the popular role-playing game “Dungeons and Dragons.” While the dice types from D4 to D12 must be used for measuring weapon damage, spell, healing values, and attack, the D20 type is for checking whether your action has been successful.
So, let’s take a look at each of these molds briefly.
D8 Or Octahedron Dice
Coming with eight sides, this dice mold has a triangular shape and looks like two pyramids attached to one another at their bases. Every face of the dice is numbered from 1 to 8, with each pair of opposite sides adding to nine. During the Dungeons and Dragons game, such dice can be used to find out the damage caused due to large weapons.
D6 Or Cube Dice
Having six sides, this dice is the most familiar type and the type used in the majority of board games. It is shaped in the form of a cube, and each face is assigned one number from 1 to 6. Note that the numbers on each pair of opposite sides add up to seven in this case. Lastly, the dice are useful for assigning character attributes in “Dungeons and Dragons.”
D4 Or Tetrahedron Dice
This pyramid-shaped dice has four sides, with numbers 1 to 4 displayed on its faces. Each face has three of these numbers arranged on each vertex, and the number on a particular point is the same for all the faces.
While you roll this die, the number which stays upright on all the faces or the number on the top-most corner is the result that you will have to use. Indeed, this isn’t the easiest die to roll and is rather tossed into the air.
D00 Or Percentile Dice
Among all the types of dice, two that are always used together during a game are the percentile die, and the pentagonal trapezohedron die. Now, the former is named so, since the result you obtain by rolling it is always a percentage of 100.
Notably, the dice consists of 10 sides, with each face having a value between 00 to 90 in tens. You’ll have no problems differentiating between this one and the second die with ten sides as they have different colors. And remember that the resultant value after rolling both the dice together is obtained by adding their values. But if the number comes to two zeros, the resultant value will be 100.
Pentagonal Trapezohedron Dice Or D10
Rolled together with percentile dice, this type also comes with ten sides and is shaped like a kite. Its two end corners are the points where the top and bottom corners of the kite-shaped mold meet. This type has numbers between 0 to 9 on each side, with each pair of opposite faces adding to nine.
D100 or Zocchihedron Dice
Though this type doesn’t fit into standard seven-piece dice sets, it finds popular use as a novelty dice. Note that it comes with 100 faces and is near about the size of golf balls. This type is also suitable for a percentile roll in any role-playing game.
D20 Or Icosahedron Dice
Being the most well-recognized and popular type of dice used in “Dungeons And Dragons,” this type comes with as many as 20 faces. It also has a larger structure compared to its other counterparts having lesser sizes.
Every face of this dice is shaped in the form of an equilateral triangle, with the numbers 1 to 20 or 0 to 9 twice mentioned on it. And keep in mind that the sum of the values on the two opposite faces of this die should be 21.
Now that we’ve looked at the basics of dice, let’s move on to the different procedures of making dice from resin. First of all, you should keep in mind that the process will vary slightly based on whether pre-made molds are being used or not.
Making Resin Dice Using Premade Molds
For the time being, we focus on creating resin dice with the help of pre-made silicone molds.
All That You’ll Need
You will need a number of materials and tools for making dice using resin and pre-made molds. Apart from a silicone mold of the dice of your choice and a casting resin of high quality, you’ll need the following items:
- Toothpicks to remove resin bubbles and to poke holes into the mold
- Three disposable mixing and measuring cups
- Decorations and items to embed as per your choice
- Plastic or wooden sticks for preparing the mixtures
- A clean work surface, preferably of plastic
- Mica powders, alcohol inks, other resin colorants
Choosing The Best Casting Resin
The resin used for casting has a slightly lower viscosity than other varieties and is always prepared by mixing two components, viz., the resin in liquid form and a suitable hardener. After these ingredients are mixed, there’s a chemical reaction that releases heat and lets the mixture harden after some time.
While buying casting resin for your dice-making project, you must have these two factors in mind:
Make Sure The viscosity Isn’t Too Low
A resin with very low viscosity will take longer to harden. So, ensure that the viscosity of the product you’re purchasing is not too low.
Check The Information On Its Consistency
The casting resin you’re going for must also have a thin consistency so that it can penetrate the smallest of cavities and gaps. Hence, make sure you check the product information and the customer reviews to ascertain whether it has the right consistency.
We found the Pourable Plastic Clear Casting Resin from Incredible Solutions to be a great choice, as it comes with the ideal consistency and a highly effective formulation.
There are a few preparatory steps you’ll have to take before beginning the procedure. The first and foremost requirement will be to make sure the workspace is clear and clean since working with resin can be a messy affair.
Also, see to it that the molds chosen are dry and clean and have all the materials and tools within close reach. That’s because once you start working, you will have to complete the procedure in a short span of time so that the dice can begin to set soon.
B. Mixing The Resin And Pouring It
Now is the time to measure and mix the resin, which is the most important part of the procedure. For this part, you need to follow the instructions laid down by the manufacturer on the required quantities of the constituents and the mixing time. That’s because precise amounts of the resin must be added to ensure it cures properly.
Here are the steps you need to follow while preparing the mixture:
Check the mixing ratio of the hardener and resin recommended by the manufacturer. Then pour the measured amounts as per this ratio into two different containers.
Follow this by pouring the two separate components into another measuring cup. Make sure you pour them as uniformly as you can.
Stir these two liquid components thoroughly using a wooden or plastic stick. Scrape the bottom and sides of the measuring cup properly while stirring. The ideal duration for this step, as suggested by most manufacturers, is about 3-5 minutes.
In case you want the resin to be of a particular color, you’ll also need to include a little bit of alcohol ink or mica powder. Be careful not to add an excessive amount as that will lead to an inappropriate mixing ratio of the resin solution.
Finally, the size of the hole in your mold will have to be adjusted, after which you can pour the resin into it. Use the toothpick to guide the liquid in the opening of the mold.
On a side note, you must take care to pour the resin in a way that there’s no air trapped in any depressions or corners of the dice mold since that can cause bubbles.
C. Embedding Items And Adding Decorations
Before you pour the resin into the mold, you will need to decide whether to keep the die clear or to make it colored and decorated. After you’ve made up your mind, mix the additional items and decorations with the resin so that they set in properly to create the desired look.
Here are some suggestions for the decorative items you can add to the resin.
- A dye made from alcohol or a mica pigment can be used to add rich colors to the dice. Note that you’ll need a small amount as these dyes and powders are available in a highly concentrated form.
- For clear dice, you may add glitter to the colorless resin or some confetti to make it ideal for a certain theme. Even a small figure can be added to the resin depending on the final outcome as per your needs.
After you’ve decided on the objects to embed, pour some resin into the mold and circle it to cover its sides with resin. Now, see to it that the mold is filled halfway, and position the object in it using a toothpick.
Note that the object should fit in the mold properly and still leave some space to be covered with resin. Finally, you’ll have to fill the mold entirely to ensure the objects are embedded properly.
Now, let the resin dice cure for at least 24 hours prior to handling the mold for the next steps. A light tap on the exposed portion of the resin will help you know whether the mold has cured the right way. Remember that the part should feel dry, hard, and smooth to the touch. However, if it still feels wet or tacky, you have to let it cure for a longer time.
You can expect the waiting period to be between 24 and 72 hours based on the surrounding temperature of the resin and the surroundings. Plus, incorrect measurements or mixing may result in improper curing.
Here’s the best way you can solve this issue. Place the uncured resin dice in a freezer overnight so that it solidifies properly. You can then pop the resin out of its mold and place it in your oven on low heat settings. This will surely help activate the procedure of curing.
When the dice casting is completely cured, you can start with the demolding procedure, whereby the dice are removed from the silicone molds.
Here are some things to keep in mind during this step:
- Take extra care while removing a mold as if it tears, it would become unusable.
- There will also be some material along the sides and edges of the mold, which is commonly called sprue. It’s very useful in making up for any unexpected shrinkage in the shape of the dice while it’s curing.
- Unless a polished mold is used, the dice might appear cloudy and matte. But don’t worry, you can fix this in the final step.
At this point, the procedure is almost complete, and what remains is providing a few finishing touches to the die. And for that, you must proceed as follows:
Firstly, you’ll have to remove the extra material or sprue as, despite its usefulness in curing, it can make rolling the die difficult. You can do this using any small sharp tool such as a knife.
After you’ve removed the sprue, the surface of the dice would still be slightly rough. To make it smoother, you can wipe it with sandpaper. Initially, using a 150-grit sandpaper piece will be ideal for the smoothening process, but make sure you don’t remove too much resin than required.
Continue this process with a 180-grit and then a 220-grit sandpaper piece, and continue increasing the fineness till you’re satisfied with the smoothness. Generally, the sandpaper grit has to be increased to 3000 as that will create a uniform final finish.
A wise precaution to take would be to use water on the surface between every sanding to ensure minimum dust production during the process.
The next step would be to polish the dice using resin polish, as that will make the surface smooth and glossy. You can also add some fine details to the dice using acrylic paint, draw borders on its edges, or paint the numbers that you’ve engraved on it.
Another way you can make the numbers prominent is by filling them with ultra-fine point markers. Do it by following the engraved grooves carefully, and you’re good to go.
Making Resin Dice Molds
Once you’re conversant with the basics of making resin dice, you may even try making dice molds. It’s always better to make the molds on your own using silicone, as this would let you come up with dice of multiple looks and designs. So, there won’t be any limit to how creative you can get!
Knowing the different types of molds that can be made is important in this regard. While open-faced molds have one side open to facilitate easy pouring, squish molds are slightly difficult to use since they are divided into two parts.
Try making molds of different shapes and designs to see which one is most suited for you.
All That You Will Need
- Silicone resin
- Clay or plasticine
- A master or original dice
- Goggles and gloves
- Containers and cups to mix the silicone
- Container for the dice
- Mixing tool or spoon
Why Is Silicone Rubber The Best For Making Die Molds?
The most noteworthy feature of silicone is that it doesn’t adhere to materials like resin, which makes it the most suitable base for making molds. This makes it effortless to take out the resin piece from the mold. Other advantages of this material include:
- It’s highly durable
- The molds prepared are reusable
- Molds are pliable and soft
- It’s safe for use
Choosing A Quality Silicone Rubber Kit
Since you will always want your molds to be perfect, it’s important to choose a good-quality silicone for the purpose. Here are some points to consider while choosing a silicone mold-making kit.
Ease Of Use
The silicone in the kit should be easy to pour and mix and should ideally have a mixing ratio of 1:1 by weight. This will help you prepare the mixture within minutes just by stirring it a little. Plus, the silicone should be able to eliminate all bubbles in a few hours so that no degassing chamber is needed.
And after the silicone cures, it will turn soft, transparent, and flexible, just what you need for making the perfect dice.
Safe For Use
The market is overflowing with silicone products for mold-making that come with toxic substances and may emit suffocating fumes and odors. So, it’s a must to ensure that the silicone you’re going for is totally safe for use.
Ideally, the silicone should be usable for all types of dice molds, and along with different decorative items such as mica pigments and glitters. This will ensure you’re able to create just the design and shape that you desire.
In our opinion, the Silicone Mold-Making Kit from LET’S RESIN is an ideal choice for making dice molds quickly and effectively as it meets all the above requirements perfectly.
A. Preparatory Steps
While you’re working with silicone, you must be careful to ensure nothing comes in the way as that might disrupt the procedure and give rise to partially effective results. This is why it’s essential to prepare the working area in the right way, keeping just the things that you need within close reach and removing all other extra items.
Also, you’ll need to be clear about the type of mold that you’ll make, that is, whether it’ll be a one-part or a two-part mold. In this article, we’ll mainly deal with one-part molds that are totally sealed except for a small opening for pouring resin.
B. The Mixing And The Pouring
Prior to mixing the silicone, you must prepare the original dice. After that’s done, heat the tip of a pin and push the heated end into a corner of the dice. Follow this by taking some plasticine and sticking it to the bottom of a container. Then place the pinned corner of the dice into the plasticine while ensuring that the dice is upright and balanced.
Be careful not to use a very big container for the purpose as that will lead you to waste a lot of silicone. Here are the next steps that you need to follow.
For mixing the silicone, go through the instructions on the package of the product carefully. Keep in mind silicones from all brands may not have the same curing time or mixing ratio. After you have a clear idea about the mixing ratio and the other essentials, mix both the parts in the silicone kit thoroughly in the mixing cups you’re using.
Now it’s time to pour the properly mixed silicone into the container which has the original die. See to it that you cover the die the right way but be careful not to dislodge it. Continue to pour the mixture till it’s around 5 mm above the top of the dice.
At this point, you’ll have to do away with the few air bubbles that might persist in the silicone mixture. Tap lightly on the sides of the container, and the bubbles will be released.
Finally, you must allow the silicone to cure for the duration mentioned on the packaging or the manual coming with the kit. The majority of products take nearly a day to dry entirely.
Creating the other type, that is, the open-faced dice mold, might seem easier to you if you’re making molds for the first time.
For this procedure, you’ll have to use some plasticine to cover just one face of the dice. This would provide the piece with enough thickness and height to stand upright on its own. Note that half an inch is the perfect height for such a mold.
Now, you must place the piece in the container and pour the silicone into it. After giving it some time to cure, the mold will be ready for use.
Some Interesting Resin Dice Ideas
Mica Shimmer Dice
As mentioned earlier, mica powder is an ideal colorant for resin. And a unique way of using this colorant would be to create an elegant iridescent and shimmer look. You can obtain dice with a white and black marbled texture or that with some metal leaf chunks and pink mica powder.
Here’s how you can get this look in your dice:
Mix some mica with the liquid resin and stir until there’s an even distribution of the powder over the resin. Begin the procedure with ⅛ tsp and continue adding more in increasing amounts till you get the color that you want.
To bring in more variation in the color, you can combine alcohol ink with mica powder.
Next, pour the resin into the mold and wait for the dice to cure. The resin will be thickened by the mica powder, which will speed up the curing phase.
Using Gold Leaf On The Dice
You can get an eye-catching sparkle effect on your dice using gold leaf. Notably, metal leaf comes in various colors and is basically an ultralight colored foil. It remains suspended in a resin mixture while the glitter sinks to the bottom of a mold.
You can create this effect in your dice in the following steps:
Add one metal leaf to the liquid resin to be used for making the dice.
Mix it properly with the resin using a stirrer, breaking up any larger piece therein. Repeated stirring will help break up the metal into smaller pieces.
Now, pour the mixture into the resin dice mold, pushing the larger pieces in place using a cocktail stick or toothpick.
Let the dice cure for the duration advised in the packaging or manual coming with the resin product.
Transparent dice have a distinct appeal to them, with light shining through the clear faces of the dice. This ultimately creates an effect similar to that of colored glass or gemstones.
You can choose contrasting colors to create a variety of beautiful effects in such dice. To make such transparent dice, start off by adding a drop of alcohol ink to the resin and stir till there are no streaks of color left in it.
Notably, since alcohol ink is extremely potent, a drop of it is enough to create a light color in the dice. Adding 2 to 3 drops will make the shade medium, and the resin will turn opaque if you include more than four drops. Also, a white colorant can turn it opaque.
After the mixture is ready, continue as per the procedure we’ve described for making dice with pre-made molds.
Safety Precautions While Working With Casting Resin
Although the majority of synthetic resins are harmless after they have been cured completely, there are some health risks associated with their processing. So, here are the precautions you must take while handling resin before it’s cured.
Remember that you should never let liquid resin or either of its components come in contact with the skin, as it can give rise to painful rashes, irritation, and other allergic reactions. And the best way to prevent any such situation is to wear a pair of nitrile gloves to shield the skin.
Wearing Goggles And A Mask
The eyes should always be protected while you’re working with the resin. So, make sure you wear safety goggles during work. Plus, to prevent toxic fumes from entering your body, it’s best to wear a respirator mask.
Maintain Proper Ventilation
Ensure that the room where you’re working is properly ventilated, as the fumes released by the resin will then move away easily. You can use a fan or open one window in the room if necessary.
How To Make Resin Dice Frequently Asked Questions
How To Remove Bubbles That Persist In The Resin Even After Tapping It?
Removing bubbles from the resin mixture after it’s added to the mold can be difficult. Using a toothpick to pop the bubbles directly is a way out. But you’ll have to be very careful as the toothpick must not touch any other part of the surface.
Another method is to heat the mixture slightly using a lighter, as that will make the bubbles rise to the surface and ultimately burst.
Can Resin Dice Be Called Balanced?
A die is regarded as well-balanced if it lands on a variety of random numbers every time, while unbalanced ones land on the same set each time. You can place resin dice in water and spin them around to test whether they are balanced. In case the same number shows on the top after every spin in the water, the die isn’t balanced and vice versa.
How Is Casting Resin Different From Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resin is much more viscous than casting resin, which is why it dries faster. However, thin layers of paint can be slightly difficult to pour, and you should ensure that the layers are not more than 2 cm thick. On the other hand, several layers of paint can be mixed quickly in casting resin.
How Much Resin Do You Need To Fill An Entire Set Of Dice Molds?
Most of the dice molds for role-playing board games need approximately 147ml or 4.97 oz. of resin.
Now that you’ve given our guide a read, we’re sure that you’ve got a grip on the techniques of making resin dice. So, decide on the procedure you want to attempt, gather all that’s needed, and get the ball rolling!
You must also consider the board game for which you’re making the dice, as the design and number of sides will vary based on that. Or else, you might even want to use the dice as a décor item for your home or as a part of jewelry, so add the dice embeds and colors accordingly.
If you have any other queries about making resin dice, write them down in the comments section below, and we’ll try our best to clear your doubts.
With that, we’ll wrap up for now, but there’s more fun content on your way, so watch out for this space. Till then, keep exploring your creativity!