A goal for the new year was to assemble a portable player’s dice box, with the conceit that it look like a tome or spellbook.
While I do enjoy crafting and painting—and I still have the option of decorating it with a design of my own—I am content, for now, to use what I found.
(I had several inspirations for my dice box. I recommend checking out the D&D Alchemy Dice Box Tutorial by Maladroit Marcy on YouTube as one of the best. She gives her box cover the full Mod Podge treatment!)
Most of these are objects I found at the local craft store or supplemented with my own supply.
Step 1: Select a false book box
These are nifty little bookcase hidey-holes—boxes in the shapes of books. They are often displayed on the coffee table and hold a crossword puzzle book and assorted pens, or even the TV remote control.
The key was to find a box wide and long enough to accommodate other boxes for nesting—my alternative solution to creating sub-compartments within. The one I selected was 7.5 inches wide, 10.5 inches long and had an internal compartment 2.45 inches deep. It had a magnetic clasp to hold the cover, which had the design of an old-world map.
The first thing I did was apply a new bottom to the inner layer of the box, a thin brown foam over the interior felt—mainly to ensure even rolls of the dice and to muffle the hollow clatter of dice on wood without sacrificing “dice bounce.”
Step 2: Potion of Healing
This little nifty craft has been making the rounds in D&D circles, Pinterest and other places, and I certainly wanted one included in my player box. It involves a glass bottle or vial with a cork stopper and contains the d4s needed for rolling a dose. With a handcrafted label and a dab of glue, I had my first component for the box.
Step 3: Dice box
Next, I found a little latch case that could hold a set of polyhedral dice. I put foam in the bottom, so it could double as a dice roller, too.
Step 4: Miniature box
A small keepsake box in the form of a treasure chest was the perfect size to hold a 25 mm miniature to represent my player character. Again, I added a layer of foam because this box did not have a felt interior.
Step. 5: Journal
I got lucky in that I snagged a small sketch journal that would nestle in the remaining space. This book could serve as a record of the PCs, be a place to record spells, even allow in-game notes or maps.
Step 6: Foam interior
To ensure that the items didn’t rattle against one another, I cut out sections of the foam so the tiny chest and the potion bottle would fit snugly. I think I added another piece of foam the size of the journal to elevate it to the top of the box. On the underside of that piece of foam I cut a slice where I can tuck a small pencil and a dry erase marker.
Step 7: Metal plate
On the interior felt of the lid I added one more touch: A thin metal plate. This surface can take dry-erase marker and be wiped clean. I can use it to make in-game notations, such as tallies for hit point damage, recording initiative rolls and jotting down spells used.
Warning on price: I kept the entirety of my purchase under $35, but I timed my shopping by going on a day with deep discounts on the boxes and I had a coupon I could use, too. Shopping at list price might double your outlay.