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.