Fate dice, DIY! Of course I am a huge fan of the Fate dice by Evil Hat, but if you’re far away and can’t stomach the shipping costs, or you just want to have all the pretty things, or you’re in need of a thoughtful present for your favorite GM, I have just the thing.
Making your own Fate dice: what you’ll need
- Regular six-sided dice, or any cube that can serve as a base
- At least two colors of masking tape (“washi” tape) that’s approximately as wide as the dice/cube (imperfect is OK)–solid colors are best
That’s it. No, really, that’s it. All of my purchases were from my local 100-yen store, so these dice are super cheap to make; they’re a cost-effective solution if you have to prepare dice for a lot of players. (Or party favors at a nerdy baby shower? And the invite cards are full of corny jokes about “munchkins” and bundles of joy vs. Bundles of Holding?) I used real plastic dice as my cubic base because they still make that nice dice-y sound when I roll them. I guess little wooden blocks would do. Anything small and sturdy, really. Don’t try to get too crafty and fashion origami boxes yourself; you’ll crush them when you put the tape on.
Step one: solid background
First things first, make beautiful Fate dice by starting with a solid background color. You’ll want to take your die in hand and wrap it completely in tape. Rotate it on its axis, wrapping around twice as the tape can be a little see-through. Flip and repeat for the other two axes.
A picture guide:
We wrapped a length of tape twice around the cube. One face is still nekkid, so let’s wrap that next.
Pretty good, pretty good… but look close. See that red seam? We don’t want that. Let’s cover it up by wrapping twice around again.
Awesome! Notice I leave a little tape overhanging when I cut the ends. I’ve notice that if I try to cut it perfectly on the corner, the end of the tape will stick out a little bit, and that’s not what you want. Now, on to the next step!
Step two: the minuses
They’re not Fate dice unless they have those nifty little pluses and minuses. If you had some cool plus and minus stickers, you could just stick them on right now and be done. But I don’t have those, so I’m going to be making mine by hand. Cut the opposite-color tape into thin strips, perpendicular to the tape roll. Lay one down on a die face, then another right on top of it. Repeat for the other side. Here’s how it should look:
As you can see, you don’t have to be exact. After all, we’re going for the charming, crafty look here, right? Also, you can use this step as an opportunity to cover up some of that overhanging tape from Step One, if you like.
Step three: the pluses
This should be easy: layer two minuses on top of each other, right? Not so fast. Yes, you’ll be wanting to use four small strips of tape, but don’t plunk them down haphazardly. Lay each down perpendicular to the one that came before it. It’ll look nice and the tape won’t be prone of coming off. Step-by-step:
And, maybe this is just a personal preference, but don’t make the minuses and pluses “connect” (it looks a bit strange):
Left: YUP. Right: NOPE.
And that’s it! Here are your hand-made, one-of-a-kind, all-the-rage-super-crafty-looking Fate dice. Whether you’re making these as gifts for your sweetheart, your gaming group, or yourself, you can now proudly say that you have made something that people will actually use and enjoy.