2018 was the year Dungeons and Dragons blew into my life and never left. It consumed every other weekend. I bought and painted Hero Forge minis, bought most of the books, and my dice collection quadrupled.
Last summer, my brother saw the Dice Bottles Kickstarter online, and we knew we could make something like that. I don’t endorse Hobby Lobby, but it was the best place to get everything in one go, and they usually have great sales.
Here’s what you need:
- Order x24 D4s: This component you can’t generally find walking into your local craft store. Search “Red D4 Bulk” and find what best suits your price range. You’ll need a whopping 24 dice for this project.
- x4 Glass Bottles with Corks: Take 10 D4s with you to the craft store and bee-line for the glass container isle. Pick what you like and test that it can comfortably hold the 10 dice. A little shaking room is good.
We used: ~2.5″ tall, ~1.5″ diameter glass bottles with cork caps.
- A Box: Once you’ve decided on your potion vessels, head over to the decorative treasure boxes. You may opt for one in the finish-it-yourself woodcraft section if that’s what you’re into. Place your potion bottles inside to ensure 1) they all fit, and 2) you have room to put enough foam material in the bottom to hold your bottles securely.
We used: 6″x6.5″x 6″H premade and finished box with closure mechanism and handle. The bottom section of the chest is 3.5″ tall.
- Foam Batting: The size of your potion bottles determines how thick your foam batting will need to be.
We used: 1″ thick foam batting, and got enough to do 2 layers, with additional for testing.
- Fabric: This part is really up to you. For best results, pick something plush and thick to better hold your bottles in.
We used: red velvet material.
- Fabric Glue: Gotta hold that fabric to the foam somehow.
- Paintbrushes: Ones you won’t mind throwing away after ruining them with fabric glue.
- Tape Measure or Ruler, Exacto Knife, Scissors, Writing Utensil,
Note, you may want to get enough batting and fabric to practice on the top layer. We butchered the top layer once before we got it right.
How you customize the kit to your liking is up to you. You can use varying size bottles or print the healing bonuses on a piece of parchment paper and put it in the kit as an insert. Use rainbow dice if you want. It’s your project, and you have full creative control. Here’s what we used:
- Labels: self-adhesive labels from the scrapbooking aisle. I hand-wrote the labels with a ball-point pen.
- Paint/Brushes: However you choose to denote the healing bonus for each potion is up to you. If you wrote it on the label, then you can skip this. We opted to paint the undersides of the corks red and paint on the healing bonuses with white.
Put It Together
- Measure the inside of your box and cut 2 foam pieces the same size with your Exacto knife.
- For Top Layer: On one of the foam pieces, place your potion bottles how you desire them to sit. Trace them with your writing utensil, and cut out those circles with your Exacto knife.
- Fabric: Measure and cut out 2 pieces of fabric that are larger than your layer of foam to include room to wrap up the sides. For instance. If you have 6″x6″ pieces of foam that are 1″ in depth, you will need to cut out two 7″x 7″ squares of fabric.
Lay one piece of fabric upside-down on your surface.
Apply the glue in an even layer on the large surface of one foam piece. Use a wide paintbrush if you need to. You don’t want glue lines bubbling under your fabric.
Press the foam down onto the backside of the fabric.
Use a ruler and cut out the corners. It’s okay if you muck this part up. No one’s going to see it.
Apply the glue to the sides of your foam and press the fabric against it.
Repeat steps for Bottom Layer 1-3.
Within each of your circle cut-outs, use a pen to divide the inside circle fabric into 8ths.
Using your Exacto knife, cut your lines. It’s easiest to go from the outer edge to the center and repeat.
I apologize in advance for the math we’re about to do, but you need to calculate the circumference of your circle. Remember C=Pi x D?
My bottles had a diameter of 1.5″. Multiply that by 3.14, and the circumference I get is about 4.75″. Round upwards.
Cut 4 strips of fabric the width of your foam and the length of your circumference. For me, 1″ x 4.75″
Brush glue on the inside of each circle and press your fabric strips in.
Give it a few minutes to set.
With a smaller paintbrush, brush glue on each triangle and fold them up over the fabric strip you already glued in.
Give that a few minutes to set before gluing your foam sides down.
LEAVE YOUR NEWLY GLUED FOAM ALONE FOR 24 HOURS. Let all glue set before trying to assemble the box. You’ll end up with fabric sliding, air bubbles, wrinkles, and non-fun shenanigans.
While you wait, work on your bottles. Create your labels, paint your caps, make your insert, etc. There are 4 potions you’ll need.
- Potion of Healing: 2D4 +2
- Potion of Greater Healing: 4D4 +4
- Potion of Superior Healing: 8D4 +8
- Potion of Supreme Healing: 10D4 +10
Assembly: After giving your glue adequate time to set, you can assemble. Place the bottom layer into the box, then the top layer. Your bottles should fit snuggly in the foam holes without sliding.
That’s it! Take it to your next D&D night and be the Life of the Party. Hehe… Cleric joke.