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Before I get into today’s wooden dice tutorial I wanted to let you know that I will be taking a break from blogging for the rest of July to spend quality time with my family. I will still be posting on Instagram so be sure to follow me if you would like to stay up to date with what I am working on. My next blog post will go live Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at 7 am Newfoundland Standard Time.

My husband and I love spending time outside during the summer. One of our favourite backyard summer activities is playing yard games. It was time to add to our collection so I made a set of wooden yard dice.

I was on the fence about posting this tutorial. Looking back I would have made them differently. I decided to share my process anyway in case you would like to make a set of your own. I share the step by step process that I used then I provide some suggestions for alternative ways to make them. 

Before we get started, be sure to download and print the FREE PRINTABLE Wooden Yard Dice Template by clicking HERE!

You will need a 4x4 for this project. From the 4x4 cut 5 wooden blocks at 3-1/2” in length.

Once the blocks were cut I decided to sand each side of the blocks and add a small round over to the edges using the sander.  I recommend leaving the sanding until later unless you like creating extra work for yourself like I do.

Use the dice template to mark the center of each dot. I used a 3/4” Forstner bit to make my marks. I used a dice to reference the number placements.

Next, fit a drill or drill press with a ¾” Forstner bit and drill the holes using the marks you just made as a reference. I used the Forstner bit as my stop reference for the depth which ended up being a little deeper than I would have preferred. I suggest drilling shallow holes. 1/8” to 1/4” would be sufficient.

Next, I used my Dremel to sand the holes. You can also use sandpaper if you prefer.

Once the holes were sanded I painted the holes. I am a very messy painter so this required that I re-sand the dice once the paint was dry.
But you are smart and took my advice. You decided to wait until after you painted to sand the face of the dice and round the edge with your sander.
Next, use a tack cloth to remove the dust from the dice prior to sealing. If you own a shop vac you can speed up the process by attaching the hose to the outtake and use the hose to blow the dust off the dice.
Finally, seal the dice. I applied 2 coats of spray lacquer to my set of wooden yard dice.

If I Make Wooden Yard Dice Again

I really wanted a set of yard dice but I disliked making them. Mainly because I decided that I would use up the 4x4 that I purchased to make 3 sets of dice instead of just one. In case you are not great at math that is 15 dice with 6 sides each. With 21 holes per dice that is 315 holes to mark, drill, sand and paint. It was very tedious. The steps I provided above are easy to follow if you only want to make one set.

But, if I were to consider making them again I would make them using a different method to speed up the process and significantly cut down on the time spent on the tedious tasks. Below are 2 suggestions for speeding up the process.

Option 1: Make a vinyl stencil or reusable stencil for the yard dice or purchase a reusable yard dice stencil kit from Etsy

  1. Cut the wooden blocks as directed
  2. Sand the sides and slightly round the edges
  3. Paint the dots using the stencil
  4. Seal using spray lacquer

Option 2: Use a wood burning kit fitted with a round transfer point

  1. Cut the wooden blocks as directed
  2. Sand the sides and slightly round the edges
  3. Mark the location of each dot onto the wooden blocks using a pencil
  4. Use a wood burner tool fitted with a round transfer point to stamp the dots
  5. Seal using spray lacquer

If you followed this tutorial using either of the options you will end up with a set of wooden yard dice that will be a hit with your family and friends. Kipp Brothers have a free yard-zee scorecard printable that you can download if you enjoy Yahtzee and would love to play outdoors with your new wooden yard dice.

If you enjoyed this tutorial for making wooden yard dice it would mean the world to me if you leave a comment below. Don’t forget to Pin this post and share it with your family and friends. Until next time!

Happy Building!

You may also be interested in the following tutorials:

Ladder Ball

Tic Tac Toe

S’more Server