Have you ever stared at that empty spot on your bookshelf and thought “A giant, metal D20 would look great right there”?
We did. So we made our own giant DIY D20 – it only took a few minutes, and cost pretty much nothing. You know how IKEA calls most of their “wood” furniture “[type of wood]-effect”? Like “Birch Effect” or “Walnut Effect”? Well, we’re calling this “Metal-Effect”, since it’s just cardboard, masking tape, and spray paint. But it’s almost as close to real metal as IKEA wood is to solid wood. (we still <3 you anyway, IKEA)
We started with cardboard. We found that the ideal cardboard for this is the thin kind used for cereal boxes (or in our case, LEGO boxes – specifically the LEGO Lord of the Rings Tower of Orthanc box). So step one is to eat some cereal or buy a LEGO set and save the boxes.
Cam spent forever figuring out the math on how to make a papercraft D20 (that little white piece of paper was his practice template. Recommended). Later we realized we could have just Googled it, but there’s probably less fun in that. Here is what he came up with, drawn on cardboard (I
badly used Photoshop to better show you the shape, since our pencil lines were pretty light):
Makes sense, right? Each side of each triangle is 4 inches. Use a ruler to draw all of the triangles. We wanted to include a printable template for you, but this is just too big. If you can’t get it all on one piece of cardboard, don’t worry – you can break it up into sections and just tape them together.
Once it’s all drawn, fully cut out the main shape (in red, above) then LIGHTLY score along all of the lines. Don’t break through. We used a box cutter type knife for everything.
When you’re done scoring, it will easily fold into the familiar D20 shape. Just use masking tape (or painters tape, gaff tape, whatever you have) to stick it all together from the INSIDE. Oh, hey Saruman:
To seal the final section, we put the tape on the outside, then smoothed over the tape with some wood filler. Not pictured: We also put a tiny bit of wood filler up all of the seams.
To give it the Metal-Effect, we used the BEST SPRAY PAINT EVER. Seriously, this is awesome. Rustoleum Paint + Primer in one. We normally use the Rubbed Bronze finish (it sticks to metal, plastic, wood – everything), but for this we went with Hammered Pewter. Because pewter and geeky go hand in hand, right? Of course you could just use whatever paint you have around. Make a neon D20, black D20, glitter D20… whatever you fancy.
You probably noticed the lack of numbers. Initially we were going to paint numbers on it (or maybe just a “20”), but in the end decided to go more subtle and leave it blank. This will probably change eventually.
We actually made two, testing out different cardboards. So now we have bookends that are too lightweight to actually hold up books, but they look cool. You COULD throw something heavy in the DIY D20 before sealing it up, to give it weight.
What do you think of the DIY D20/s? Do you think we should add numbers?