Wiggly Eye Dice: An Eye-Rolling DIY Project

DIY / HOW TO / CRAFT

Wiggly Eye Dice: An Eye-Rolling DIY Project

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My son just turned four and he's starting to talk about numbers and basic math. So, I'm going to give him a set of our silly Wiggly Eye Dice for Christmas. I hope they don't creep him out.

Alas, I looked around the studio and realized that we sold every last pair back in 2012. We haven't made a set since. So, I dug around a bit more and unearthed an old cache of supplies: wood cubes, loose eyes, and some glue.

I whipped up these beauties in about 30 minutes:

Wiggly Eye Dice - pair in hand

Make Your Own Wiggly Eye Dice

Perhaps you'd also like to give someone a pair of these goofy handmade dice this year? Here's how to make Wiggly Eye Dice. It's pretty simple. You'll just need a few key materials and a steady hand.
 

 Step 1: Gather Materials

Gather materials to make wiggly eye dice

  • 5/8" wooden cubes, you'll need 2 cubes per pair of dice (local crafts store, online at Woodworks, or request our free craft kit below).
  • Small wiggly eyes, you'll need 42 eyes per pair of dice. You want the 3mm size with round black eyes (local crafts store or our free craft kit).
  • PVA (aka book-binding) glue or super glue. You won't need much.
  • Craft stick or toothpick.
  • Pencil with eraser.
  • Regular die for reference. Raid a board game or a casino!

 

Step 2: Plot Your Eyes in Pencil

Make faint pencil marks on all sides of both blank cubes to plot out where the wiggly eyes will be applied. Use your standard die for reference. Pay close attention to how the dots (also known as pips) are arranged for each number, and which numbers sit opposite or adjacent to other numbers. Try to space the dots out evenly but don't worry about getting them exactly right because we'll make adjustments later.

Make wiggly eye dice - penciled

 

Step 3: Apply The Glue: #6 Side Only

Put a dab of glue on a piece of scratch paper. Then dip your craft stick in the glue. Put a small point of glue on one of the pencil marks on the #6 side of a wooden cube. You want less glue than you might think is needed. It's strong stuff and we don't want it to squeeze out the sides when we apply the wiggly eyes.

Repeat for all six dots.

Wiggly Eye Dice with glue

 

Step 4: Apply The Wiggly Eyes: #6 Side Only

Gently lick a finger to moisten, then tap the dome side of a loose wiggly eye. It should stick and come up with your finger. Place the eye on one of the six dabs of glue and don't worry about getting the placement just right. Do this with five more wiggly eyes until all six dots of glue are covered.

Wiggly Eye Dice eyes on

Now use the pencil (or the clean end of your toothpick) to fine tune the placement of each wiggly eye by gently nudging, bumping, and cajoling. Get them just right. Now repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other die until you have a pair of boxcars staring back at you!

Wiggly Eye Dice eyes on straight

Step 5: Go For a Short Walk

Let your pair of dice in progress rest for a few minutes while the glue dries. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes or so. Just enough time to squeeze in a quick meditation session or a casual walk around the block.

Step 6: Apply Glue and Wiggly Eyes One Side at a Time

Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for all other sides of both dice, one side at a time. Do them in descending order: #5, then #4, #3, #2, and finally, #1. This will ensure that the dice can rest flat to dry after each side is completed in turn.

If you lose an eye, just re-apply!

Wiggly Eye Dice have been described as wonderfully ridiculous, hilariously silly, and even a smidgen creepy. How'd yours turn out? Do they come alive in your hand? Let us know in the comments.

Want a Free Craft Kit to Get You Started?

We've prepared a bunch of Wiggly Eye Dice craft kits for lovely folks just like you. Each kit includes 2 wood cubes, 2 toothpicks, and plenty of small wiggly eyes. You supply the glue, a pencil, and some patience. Send Kira a quick email with your mailing address, and we'll send you a kit. In the mail. Totally free!

All we ask in return is that you post a fun photo of your creation on Instagram, Facebook, or a local telephone pole.

Wiggly Eye Dice - Craft Kit

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Devin turns crafty ideas into surprising products and memorable experiences. He is co-owner of Leafcutter Designs, a creative studio and online shop based in Berkeley, CA.

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