Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Idea Dice

09 adding ideas and prompts 

I finished a new project this weekend and I wanted to share it with you. These are my “idea dice” for various projects (mainly my art journals). When I want to add some extra elements, or don’t know what to do, I can just roll my dice and go! There are actually four of them, the other one will be in a later photo (it’s just colors, no words). This was a very simple and inexpensive project to make, so allow me to walk you briefly through the process.

01 wooden blocks
The first thing you will need are blocks – I bought four wooden blocks at Michaels, they’re approximately 1 7/8” (the sign said 2”), the other size choices being 1 1/2” and the regular game dice size.

                                   02 paper squares                                                                          03 light coat

The next step is to cut out your squares of paper to decorate the dice. I knew in advance that I would have three with different ideas, and one with just solid colors, so I first cut out six squares (one each of solid red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) for the color block. I then decided to stick with this color scheme to make my selections easier – otherwise I probably would have spent much too long deciding which colors and patterns I liked best. I used scraps, which I have separated by color into ziploc bags; if you’re a paper crafter, I know you have tons of paper scraps that you insist on keeping, so this is a great way to use some of them. Each square is cut to 1 3/4” so there will be a frame around it of the natural wood. If you don’t want that border, just cut the paper to the size of your block.

After I had the squares cut out, I adhered them with mod podge (matte medium would also work, or mix glue and water, whatever you have on hand). Start with a light, thin layer across the entire square as shown above. Adhere your piece of paper and burnish gently but firmly with your finger to help it stick. If you have trouble getting the paper to stay down, you can try applying a thin layer of adhesive to the back side of the paper as well as the block, and/or letting the adhesive dry for about 10 seconds so it gets a little tacky, that will give it more tooth.

08 stamping ideas and prompts
After all of my paper was glued on, I used some small alphabet stamps and archival ink to write my ideas and prompts. I had three lists worked out ahead of time, each with six things. I tried to group similar prompts so I wouldn’t end up with three of the same thing when I use the dice – for example, one block has six different technique ideas – and didn’t worry about which one went on which color. For the background I simply cut “vanilla” cardstock (from JoAnn’s) into 1/2” strips.

04 color block 1 05 color block 2 06 covered blocks warm 07 covered blocks cool

Here are the blocks with just the paper on them, a photo with the completed blocks is at the top of this post. (It’s hard to tell, but the color block with the three warm colors has yellow on the left, orange on the right, and the one with the cool colors has purple on the top.) The ideas and prompts I used are as follows:
            Block 1:  no stamps, stickers, punch, stencil, just paper, spray ink
            Block 2:  add dimension, exactly six words, only three colors, attach an ATC (Artist Trading Card), stitch, tear paper
            Block 3:  vintage, book paper, wooden, tissue paper, metal, ribbon

There are several ways you can modify the parameters of this project to fit your individual needs and desires. For instance, you can make your own dice out of chipboard, cardstock, really any substrate you’d like. Also, you can use the dice for all sorts of things other than art – helping your kids pick chores, deciding what to have for dinner, choosing a movie genre… the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Another thing I thought about while I was making these is that instead of sealing the prompts on, you can attach them with a small piece of velcro, and make several more, allowing them to be interchangeable if you want more options. I think these will be enough for me for now, and if I decide I need more, I would probably just buy more blocks.

I hope this was a fun and interesting project idea! If you decide to make some of your own, and/or use this idea to make any kind of art, I would love it if you shared it with me in the comments or on Facebook! Happy crafting!

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