How I Made a Yard Dice Game

August 11, 2017 by  
Filed under build, featured, Games, Toys and Games, Woodworking

On a recent camping trip we met some new friends that had a set of large wooden dice.  After playing with these while out camping I just had to make a set of my own.  I decided I would make a set of 5 dice so we could play games like Yatzee.

I thought I had a 4 x 4 laying around at home but alas I did not.  The only place I could find a 4 x 4 that was not treated was my local Menards.  It was about $8 for a 8’ piece of white wood.  

A 4 x 4 actually measures about 3.5 x 3.5 so I cut off 3.5 inch blocks from the end of the timber.  

After cutting the blocks I took them over to the router to round the straight cut edges

Now it’s time to start drilling the holes on the die faces.  

To locate the holes I modeled and 3d printed a drilling template to help save some time.  This was not necessary, it was mostly just to give my 3d printer some work and to practice modeling in Fusion 360.  The model for the template is available by clicking here and it is also available on thingiverse ( 

STL Files
  • Yard_dice_drill_template
Download STL

First I marked how many holes to drill in the open box of the template.  I matched the holes from an existing die.  I later learned that the sum of a side and the opposite side should equal 7 for every side of the die…. Interesting.

With the numbers marked I was able to just flip the die and know how many holes to drill without having to check the other sides every time.

Now to add some contrast I took a permanent marker and filled in all the holes. This could also be paint, but permanent marker sounded easiest.

Now I sanded the each side of the die to make sure there would not be any slivers and rough edges.  Sanding also allowed me to clean up some of the black marker accidents that did not stain the wood too badly.

The last step is optional, I ended up making a few sets and experimented with applying some finish to one set of dice.  I used this polycrylic spray I had left over from another project.   I think it adds a little to the looks of the dice and probably helps keep the surface of the wood protected.

Now that the dice are complete a round of yard dice was in order.  My family just with Yatzee rules, my daughter also wants to try using a sixth die and attempting to play Farkle.  

If you know of any other games that are fun to play leave a suggestion below in the comment section. 


How to Make a Sock Puppet

April 13, 2015 by  
Filed under build, Crafts, Fabric, featured, Maker DIY, Toys and Games

In an effort to amaze my children with my puppet making abilities I made this puppet from one of my old socks and now I am going to show you how I did it.  You can watch the video or follow along with the pictures below.

The only tools needed for this project are a scissors, and a heat gun.

Tools and supplies2

The main ingredient of this puppet is a sock, pick a sock that fits your hand and has some nice puppet like texture. Be careful not to pick a sock you are going to miss, as I did. I used one of my old sock and I love the puppet is has become, but I have to admit I also miss my socks.

The other materials I used are some felt, an old cereal box, a couple googly eyes and 2 wooden balls.

To start I flattened a cereal box and traced my fingers on one of the seams to make the shape of a mouth. I am using the cereal box paperboard to stiffen the mouth so it’s not as floppy as the rest of the sock. Test fit and trim the paperboard as needed.


After doing some final trimming to size I then cut a piece of felt slightly larger than the cardboard mouth. I then used my hot glue gun to glue the felt to the the paperboard mouth.


Again I did a little test fitting and finally it’s time to glue in the mouth. I applied glue to the back of the mouth and held it in position till it was dry. Now this was a thick sock that isolated my hand from the hot glue. I would not attach the mouth this way with a thinner sock, I would have either used a lower temp glue or not have my hand so close to the hot glue.


I apply a seam of glue around the mouth to keep looking good and not show the layer of felt or paperboard.


Now the finish touch is the eyes. I had 1” wooden balls in my pile of craft parts so I used those, I was originally looking for ping pong balls.  I glued the wooden balls on the top of the puppet, by just shooting some hot glue on the sock and then pressing the ball on.


The googly eyes went on much the same way. As you can see a little glue and stick on a googly eye.


And that’s it the puppet is complete. Very simple but I like it. And, I assume that sooner or later my kids will stop being annoyed as I walk around the house talking in puppet voices.

DIY Ceiling Mounted Projector Bracket Made from PVC

February 23, 2015 by  
Filed under build, featured, Made From PVC, Maker DIY

This is a video of how I made a simple ceiling mounted projector bracket out of PVC pipe.

I purchased an inexpensive Sharper Image Wonderwall projector on ebay and I wanted an easy and inexpensive way to mount it.  I rounded up the pvc parts I had in my garage and came up with this projector bracket.  The Wonderwall projector is very light, if  you have a heavy projector I would not recomend trying something like this.

ceiling_mounted_projector bracket

Link to watch video on youtube.

An excel file with links to buy the parts at Menards is attached below.

projector parts list

parts list



Use a PVC pipe cutter to cut PVC pipe to correct lengths.



Slide the 2 4.25″ pieces into the tee fitting. Do not glue them, this is where the bracket pivots.


Glue the 4 elbow fittings to the pipes.  In this situation I used super glue to glue all the joints as I do not care if the joints leak, I only care they are bonded well.




Screw the projector bracket into the ceiling.  Take care to find a stud or ceiling beam, drywall and most ceiling panels will not support the weight of a projector. Also make sure you are not screwing into wires, pipes, ducts or anything else in the ceiling.


I used cable ties to attch the projector to my pvc bracket.


How to Make Beeswax Wood Finish

January 31, 2015 by  
Filed under build, featured, Refinish/Remodel, Woodworking

In this video I show how I make a beeswax paste finish for my woodworking projects using beeswax and olive oil.

The ingredients I use are-

1 Cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 oz stick of beeswax (link to Amazon)

1 microwave safe container, (I use a jar that used to have Wylers Chicken Bullion Cubes) (link to Amazon)











How to Cut Wooden Wheels with a Drill Press and Hole Saw

January 27, 2015 by  
Filed under featured, Toys, Toys and Games, Woodworking

In this video I go over making wooden wheels with a drill press.

These wheels are the kind I use for the toys in the How to Make Wooden Farm Toys Book.

And for the toys on the downloadable plans page.

How to make wooden wheels
First I use a forstner bit to make an inset for the center. This is cosmetic, the forstner bit should be smaller than the final diamter of the wheel you are cutting.


I cut out the wheel with a hole saw, the hole saw size should be about 1/4″ bigger than the size of wheel you want to cut out.  This is because the hole saw is sized for its outside diameter and the wheel you cut will be the inside diameter.  Take care to drill safely and slowly and follow all the manufacturer recommendations for your tools and equipment.

hole saw


After the wheel is cut on the hole saw it is very rough.  I run a quarter inch bolt through the wheel so I can chuck the wheel in the drill press for sanding.



I finish my toy wheels using a beeswax/oil finish or just a cutting board/mineral oil finish.


The wheels are attached to the toy using axle pegs I purchase from Amazon or other craft part sources like


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