HOWTO make a stained-glass D20

On Instructables, CaseyBorders's recipe for making stained glass 20-sided dice. A bit tricky to carry these around in your grandad's old Crown Royal bag, but otherwise, they make some pretty smashing (ahem) RPG accessories.

Now we need to cut 20 triangles out of our sheet of stained glass that match the template that we created. The easiest way to do that is to cut a stip of glass the same height as the triangles we cut in the jig. In the example pictures we used a strip that was 1.5" wide because our triangles ended up being 1.5" tall. Place the strip flush across the bottom of your cutting board and set your angle guide to 60 degrees. Follow your angle guide with your scorer so you end up with a 60 degree angle cut off the end of your glass strip. Depending on the kind of glass you bought you might simply need to flip it over to get the other side of the triangle, but the glass in the demo pictures is textured on the back, so we can only cut on the front, so we need to change our cutting guide to 60 degrees the other way. However you end up doing it, make sure that you are making your cuts and angle adjustments as precisely as you can, because if the triangles are not correctly shaped they will not make a good-looking d20.

Once you have 20 good pieces we can etch the numbers on them. Place each triangle in one of the holes of the cardboard template on the laser cutter's cutting surface. Now you can use the same file that we used to make the template but be sure to set your laser to etch only! We don't want to cut around the holes again!

Making a Stained-Glass d20 (via Neatorama)


  1. Crown Royal bags are Velvet… and the short slang name we used for them was Crown bag or Crown velvet bag. We never used “royal” as it sounded too much like that “not Coke or Pepsi” cola in a blue can that nobody ever liked.

    We always enjoyed fighting over what number was actually on top (rolled) of the 100 sided die.   Well worth the $10 back in 1989.

  2. They’re attractive, but I’d guess you’d want them to be mainly decorative: I can’t see those dice holding up to the kind of abuse dice frequently get in gaming sessions (ie: hitting the floor).   Given the handcrafted nature, I’m also a bit concerned about the die’s fairness.

  3. I don’t get it, they have a laser cutter that will cut the glass (they warn you to make sure it’s on etch mode not cut mode), that they use to etch the numbers and to etch the numbers they have to put the triangles in a cardboard jig.
    Surely it’s easier just to give the laser cutter the whole design : Etch number and cut triangle off???? All with the no removing bits, lining them up in cardboard, cutting cardboard, hand cutting glass, etc….
    Or did I miss something by being too annoyed to read the full article?

    1. Typically a laser can do vector cutting and/or raster etching, often differentiated by the color used in the graphic file.  So they use one file to vector cut the cardboard guide, and the same file to raster etch the glass.

  4. If you didn’t have no etchin’ laser you could cut the numbers out of resist and rent time in a sand blastin’ cabinet at your friendly local stained glass shop.

    It would be interesting to make machine made dice of the same size and weight and set up a test to see how “random” they are compared to the hand made dice.  Of course a roll of the dice isn’t random at all because every movement of the dice is governed by the laws of physics.

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