First of all, Happy Chinese Mooncake Festival!

Such festive times bring us excitement... and more excuse to party and eat; as we Chinese play our traditional dice game and exchange moorcake treats. I actually had to restrain myself from consuming for myself the whole can of mooncake treats given for the family.

But I'm not blogging about food this time, more on this creative project I was blessed to have been part of. You see, I got commissioned to make these  GIANT DICES for a mooncake festival parteh of a company. How exciting is that!? They needed 6-8x8 inch dice for playing and as party props. Because they are for play and not just display I have to make them sturdy. Yet, they will be played with by kids so they need to be light. They actually gave me a peg, the dice used in Landmark Trinoma. I, of course, cannot replicate those to a T because those were probably ordered in bulk and special cutter machines were used. So, off I went to get the main base material that would become the dice. I went scourging through divisoria, 999 mall and Ilaya (my love-hate places). It was soooo christmasy already there!

The Craftventure begins!

My special base material proved to be hard to find, as expected really. I was almost about to give up as I near the end of the school supplies strip in Juan Luna when I got to talk to this Manong at a school supplies store for help (basically begged, he must have felt sorry for me haha). He directed me to a FISHING STORE, where he said he saw something like what I was looking for. So off I went to the corner of Juan Luna and Sta. Elena., lo and behold there they are!!! Amidst the fishing nets and life jackets, there they are!
I could have done a dance right there but instead I made a my I'm-not-that-interested-unless-you-give-me-discount-poker-face and asked the tindero for their price and if they can give me 6 of these 10 inch styro balls. They were smooth and sturdy, made for the mighty sea. I love them!

How these balls were turned to dice

1.) I wanted to use a solid base rather than gluing or folding pieces of materials together. Since they will be thrown around, I want to avoid the risk of a piece falling off due to force. From the Styro balls, I had to find focal points (like geometry!) for the 6 faces of the dice
2.) I used these focal points as base for a protractor and then marked 6 equal circles around the ball. 
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finally putting highschool math to good use. study your math kiddos!
3.) tricky part : cutting those circles. I used some guitar wires mounted on wood and charged them with a car battery charger. Voila! Instant Styro cutter, DIY from items around the house. THANK GOD FOR HUSBANDS who have the tools. I initially planned on using a hand saw, but that would have taken ages! But using my homemade cutter posed one challenge, getting that even surface. Thus the fourth step...

4.) Paper Mache coat. This would make the surface look smoother. I only neglect not being able to put more layers on it, otherwise it will become too heavy for the kiddos.
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drying them out, statring to look real pretty here :)
5.) Painting over them! This was the fun and less stressful part. :D I just used white and black acrylic. Then I coated them with varnish so they are more dirt and water resistant when thrown (I assume, on the floor). After which they already look like real giant dice!
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packing all 6 for delivery
I wasn't there at the party, but my friend Nap, who endorsed me to the company was. He said the kids were able to enjoy playing with the dice. That was the best part really, more than the joy of making these crafts is to know it served it's purpose of making the event more enjoyable for the guests. 
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photo credits to Nap Ching :D
 


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