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Subject: Shadowboxes on the cheap = Dice trays on the cheap rss

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Ryan S
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I wish I could properly thank the BGG individual who gave me the idea, but I can't remember which thread I heard this in. Basically somebody was asking for a dice tray idea, and someone recommended buying a picture frame and removing the glass... wala, instant dice tray.

Today at lunch I went to Michael's looking for a bunch of board game related things, and I noticed they had all "Shadowboxes" on sale, 40% off. Shadowboxes are basically picture frames with some depth, with a velour or felt type inside (where the dice would be rolled). I found some really nice ones that would work for dice trays, so I bought a couple.

Unfortunately I can't find the exact one I bought on their website, but I'd recommend just checking out the shadow box isle and seeing what fits your fancy if you're on the search for a good dice tray.

Here's a link to the "Weekly Ad" for department 7, frames:

http://weeklyad.michaels.com/stores/9833/departments/7

If you scroll down a bit you'll see the 'Display Boxes / Shadowboxes' 40% off ad.

The shadowboxes I bought were around $5 after the 40% discount. That sure beats the $20 you'll pay for some dice trays at gaming stores. Now I just need to break the glass panes out of these, put some felt circles on the back to protect my table, and I'm good to go.
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Alan Nanes
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Okay, this is an awesome idea. Thanks!
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Paul DeStefano
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This idea is most intriguing.
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Adam Vajcovec
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GibbRS wrote:
I wish I could properly thank the BGG individual who gave me the idea, but I can't remember which thread I heard this in. Basically somebody was asking for a dice tray idea, and someone recommended buying a picture frame and removing the glass... wala, instant dice tray.

Well, I don't know about you, but I first heard of that trick from Rodney Smith of Watch It Played.

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He uses one in his videos. I think it first showed up in his series on Dungeon Run. I'll happily give him some credit for a really cool idea!
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that Matt
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It's worth knowing that, even without category sales, Michaels frequently features "40% off one regularly priced item" coupons. They'll even scan it straight from a smartphone.
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Ryan S
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BaseTwelve wrote:
GibbRS wrote:
I wish I could properly thank the BGG individual who gave me the idea, but I can't remember which thread I heard this in. Basically somebody was asking for a dice tray idea, and someone recommended buying a picture frame and removing the glass... wala, instant dice tray.

Well, I don't know about you, but I first heard of that trick from Rodney Smith of Watch It Played.


I think you may be on to something. I still have a tab open in Opera for Rodney's "Watch It Played" videos, so that's possibly where I heard the idea.

 
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L. Bogerly
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GibbRS wrote:
checking out the shadow box isle


Your Michael's is an archipelago?

Sorry, I enjoyed the image of boating around a store too much to not share...
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Sara Bear
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They even occasionally have 50% off coupons, sometimes every other month.

Me, I've been looking for a portable dice tray option (for playing Martian Dice & Trophy Buck anywhere.) We currently use a shoebox lid, but I'm thinking something hinged that closes, like something similar to a mini travel backgammon set tray, that'd have depth to it/raised sides to keep the dice in. Probably a bit deeper/higher than a mini backgammon set, though.

You know how many of those classic games in travel form are hinged and fold in half. This'd be perfect for a portable dice tray in the right configuration . . . I suppose I could ask my dad, who is a woodworker (who thinks of EQII profession when I say that?) to make me one, but I'd be tickled to find something commercially that'd work . . . hmm, now that I think about it . .

I have a medium smallish plano, that has three? rows on the left 2/3 of the box, and a big open area that fills the rest of the space on the right. With felt, that might make good travel storage for both games, and a rolling area. I might have to test this out, or find a different configuration plano with features that might work . . .
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Chris Hillery
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I made myself several of these some years ago after having basically the same insight while wandering the aisles at Michael's. They work great. Also available at the store: self-adhesive felt, perfect for cutting to size and lining the bottom of the tray, to keep the noise levels down. You can also get thin foam-rubber crafting sheets for the same purpose that work great.
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Ryan S
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ElbowGirly wrote:
GibbRS wrote:
checking out the shadow box isle


Your Michael's is an archipelago?

Sorry, I enjoyed the image of boating around a store too much to not share...


Can't a guy shop his Venice Michael's store without getting confronted.

Ok, so it was an "aisle," not an "isle."

Ceej wrote:
I made myself several of these some years ago after having basically the same insight while wandering the aisles at Michael's. They work great. Also available at the store: self-adhesive felt, perfect for cutting to size and lining the bottom of the tray, to keep the noise levels down. You can also get thin foam-rubber crafting sheets for the same purpose that work great.


Good idea on the foam backing. I hadn't even thought about sound reduction, but I may need to make a second trip to Michael's or Hobby Lobby and snag some sheets of foam.
 
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I've been using 100-card count Ultrapro boxes as dice "trays". They double as storage for the cards *and* the dice!



Michaels is *great* for plano-style storage boxes. They're also on sale quite often.
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Ryan S
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I think I should mention that if you do plan on getting a frame/shadowbox to use as a dice tray, try to find one with removal glass.

I didn't think I'd have trouble removing the glass from the shadowbox I bought, but it's proving more difficult than I thought. I thought I could just hit it a couple times with a heavy object and it would shatter right out of the frame, but this box I bought (Shadowbox Boite-Cadre by Studio Decor) seems to have really tough glass. I even tried pounding a screwdriver into the glass but haven't been able to break it yet. Perhaps I'm just a weakling, but I am at work and I'm trying not to make too much noise or cause too much of a mess.

Most picture frames have removal glass, but I think shadowboxes have glass that stays in place, because it's designed to be a couple centimeters or inches from the object in the box.

edit: ok I finally managed to break out the glass by hammering it with a screwdriver (I'm alone in my building now as my coworkers have all left, haha)

I sealed the broken glass in a plastic jar to prevent it from injuring anybody and now I have a nice dice tray, woot!

(here's an awful cell phone pic of it)

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Simon Boses
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I saw this post and swung by Michael's to see what I could find. I ended up getting a 4 pack of 5x7 shadowbox frames by Studio Decor ($11). A couple of sheets of sticky backed foam ($2) and I was able to make 4 small dice trays (for King of Tokyo in my case ).

I wanted to post about them because these frames have 4 little screws on the back which allow you to take it apart. The result is that you can remove the glass without breaking it. Not sure what to do with 4 sheets of glass now, but there you have it.

They are a good 3/4" deep so I decided to put some of the foam around the inside just to keep things extra quiet (we have a baby in the house). Getting 4 small trays made for $13 was pretty perfect for me (and my wallet).

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Daniel VandenBurg
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im saving for a dice tower
 
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Alan Nanes
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I went with some 8"x8" frames. Like that they're square for some reason. For fun, I picked up some of the self-adhesive felt as suggested for the bottom and cut some strips for the sides too. Great results.
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Ryan S
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mudmonkey wrote:

I wanted to post about them because these frames have 4 little screws on the back which allow you to take it apart. The result is that you can remove the glass without breaking it. Not sure what to do with 4 sheets of glass now, but there you have it.


Last night my friend was breaking out the glass of his shadowbox when he ended up breaking off the back part accidentally. At that point we realized the screws would let you take out the glass pane without breaking it, haha. I thought the screws only held on the little clips that kept the backing in the frame.

My friend was able to fix his with some gorilla glue and it works fine now.

You can probably reuse the glass for some cool shelving if you so desire. It would be kind of cool to put some glass shelves on the wall to display your favorite games.

Also, be careful to look for the ones with the velour or felt inside so you have a nice surface to roll the dice on.

edit: looks like Hobby Lobby has 50% off on all frames as well, so it might be worth checking them out. I'm not sure if that includes Shadowboxes as well (or if they even have any), but I'll check this afternoon and let you all know.

http://www.hobbylobby.com/weekly/weekly.cfm

Since I bought the only two decent looking shadow boxes from Michael's, I may have to swing by Hobby Lobby to see what they have.

edit2: Oh and I think I remembered where I got the idea from. It was in this video step-by-step guide for playing Quarriors by "flipsidesolutions".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5Hmu1UX7fQ
He mentions having a picture frame dice tray near the beginning of the video.
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Brian Cwikla

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A while back I went to Michaels to look for shadow boxes based on what I saw on the Watch it Played series and ended up looking through the aisle of unpainted wooden boxes. They have a nice square wood box with lid for a couple dollars that I picked up along with some felt. I took off the hinges, stained the wood and added the felt and they're perfect. It's an option if you want the ability to color/stain the wood to your liking on the cheap.
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After Christmas, I picked up a half dozen folding valet trays for less than $1 each. They fold up so they are easy to carry and transport. The picture is similar to the ones I got (they are fake leather, not real).

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Ryan S
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Cool ideas on the wooden boxes and valet trays.

FYI I stopped by Hobby Lobby and was not impressed at all with their "Shadow box" aisle. They didn't have many small ones (only one brand that I could find) and they were all really expensive. Even with the 50% off sale they were $8-$10 each, which seems a lot higher than the $3-$4 boxes at Michael's. Also, I didn't find any ones that had the velour inside feel.
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that Matt
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Great idea. I'll add another crappy cell phone picture. I picked a shadow box that's probably deeper than necessary, but I like how it turned out.

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Ryan S
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^It looks like your cat is interested in the shadowbox dice tray, haha.

Update: I ended up getting sticky backed foam sheets from Hobby Lobby along with an exacto knife (surprisingly I never owned one) and made myself a back to my dice tray that turned out ok. It certainly won't scratch my table now.

I'm thinking of putting small foam strips along the edges of the inside frame to reduce noise (like mentioned above), but haven't gotten around to that yet.
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Douglas Ortiz
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tumorous wrote:
I picked a shadow box that's probably deeper than necessary, but I like how it turned out.


I like the deeper box for being able to roll it off the wall, craps style. The felt lining was enough to keep it quiet.

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Ryan King
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Post is legit, best part is they hang on the wall above the gaming table! Making my girlfriend her own tomorrow.

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Ryan King
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Also, for the above poster with the extra panes of glass, they work well with dry erase markers
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