MakingPiecepacks

This is a page to gather information about the nuts and bolts of making your own piecepack.

If you'd rather buy than make your piecepack, see Vendors.

Supplies

Craftparts.com - A good source to order blank wooden pieces.
Here are direct links to parts that meet the standard dimensions in the Piecepack Anatomy.

TAP Plastics - Plastic bits.

Polyurethane spray sealer - When you make wooden pieces, use polyurethane finish to seal them, NOT Mod Podge! This is a spray version, but you can also use a brush-on finish if you prefer. This will give you a long-lasting, durable satin clear finish, that does NOT stay sticky.

Supplies in the UK

For people in the UK, try:

eM-4 for blank plastic dice and plastic counters for coins

Craftpacks Educational Supplies for bags of pawns

Patterns

Downloadable Piecepack Sets - Links to PDFs of piecepack graphics of many styles that you can simply cut out and glue to wood, foamcore, or cardboard to quickly make a piecepack. This page also links to at least two different 3D printable piecepack designs (they require a 3D printer, obviously).

Print-and-Play

Print-and-Play pdf's are usually designed to be used in up to three different ways:

1. Print single-sided on label paper, cut out the labels, and apply to components (in the material of your choice).

2. Print single-sided on paper(board), apply adhesive to the back, fold over in half "hot-dog-style" or "hamburger-style", and cut out the components. Often one will need to do some additional folding and application of adhesive/tape in order to construct the dice and pawns and often one will want to cut dice/pawns/pawn belts out before folding the paper(board) in half. In some (but not all) designs if you don't do so beforehand you will still have all the "standard" piecepack components.

3. Print double-sided on paper(board) and cut out the components. One will need to do some additional folding and application of adhesive/tape in order to construct the dice and pawns.

The BoardGameGeek Print-and-Play Wiki has lots of good info like how to quickly make coins using an arch punch.

The BoardGameGeek Origami Dice has a thread about the construction of sturdy paper dice without glue. Samples for the Piecepack can be found here.

Print on demand

The Game Crafter - Have your pieces manufactured and sent to you.

Free-To-Use Art Resources

http://game-icons.net/ - Over 3,000 game-related icons in a clean, consistent style. All of them use a Creative Commons license.

DIY Examples/Walkthroughs

Adhesive Label/Paper Sheets

3D printed

Burned

A few piecepack manufacturer's have used laser-engraving...

Painted

Depending on your suit design some stencils could work well. Or a stamp. Or some woodcuts...

Possible modifications to consider for households with very young children

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor a doctor, just a father with a toddler. Use your head and use the following information at your own risk! - TrevorLDavis

Size

Although the Anatomy of a Piecepack Standard does not mandate a particular dimension for the piecepack components it does provide as a point of reference the dimensions used by the Mesomorph piecepack: 2" x 2" x 1/4" tiles, 1/2" cubes, 3/4" diameter x 1/8" coins and 5/8" diameter by 1-1/8" tall pawns. The small cubes, coins, and pawns of the Mesomorph piecepack seem to present a serious choking hazard to very little children, in particular small (metal) coins are a major source of chocking death for young children. The CSPC considers anything that fits into a 1-1/4" diameter cylinder to be a potential choking hazard for young children. Studies of actual choking deaths in young children point out that many children die from objects that exceed the CSPC standard and instead suggest a more conservative standard of objects not being able to fit into a 1-3/4" diameter cylinder. As a point of reference Uncle Goose blocks are 1-3/4" cubes and Mudpuppy Mini Memory Match are 2-1/4" diameter discs. Some safer dimensions could be:

Toxicity

Young children like to put things in their mouth so it would be nice if the piecepack components are non-toxic. Here is some advice for painting non-toxic wooden toys. For comparison Uncle Goose blocks use non-toxic ink on unfinished wood and Mudpuppy uses non-toxic ink on cardboard for their discs.

Corners

Components (in particular tiles and dice) are less dangerous if their corners are rounded rather than pointed.

Density

Less dense materials are less damaging when thrown by a child at other children although some low density materials are more fragile and malleable which increases choking risk (if they can be deformed or broken into a shape that can fit into a child's throat).

Theme

Standard piecepack ranks/suits are rather abstract for very young children. More concrete symbols like animals, food, or vehicles could be friendlier for very little children.