Get ready for any adventure with this six pocket dice bag sewing tutorial. This is the perfect bag to sort and store all of your dice. With just a few materials you can be ready to roll in just a few hours!
The perfect dice bag to gift all the Dungeon Masters in your life
I have a lot of interests that people would call geeky. The extended editions of Lord of the Rings have been played in my house more that just about any other movie. Star Wars or Star Trek doesn’t matter, I will happily watch either. I can’t start to play video games very often because that is all I will do with any scrap of free time for at least a week.
One hobby I have surprisingly not picked up is Dungeons and Dragons. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have tons of people in my life who play. In fact, my husband hosts a regular DnD gathering at our house every other week. With our anniversary coming up I thought a new dice bag for his ever growing collection would make the perfect gift. I asked him what his perfect dice bag would look like. After a few attempts, I was able to make the dice bag of his dreams.
The first attempt
About a year or so ago I tried to make my husband a dice bag. While it is technically functional, it was far from perfect. The biggest issue is it is way too small. It also had too many pockets (yes, that is possible), and just didn’t look very nice. My husband is sweet enough that he still tried to use it. I learned a lot from this first attempt that helped me make a much better product the next time around.
The second attempt
With everything I learned from the first dice bag in mind I started on a second attempt. I used supplies I already had on hand: leftover fabric, an old bed sheet, and other things I had laying around. This ended up being very close to the final design but I made a few tweaks to make it even better!
Unlike the first bag, I left some extra fabric on the outer edge to create a decorative ruffle when the bag was closed. This ruffle turned out way too big. When my husband loaded his dice collection into the bag, they all fit, but it wouldn’t be able to hold any more. Fortunately, these are easy problems to fix. Changing the ratio of ruffle to pocket size solved these problems.
Supplies for the dice bag
With the final adjustments determined, we took the family to craft store. This was a bit of an adventure on its own with a toddler and baby in tow. Even with the extra “help” my husband was able to pick out exactly the fabric he wanted.
If you don’t want to go to the fabric store, this pattern is a great stash buster! It doesn’t take much fabric and you can play around with different patterns. Just be sure to stick to woven fabrics that don’t stretch.
For the final design I used quilter’s cotton. It is easy to find, comes in just about any color or pattern you could think of, and is usually budget friendly.
In addition to fabric, you will need thread for sewing, thick thread or embroidery floss for the eyelets, and some sort of thin cord or ribbon to make the drawstrings.
The first step to any sewing project (after washing and ironing the fabric) is to cut out the pieces. I’ll admit, this is always my least favorite part, but fortunately the pieces for this dice bag are very simple. There are just four pieces, two larger circles and two smaller circles. That’s it!
Because there are 4 different circles, you can choose up to 4 different fabrics for different parts of the final dice bag design. In this case, I chose to work with 3 fabrics. The final position of the fabric you are working with will determine which to use for the large circles and which to use for the smaller circles.
I started by cutting out the larger circles on my outer fabric. If you happen to have a large enough plate or pot lid you can trace that would make this step a bit easier. If you don’t have something the right size, don’t worry! It’s not too hard to draw a circle with just a ruler, and that’s what I did.
Laying the ruler out on the fabric I marked 0 inches, 9.5 inches, and 19 inches. Then, moving around from the center mark (9.5 inches) I marked 0 and 19 inches around the circle every so often. Then it was just a matter of connecting the dots, and voila, the circle was ready to cut!
The second large circle is even easier, just pin the first circle to the fabric and cut around it.
I repeated the process with the smaller circles, only marking 0 inches, 7.5 inches (center mark), and 15 inches before connecting the dots and cutting out the circles.
Eyelets for the drawstring
Before putting all the pieces together I made four eyelets on the large circle that will be the outside of the dice bag in the final product. They are placed 1.5″ from the outer edge, 1″ apart from each other on opposites sides of the outer large circle.
I like making eyelets. I always find something satisfying about getting to stab through fabric with an awl. If you have never made eyelets before, don’t worry! They are not particularly difficult and are quick to make. If you don’t have an awl, you can improvise with whatever pointy objects you happen to have lying around. The goal is to spread out the weave of the fabric enough to make a hole approximately 0.3″ wide. Then just whip stitch around the edge to hold it open.
Tip: If you are hand sewing and your thread is giving you trouble, try running the thread through a bit of beeswax. This will help protect the thread and prevent it from twisting on itself and getting knotted.
Create the large and small circles that make the dice bag
Once all the pieces are ready to go it time to put everything together. With the right sides of the fabric together, pin the 19″ circles to each other and the 15″ circles to each other and sew each set together Sew 1/2″ in from the edge for seam allowance. Be sure to leave a gap between the start and the stop of the seam large enough for your hand to fit through. Don’t be like me and forget to do that and have to rip back the seam.
When it comes to sewing this six pocket dice bag, you do not need to have a sewing machine. All you need is your hands, and a needle and thread. If you choose to hand sew this project, you can use just about whatever stitch you would like. There will not be a lot of strain on these seams so even a quick running stitch would be sufficient.
I cut notches in the seam allowance so the fabric would lay flat after I turn it inside out.
Even though this can be a bit tedious, trust me, it will save you so much heartache later.
With the notches cut out it was easy to turn the circles inside out and iron the seams flat. I used a ladder stitch to close the gap. It is the perfect stitch to use for this purpose since it is easy to sew and invisible when finished.
Make the channel for the drawstring
To be able to draw the bag closed there needs to be a channel for the cord to pass through. To create this, all you need to do is sew two seams on the larger circle on either side of the eyelets (one 0.5″ from the edge, one 1″ from the edge.
When I am this close to finishing a project I get very excited. I can start to see what the final result will be and it is nearly impossible for me to stop before it is done!
Putting it all together
Now that I had two complete circles, the next step was to put them together.
Lay the smaller circle on the inside layer of the outer circle in the orientation you want the fabric in the final product. Draw a hexagon in the center of the smaller circle that is 2.5″ from point to point. Once you have the hexagon sketched out you can sew around the line. Sewing this center portion helps keep the dice from getting stuck in a pointy pocket, and helps stabilize the bottom of the bag. You could use a circle instead of a hexagon if you prefer, but I could not resist the subtle D20 reference!
To create the six pockets for the dice bag, sew 6 lines radiating from each point of the hexagon. If you are hand sewing, this would be the time to use a stronger stitch, like a back stitch, since the pockets will come under strain with use.
The final touches for the dice bag
With all the sewing finished the last part is to add the draw string. I used a thin cord, similar to something that you find in a hoodie, but you could use any sort of string or cord or ribbon that you would like. To make sure my piece of cord was long enough I laid it around the edge of the bag to make sure it was long enough. I cut two pieces of cord that were the same length.
When I cut the cord, it immediately began to fray badly. Luckily, the cord was synthetic so I stopped the fraying by melting the ends. If melting won’t work, you can sew the ends down or use clear nail polish or glue to stop fraying.
Putting the cord through the drawstring channel is the final step. I like to use a small safety pin so I have something that is easy to feel while moving the cord around the bag.
I ended up having to untie the knot, it was too big to fit through the holes! But I was able to pull the cord through with it doubled over the safety pin. If the cord was any thicker it would not have fit, so be sure whatever you choose will fit. To make the drawstring work, the first piece of cord is put through one eyelet, then almost all the way around the circle to come out the eyelet next to it. Then just tie off the ends! Repeat the process with the other piece of cord and the other set of eyelets.
The final result
And that’s it! I had so much fun designing and making this dice bag, even though it took a few tries. I love how the final design turned out, and more importantly, so does my husband. We took a break from hosting Dungeons and Dragons after having our second child a little over a month ago. When we are finally able to welcome our friends back, I’m sure they will all want to have a bag of their own!
- approx. 1 yard of desired fabric - up to 4 choices NOTE: stretch/knit/mesh fabric not recommended
- approx. 10ft thin ribbon or cording for closure
- embroidery floss or thick thread
- ruler or yardstick
- chalk/fabric pen/something that can make marks on selected fabric
- good scissors
- sewing needle
- small safety pin
- thimble (optional but highly recommended)
- beeswax (optional)
- sewing machine (optional)
- Pre-wash and iron fabric
- Cut out two 19" diameter circles - these will be the outside of the dice bag and the first inner layer, use appropriate fabric based on your fabric choice for finished bag (1/2" seam allowance included)
- Cut out two 15" diameter circles - these will be used to create the inner pockets, use appropriate fabric based on your fabric choice for finished bag (1/2" seam allowance included)
- Create two sets of two eyelets on opposite sides of the outer fabric on opposite sides of the circle, 1.5" from outer edge, 1" apart from each other (4 eyelets total - see image below)
- Pin 19" circles together with wrong side of fabric facing out
- Sew around the circle 1/2" from edge leaving a gap between the start of the seam and end of the seam large enough for your hand to fit through
- Notch fabric around edge of circle
- Using the gap in the seam from step 6, pull the circle inside out - the right side of the fabric should be on the outside and all the raw edges should be inside the circle
- Iron around the seam so the circle lays flat with all raw edges neatly inside the circle
- Use a ladder stitch to invisibly close the gap where the fabric was inverted
- Repeat steps 5 through 10 with the 15" circles
- Either by hand or using sewing machine, sew around the larger circle 0.5" from edge (NOTE: this seam should fall on the outside edge of the eyelets made in step 4)
- Either by hand or using sewing machine, sew around the larger circle 1" from edge (NOTE: this seam should fall on the inside edge of the eyelets made in step 4)
- Line up the smaller circle in the middle of the inside of the larger circle and pin to keep in place
- Draw then sew a hexagon 2.5" from point to point (NOTE: you will be sewing through all 4 layers of fabric)
- Draw then sew 6 lines from each point of the hexagon from step 15 to the edge of the smaller circle (NOTE: you will be sewing through all 4 layers of fabric)
- Cut two lengths of ribbon (or other cord/string) that will be used to close the drawstring, at least as long as the circumference of the larger circle
- Finish off the ends of the ribbons from step 17 (sew down edge, use clear nail polish or clear drying glue, melt end if synthetic)
- Using a small safety pin that will fit through the eyelets created in step 4, thread one of the pieces of ribbon or cord through one eyelet, around the circle, and back out the adjacent eyelet
- Tie ends of ribbon together
- Using the second piece of ribbon, repeat steps 19 and 20, using the eyelets on the other side of the large circle
- Fill your completed bag with all your favorite dice
All seams can be sewn either by hand or by machine. If sewing by hand, a running stitch, back stitch, or combination stitch can be used. Back stitch is recommended for step 16 due to stress that will be placed on the seams when the pockets are used.
What do you think makes the best dice bag? Let me know in the comments below!
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