I love using dominos as a craft medium because they come ready to go with their own unique graphic design. Dominos can be glued to just about anything, so they lend themselves to versatile and easy crafts.
For example, you can glue them to a plain box to create an awesome box! You can glue them to a boring square vase to create an awesome vase! You can glue them to a square coaster to create an awesome coaster! Do you see the trend here? Endless options with dominos!
I used dominos to turn a beat up old thrift store tray into an awesome domino tray! I found this tray at Goodwill for only a couple bucks.
At first I picked it up thinking that maybe I could somehow restore it. I loved the inlaid wood design of South America. (My mom grew up in South America, so I thought I could fix it up and give it to her as a gift). I quickly realized however that I have no inlaid-wood-design-fixer-upper skills. The wood was too scuffed and scratched up to fix up with some polish as I had planned. So then I had to decide on something else to do with the tray. Solution? Dominos!
I got these dominos at Target. I got the colored ones that go up to 12 for more variety.
The tray had some big cracks in it so first I fixed it up with my old friend Gorilla Glue.
After sanding down some rough spots I painted the whole tray black. I think the dominos really pop against a black background. When the paint was dry I started experimenting with different ways to arrange the dominos in the tray.
If you make anything with dominos, make sure to lay out your design first instead of just gluing down willey-nilley. You may find your pattern won’t work and you’ll have to pry off all the glued on pieces. For my tray, any pattern I tried resulted with the same small square spot that wouldn’t fit a whole domino piece, but more on that later.
Also, it's a good idea to lay out your design first to make sure that you have enough dominos. I had bought a regular set of dominos thinking that would be enough peices. It wasn't at all, and I had to go back to the store to get the Mexican Train set since it had a lot more peices.
ThenI just glued my pieces down with Gorilla Glue. And an unintentional Coca Cola plug, but now you know what my favorite drink is.
If you want you can scratch up the back of the domino so that it catches more on the glue, but if you’re using something as strong as Gorilla Glue I don’t think that step is necessary. I didn’t do it and my dominos are all holding on strong.
Make sure you don’t use too much glue! Gorilla Glue expands as it dries, so if you use too much it will ooze up through the cracks in the dominos and leave ugly glue blobs that would be a pain to sand off.
By the way, this is the perfect craft to do while catching up on your favorite TV shows. Once you have a pattern set, you just glue and stick. Super easy, and soon enough you have this:
Awesome! As you can see I have a little empty square up in the top right corner that I mentioned before.
Fortunately the empty spot was just the right size for half of a domino. I used some glass cutters to snap a domino in half to fit there. Yeah, not as easy as I was expecting it to be. Which should have been obvious to me as a domino is much thicker than glass. So I called on my hubby’s strong muscles to crack that baby in half for me. That half I wanted to use (the pretty pink seven) lost a big chunk, but the other half made it through the ordeal intact!
I sanded it down to fit better and glued that bad boy in.
And finished! It turned out awesome!
My tray has a small gap around the edge, but it doesn’t bother me so I left it as is. It actually works great at catching pencils or knitting needles that roll around. If you wanted to get really into it you could space all the dominos a bit and grout it. But I don’t think that’s necessary if you’re using a strong enough glue. And grouting is a pain.
Now go grab some dominos and make something awesome!