Homemade Dominoes Set

As a surprise for a friend, I made her a homemade dominoes set. She has a set already that she brings to bars but unfortunately they are too thin to pick up as a set with her hand b/c they don’t have an edge thick enough to pin to each other. Yet, regular sized dominoes are too wide for her hands. (If anyone plays dominoes they know you should be able to grab four at a time and hold them in your hand.) So I sized them to be thick but narrower than traditional dominoes. I used wood from a Booker’s Bourbon box, which is just boards pressed together with a nicer wood veneer.

Size of each domino: 40mm x 18mm / 1.6" x 0.7"

Dominoes cut out with 1/8" 1F upspiral bit 50ipm / 9" PR / 0.05" DOC = ~20 minutes
Dots / detailing: 1/32" bit 50ipm / 9" PR / 0.012" DOC = ~40 minutes


  1. Sand and shellac (2 coats) the board
  2. Cut domino faces
  3. Paint (I tried acrylic but it was bleeding too heavily into the wood and was really difficult to wipe off the shellac. It would just seep into the materials. My roommate suggested enamel. So I used a medical syringe to squeeze white enamel paint into all the crevices and wiped off the excess as I went.)
  4. Lightly sand off the excess paint. I think I used 150.
  5. Cut out the dominoes.
  6. Sand.
  7. Shellac (2 coats), let dry overnight.
  8. Buff with steel wool to even out the shellac and it gave them this lovely shine.

Lessons learned:

  1. I need some down spiral bits. Sanding the top edges was such a pain (also b/c I use cheap wood as I’m still learning), and the tear out made me sad.
  2. I need to learn V carving b/c filling the straight cut holes was so time consuming and precise… whereas I think filling little bowl shaped cuts would’ve been infinitely easier.


I made a file to make some but still haven’t made them ( that was like 6 months ago), I used to make them by hand, and it took me a long time to make just one set. If you make another set, put some finishing nails in the middle with the round heads, they will look really nice with those. Good job, I know how time consuming those are!

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