Lu-lu, Hawaiian Dice Game
What you will make:
Take an imaginary trip to Hawaii by playing the Hawaiian
game of lu-lu with the dice made in this craft project. The
Hawaiians have a long tradition of playing games enjoyed by both
children and adults. Many of the games are games of skill, while others
are quiet games especially for children.
Lu-lu is a very simple game that requires nothing more than four
dice and your hands to throw them. The dice in lu-lu are painted,
two-sided discs usually fashioned from volcanic stone or bone. In this
project, you have the option of making the dice with coiled paper
strips or with cardboard discs.
At the end of this project page you'll find the
rules for playing lu-lu.
Related craft: For more coiled paper fun, see the
Basics of Quilling.
Here's what you need:
- White computer paper or cardstock
- Construction paper for making narrow strips
- Scissors, pencil and ruler or paper
- 1" circle punch
- White glue (Elmer's, PVA)
- Plastic lid or waxed paper
- Optional supplies: Round pen or pencil,
corrugated cardboard, heavy-duty craft scissors, glue stick, red
This project is rated EASY to do.
How to Make Dice for Lulu, a Hawaiian Game
Read all of the steps before starting.
- Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It
Download and print the pattern for the dice you want to make.
1" Circle Punch pattern or Circle Cutouts
pattern, depending upon whether you have a 1" circle punch or not.
1" Circle Punch
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The
Adobe Reader is available for free.
All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4).
When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.
- Step 2: Punch or Cut Discs
For coiled paper dice, use the 1" circle punch to punch four
circles with red crosses, with one to four dots, for the front of
your dice. You may optionally punch four circles from the flowered
paper for the back of your dice.
For cardboard dice, cut out eight circles—four with red
crosses and dots (one to four) and four from the flowered paper. If you
would prefer to hand-draw the crosses and dots or the flip-side
decoration, cut out the plain circles.
- Step 3: Cut Paper Strips
Use scissors or a paper cutter to cut ¼"-wide by 9"-long strips from a sheet
of 9" by 12" construction paper. Each coiled paper disc (die) requires
about eleven 9" strips, or 44 strips total for all four dice. So, a
set of dice can be made from a single 9" by 12" sheet of
You can mix different colors of strips, if you like. Just keep in
mind that you need about 11 strips for each die.
Tip: As an aid in cutting strips, download and print
a paper strip cutting guide on colored or white computer paper. You
can make the dice from computer paper, if you like.
- Step 4: Coiled Discs
To wind a disc, you will need a round toothpick and about 11 strips of
- Moisten your thumb and index finger. Place the top of the
paper strip against the index finger.
- Put the toothpick across the strip near the top.
With your thumb, curl the paper over the toothpick. This will
start the coil.
- Without moving the toothpick, use your thumb and index
finger to wind the paper.
- After the first strip of paper is wound, put glue on the end
of the strip and attach another strip with
about a 1" overlap.
- You may remove the toothpick and continue winding the coil
by hand. Be sure to keep the coil tightly wound as you add
- Keep winding and adding strips until the coiled disc is the
same size as your punched or cut-out circles. Apply glue to the
last 1" to 2" of the final strip. Press the glued area against
the coil and hold for a few seconds.
Gluing tips: Put a puddle of glue on a plastic lid
or a square of wax paper. Use a
white glue that dries clear, and apply/spread the glue with a toothpick.
- Step 5: Cardboard Discs (optional)
Instead of coiled discs, the dice may be made with corrugated
cardboard. Glue the four front circles of the dice to a piece of corrugated
cardboard. Cut out the four circles.
- Step 6: Glue
For the coiled paper dice, glue a die-front circle to each coiled
disc. If you like, you may cover the flip-side with another circle,
but the coiled disc usually looks nice with no covering.
For the cardboard dice, glue a decorative paper circle to the
flip-side of each disc.
- Step 7: Play Lu-lu
Lu-lu is played by any number of players sitting in a circle. The
game is played with four lu-lu dice, and pencil and paper to keep
score. Each die has one to four dots on one side and is blank or
decorated on the other side. The dice are shaken in both hands
and then thrown onto the ground. The number of dots facing up is counted.
The object of the game is to be the first player to score 100
- Draw lots to see who goes first.
- The dice are passed around the circle and each player throws
the dice, noting his or her score. Each player gets two throws
per turn. Any dice showing the reverse side on the first throw
are gathered up and thrown again. The score for the turn is the
number of dots showing face-up.
- If a player scores 10 on the first throw, he or she throws
all four dice again and adds the new score to the total. The
most any player can score in a single turn is 20 points, and the
least is zero.
- The game continues with more rounds until one player has
scored 100 points total.
That's it! Your dice are done and now it's time to play!
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