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Dice for lu-lu, Hawaiian game
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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 cutter
  • 1" circle punch
  • White glue (Elmer's, PVA)
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic lid or waxed paper
  • Optional supplies: Round pen or pencil, corrugated cardboard, heavy-duty craft scissors, glue stick, red marker

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. Select the 1" Circle Punch pattern or Circle Cutouts pattern, depending upon whether you have a 1" circle punch or not.

1" Circle Punch
Pattern for 2-sided dice, punched discs
Circle Cutouts
Pattern for 2-sided dice, cutouts

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
Punch (or cut) four circle fronts and backs

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 ΒΌ"-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 construction paper.

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 construction paper.

Wind paper strips into coiled disc
  • 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 additional strips.
  • 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.
Glue and overlap strips to join

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.

Make cardboard discs for dice
Step 6: Glue
Glue die front on coiled disc

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 points. Lu-lu dice set

  1. Draw lots to see who goes first.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
Dice for lu-lu, Hawaiian dice game

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

ePaper Extra

Hawaiian Orchid ePaper


Hawaiian Orchid ePaper - stripes

Tip: These ePapers are inspired by Hawaiian fabric floral designs an colors. Use one of Aunt Annie's Hawaiian Orchid ePaper downloads to bind a score pad for lu-lu following the instructions in the Recycled Paper Notepads craft project.

Scorepad with sleeve for lu-lu dice game


Dice made with coiled paper discs

Tip: Alternate two colors of paper strips when winding the strips for the dice.

Blue and white coiled paper discs

Tip: Use a round pencil or pen as a coiling tool instead of a toothpick.

Corrugated cardboard dice

Tip: The dice can be made with corrugated cardboard instead of coiled paper discs.

Quick punch and mark dice

Tip: Quick dice can be made by punching circles from white cardstock and marking one side with crosses and dots. They are a bit hard to throw, but will do in a pinch.

Wrap edge of cardboard dice

Tip: For a more finished look, the edges of the cardboard dice can be wrapped. Use a 1/8"-wide strip of paper and glue it to the edge. (This can be challenging to do.)

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