Hefty 12¢ Miniature

Hefty 12 cent Miniature
Over the years my miniature collection has waxed and waned according to my whims and needs. I used to have a bazillion paper minis, so many that the collection became too unwieldy to use.

I eventually switched over to a flat paper mini that I could use with Alea Tools markers. I still use the Alea Tools markers and highly recommend them. A good set of these magnetic markers travels easily and can be used to relay quite a bit of information in-game.

My preferred flat "paper" mini is actually mounted on a 1" fender washer. This gives the miniature some real heft, making it easier to pick up and move around with or without an Alea Tool marker underneath. My goal was to get the price down to 10¢ a mini, which is doable, but realistically my final cost comes down to about 12¢ a mini.

Supplies needed (preferred option):
Printed Monsters (Magic Cards, or other Collectible Card Games)
1" Craft Punch (Fiskars squeeze punch)
White Glue (Aleene's Original Tacky Glue)
1" Fender Washer (Bulk Box)

2 Easy steps to making a hefty paper miniatureThe process to make a mini is super-simple and really only two steps, punch out your monster and then glue it to a washer. If you have Alea Tools markers, they make great clamps for gluing. Just put a marker on top of the card-stock after you've glued it down to the washer.

I used to source my Magic cards from the Favorite Local Game Store (FGLS). The ones that run Magic tournaments often have big boxes of common cards that you can sift through. You might also ask your Magic playing friends for old cards. It had been my experience that if they knew you were cutting up the cards you could get them much cheaper. The first time I tried this the FLGS wanted a dime a card, but when I explained what I was doing I got them to halve their price.

It never hurts to ask.....and if you bring your punch with you it might help prove your sincerity.

For the washers, shop around. You can usually find a pound box of bulk washers much cheaper than grabbing a handful from a bulk bin. I was able to get my per-washer price down to a bit over 6¢.

Finally, I highly suggest getting a quality Fiskars squeeze punch. It will make getting the right part of the card punched so much easier. Saving $5 on a tool you will get a lot of use out of isn't worth it. Now I don't count the cost of my tools in the overall mini price, but I end up with:
   5¢     Card
   6¢     Washer
+ 1¢     Washer & Glue
12¢       Total Cost

If you glue another card cut-out to the other side of the washer you can get your price down to under 10¢ a miniature.


  1. Hey Chris. DM Glen again.

    Y'know, this blog for me is turning into the internet equivalent of potato chips. I can't read just one entry. Bravo.

    I've started doing tokens also following your lead. I found a store with bins full of old Magic cards for cheap so no problem there. I got a punch that'll work but my weak spot is the washers. I'm assuming the .06 apiece is buying them online. My local Home Depot or lowe's is selling 'em for around $1.20 for a bagf of 8 to $10-15 for a box of 100. Jeez, didn't see that coming...


    1. The real problem with trying to get your washers at those Big Box stores is that they just don't package them worth a damn. Most people only need a few for a given project.

      I would look around for a local farm supply store. Here was have D&B supply. Most farmers, or at least those worth a damn, want to have a pound or two of those washers on hand so they don't need to run into town.

      I can get a pound box at D&B for between $6 and $7, and I'm sure I can find them cheaper if I really looked.

      If you really start getting into these washer minis, you'll want to find a good way to organize them. A couple hundred minis get heavy fast, but that weight can be a benefit when in use.

    2. Farm supply stores! (dope slap) Of course! We have some around here. Never thought about that(my next stop was gonna be Ace Hardware).


  2. I should mention that if you are using those Alea Tools markers exclusively you can probably skip out on the washers and just use some magnetic sheeting. This will make your minis much thinner and weight a lot less, but they will be harder to pick up and move around. Not an issue if stuck onto an Aleas Tools marker, but initially picking them out of your mini pile is a bit more "fun".

    1. Speaking of weight, I don't know if you covered this or not but I started hanging on to my prescription bottles after I'm finished taking what my doctor ordered. Perfect for a stack of 1" tokens.