This isn’t my technique; I’m stealing it from John Harper’s posts on Story Games. But it’s cool.
What you do is this. Buy the following items:
- Mod Podge. This is the glue and the finishing surface. The gloss version is working for me but you may want matte.
- Bag of circular cut outs. “Cut outs” is craft jargon for “little piece of wood.” You want the 1″ diameter version.
- 1″ paper punch. That one is cool because it’s easy to see what you’re punching — other models are top-down, so you have to contort a bit.
- Little dinky foam brushes. For the Mod Podge. I hear you can use cotton swabs for this too, but I’m a geek, so I like specific tools.
You can get all this stuff at a craft store locally, which is faster than Amazon, plus no shipping charges.
OK. Now print out some pretty pictures on (preferably) your color printer. Use Photoshop or Gimp or Preview or MS Paint or whatever to resize the graphics down to around 1″ big. Save paper; print a bunch of them on one sheet. They’re 1″ big, so you have plenty of room. Copy and paste for multiple kobolds. I’m thinking I’m going to add initials to my kobolds to distinguish the soldiers from the minons and so on. You don’t need to use cardstock or anything.
Punch out the circles with the paper punch. This is way satisfying.
Splortch some Mod Podge on the surface of a cut out. Use a brush so your fingers don’t get sticky. You can use a fair bit — it doesn’t seem to need to be a thin layer. Medium, maybe. Splortch splortch. Stick the paper circle to the cut out; smooth it out so there are no bubbles. Splortch.
Wait a few minutes for it to dry. You’re supposed to wait like an hour or so, I guess. I get impatient. I also sort of bend the edge of the paper down to match the bevel of the cut out.
Splortch some more Mod Podge on top of the paper. Use the foam brush to smooth and thin it out. It’s gonna seal the paper in, make it less delicate, and in theory make it look like the paper and cutout are one. Mod Podge seems to be really prone to textures; the foam brush appears to be key here to keep it smooth and, you know, glossy.
Let it dry more.
If you’re very ambitious, print out duplicate pictures with a red tinge to them, and stick those to the other side of the cut out so you can flip it over when it’s bloodied. This seems like a lot of work for something you could do with a red poker chip, though.
N.B.: real crafts people call this decoupage. When you go to the crafts store, you’re gonna see a bunch of wooden boxes and random objects next to the cut outs (which is a good way to find the cut outs, actually). Those are for the same purpose. I find myself tempted to do a decoupage box for dice and such like, with a lot of Larry Elmore art glued on.