Step 3: Make the Chip Holder
Bingo chips are light. Spray painting blows them away unless they are anchored in place. Make your chip holder by attaching strips of masking tape to your scrap cardboard with the sticky side facing out. Use short pieces of tape at each end of the long strips to attach them.
Narrow strips, about 1/2-inch wide, are ideal. If your masking tape is wider than that, use a cutting board and sharp kitchen knife to make one wide strip into several narrow strips.
Very little contact is needed between chip and tape. One strip of tape can hold two rows of chips (see photo).
Step 4: Painting
Sticking chips onto the tape is easy but time-consuming. It takes about ten minutes for every hundred chips. Leave space between the chips so they are not touching each other.
After painting, leave them on the chip holder and set them aside for at least a full day. Most spray paints are “dry to the touch” within minutes, but this is not the same as “ready to use.” You still must turn the chips over and paint their other side, but, if you turn them too soon, you will ruin your paint job. Soft paint sticks better to masking tape than it does to plastic.
The next day, after you’ve turned them over and painted the other side, let them dry overnight again. Otherwise, they might stick to each other when you peel them off and stack them together.
Step 5: Stamping
You don’t have to stamp denominations onto all your coins right away. Instead, stamp fifty or sixty of each denomination for each type of metal, and leave the rest blank. After a few games have passed, stamp more of any denominations you are running out of.
Low denominations will probably run out faster than high denominations. Consider this example: Four characters find 3,000 gold pieces in the dragon’s hoard, so you might consider handing out 3 “thousand gp” coins. Because 3,000 GP divided four ways is 750 gp each, though, your players will soon be asking you to make change for the high-value coins so that they can divide up their loot.
The coins don’t need to be taped down for stamping, so you can use any convenient horizontal surface. Be sure to protect your workspace. Staz-On ink is formulated to stick to anything, so accidents will be difficult to clean up.
Normal ink dries almost instantly, but ink for non-porous surfaces dries slowly. Leave the coins alone for an hour after stamping. If you’re impatient you can blot them with a paper towel. Any coins that stick to the towel need more drying time.
Many of your coins will have flaws: Off-center, too much ink, too little ink, and so forth. That’s fine. Actual medieval coins were never perfect. As long as your coins are legible, use them. Otherwise, repaint them and try again.
For every hundred coins, expect to spend about ten minutes stamping their fronts, and ten more minutes to stamp their backs.
Step 6: Storage
Just as cash drawers have individual slots for each denomination of currency, you will probably want to store each denomination and type of coin separately. Zip-lock plastic bags are both compact and transparent, which makes them ideal for this purpose. Keeping everything neat and orderly eases the work of acting as the game’s banker.
Your players, on the other hand, will probably stuff all their loot into their dice bag.
Step 7: Use Them
Now you are ready to hand out actual treasure. The results will be priceless.