Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Tutorial: Making a Box

When I started this blog many months ago, I fully intended to sprinkle in a few tutorials here and there. I've just now gotten around to putting one together, but better late than never, right? This one is a good one to start with. Nothing says, "I finally have a real prototype!" like moving all those little bits, cards, rules, notes and boards from old plastic bags to a crisp new cardboard box!

  • a nice sheet of cardboard (I use a medium coverstock from Gane Brothers) or some matte board from your local craft store
  • a steel ruler
  • a craft knife (please be careful!)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a pencil
  • packing tape
Step 1: Figure out what size box you need and determine the necessary size of the rectangles for your box and cut them out. My box is designed to be (close to) the maximum size that can still be covered by a label printed on a single sheet of 13x19 paper (the largest my print shop can do). I cut the bottom rectangle to 10 9/16" x 13 9/16" and my top rectangle to 10 3/4" x 13 3/4". This box accommodates a folded board size of 6 1/4" x 9 1/4".

Step 2: Draw a line 2" from each side. This gives the box a height of 2". These lines should make four 2" squares on the corners of the sheet.

Step 3: Cut the 2" squares off all the corners. I use scissors just to make it quicker.

Step 4: Score the pencil lines from step 2 with the knife. This part can be tricky--you want to cut about halfway through the cardboard.

Step 5: Place the sheet cut-side down and carefully fold the sides of the box up.

Step 6: Tape all the corners. I use a 2" packing tape which works well when taping 2" corners. I have found this tape to be a bit slick when it came time to adhere the label, but a little glue stick on those areas (just before attaching the label) seems to do the trick.

And then you're finished! Check to see that your box top fits well on your box bottom. I'm not including instructions for applying the label just yet, but here's a hint: get some 3M Super 77 spray adhesive. It's like magic. Anyway, there you have it--a brand new box. You'll be all the rage at the next playtesting session. Feel free to ask any questions if something isn't clear. Good luck with your boxes!


  1. fantastic first tutorial. start with the basics..we can take it from there. i'm impressed, and that's hard to do.

  2. This could be useful for all sorts of things! Bookmarking to delicious to try later.

  3. Thank you for this useful tutorial!
    Eleonora from Italy

  4. Hi again - featured on a post of this week's top 10 crafting tutorials!


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