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Subject: TUTORIAL: Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Revised & Expanded, 6/29/17) rss

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Luke Matthews
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GEEKELITE’S GAME UPGRADE TUTORIALS

THIS TUTORIAL: Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes
Creating Graphics Wraps for Chipboard Boxes
Chipboard Bit-Boxes for Card Games
Custom Poker Chip Tokens
Poker Chip Racks for Card Game Boxes
Two-Piece Bit Boxes for Board Games

GeekElite’s Tutorials Geeklist w/File Links (WIP)

GRAPHICS-WRAPPED CHIPBOARD CARD BOXES

Over the course of the last year, I’ve developed a method for creating custom, graphics-wrapped boxes for card games and other board game bits. The primary reason I build these boxes is to change the footprint of card games on my shelf. Small-box card games generally have an odd footprint – and a complete lack of standardization of box sizes, to boot – and many won’t fit sleeved cards.

After posting the original version of this tutorial, I further developed the process – specifically for card games – and created a design that standardizes the sizes of these boxes so they stack well and create a clean, organized look on the shelf. I have, as of this writing, used the techniques presented herein to create boxes for 39 games in my collection. Here’s the photo gallery. This should give you a good idea of what’s possible when creating these boxes.

This revised version of the tutorial will contain all of my standardized size information, as well as a few new techniques for accommodating different sized cards within the same footprint, and we’ll be focusing on making a box for 6 Nimmt. Why 6 Nimmt, you ask? Because it just happened to be the box I was building when I decided to revise this tutorial, so it’s the one I have all the pictures and measurements for.

This post is very detailed. I've included a ton of information so that someone has virtually everything they need to build one of these from scratch. If you're not interested in the minutia, and would like a visual summary, you can just flip through the picture gallery on Imgur.

MATERIALS NEEDED

* Metal Ruler/Straight-Edge
* Sharp X-Acto or Utility Knife
* Medium Weight Chipboard
* Alene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue
* Spray Adhesive
* Acrylic Spray Finish

In addition to the above materials for the construction of the physical box, you’ll need to print a graphics wrap to decorate each box. A good, high-resolution color printer is necessary, as well as some inkjet-rated linen paper. Finding that paper isn’t as easy as it seems, as most linen stock you can find in normal office supply stores is generally rated only for laser printers, and will cause inkjet inks to bleed. You can find plenty of inkjet-rated papers from Neenah Paper. The paper I use is their CLASSIC Linen Digital in Avalanche White.

Your choice of paper is up to you. I’ve found the above linen paper makes for a nice surface with just a little bit of texture that emulates many of the board and card game boxes made by professional publishers, especially after being coated in acrylic sealant. Other papers will work just fine as well, and you can experiment with which ones produce the best combination of print quality and feel for your tastes. Avoid heavy weight papers like photo paper as they’ll be very difficult to manipulate during the box construction, and be sure that the paper you choose can properly accept the acrylic sealant (some papers just soak it up rather than allow it to create a surface seal).

This tutorial will focus primarily on the physical construction of the box. Although I'll have some notes regarding the creation of the graphics wrap, the in-depth design will be a topic for an entirely separate tutorial, so I'm keeping that bit to a minimum.

Alright, let's get to it.

INITIAL MEASUREMENT

Okay, so there's going to be a bunch of math and shit here. I apologize. It's not fun. Measure twice, cut once, right?

It's best to get all of your measurements and calculations out of the way first. As I go, I'll be including the measurements for the 6 Nimmt box I'm constructing here so it can be replicated, as well as calling out the standardized sizes for boxes so you can replicate the process I used when making my set. Individual sizes for most of the boxes I’ve designed, as well as image files for the graphics wraps can be found in this GeekList. Please note that GeekList is a work in progress, and I’m still adding new information to it. All of the measurements for the 6 Nimmt box in this tutorial will create a box that will work with the pre-prepared graphics wrap linked in that GeekList.

Note: All of my measurements are in millimeters, because Metric is just flat easier to deal with, especially where math is involved.

The first step is to measure the card itself, inside a sleeve:



My measurements for this card: 59mm (w) by 90mm (h) (I always round up)

Note: Some sleeves are taller than this. In fact, this particular sleeve is a Fantasy Flight sleeve that I’ve trimmed down (I do that a lot). All of the measurements for these boxes will fit the vast majority of standard, untrimmed sleeves. Extra tolerances will also be added in later in this tutorial.

Next, stack the cards and measure the stack's height:



This will give you the internal length of the box. If you're doing this with sleeved cards, put a little bit of pressure to slightly (*slightly*, not completely) compress the cards. My measurement for the stack: 55mm.

Add a little bit of length to this measurement to accommodate a folded rulebook, if necessary. Since most rulebooks are not made for this type of box, they’ll need to be folded to properly fit. I typically add 5mm to the stack height to accommodate rulebooks and give a little extra leeway. If you think your folded rulebook might exceed 5mm in thickness, measure it and adjust accordingly.

You’ll always want to make sure you add a little padding to the card measurements to give yourself a little leeway. Measuring exact can result in an extremely tight fit or, even worse, the cards not fitting at all. The measurements for this particular game ended up relatively square, and incorporate a little leeway to make sure everything fits properly.

Note: I strongly suggest using the measurements for sleeved cards, even if you don't normally sleeve. A little extra room in the box never hurts, and if you ever do decide to sleeve the cards, or sell the game and custom box to someone who wants to, it's an advantage.

Final Internal Measurement: 60mm (w) x 90mm (h) x 60mm (d)

FURTHER MEASUREMENTS

Now that we know the internal space needed, we can calculate the size of the panels we'll need to construct the individual parts of the box. The box will consist of three parts: The lid, the bottom, the internal riser (which holds on the lid).

The internal riser consists only of four walls, with no base. It'll be inserted into the box bottom. It'll need to be shorter than the actual cards to make it easier to remove the deck. The sides of the box bottom will be 50mm tall (explained later), so I make the riser 65mm tall. This allows enough exposed riser to hold the box lid in place, but not so much that the cards can’t be accessed.

All of my new boxes have a standardized size of [75mm wide]. To find the external measurements of the riser, we will subtract 4mm from that dimension (3mm to account for the thickness of the box walls + 1mm for leeway), giving us a width of 71mm. This is a standardized measurement. All boxes are 75mm wide, and all risers are 71mm wide.

The two side pieces need to be the exact length we determined for the card stack plus rulebook, so they will be 60mm long.

Internal Riser Measurements:

Ends: 71mm (w) x 65mm (h)
Sides: 60mm (l) x 65mm (h)


The overall external dimensions of the riser will be 71mm (w) x 65mm (h) x 63mm (d). Remember, that depth measurement is the internal stack height we arrived at before plus 3mm for the thickness of the chipboard at either end.

The outer box will consist of two parts that will fit around the internal riser and the cards. In my standardized box design, the overall internal height for all boxes is 100mm. This height will accommodate not only virtually every brand of sleeve (which can vary by as much as 4mm in height), but also gives us a little space to make dividers. This 100mm will be the height of the sides of the box, split between the bottom and the lid, so those side pieces will be 50mm tall.

The measurements for the box sides are included below, but feel free to ask if you need more explanation of how I arrived at these numbers.

Lastly, we need measurements for the base pieces for the lid and bottom of the box. Remember: We need to add 3mm to any measurement that needs to account for the thickness of the boards, and in this instance we also need to add an extra 1mm to accommodate the thickness of the graphics wrap. We look at the width and depth measurements of the internal riser, and add 4mm to each dimension, making the base pieces 75mm wide x 67mm long.

Note: The reasoning behind that extra 1mm of space for the graphics wrap is pretty simple: once the paper is wrapped around the box, we need to still have enough space to insert the riser without crushing it. If we were to leave our tolerances so narrow (exactly 3mm for the width of the chipboard), the box would fit together without a graphics wrap, but once the wrap was applied, we’d no longer be able to get the riser into the box.

Below are the measurements for each of the individual pieces that make up the box bottom and lid:

Base: 75mm (w) x 67mm (l)
Ends: 75mm (w) x 50mm (h)
Sides: 64mm (l) x 50mm (h)


ASSEMBLING THE INTERNAL RISER

Okay, now that all the measuring is out of the way, the actual assembly should go a hell of a lot faster. And there's more pictures. We like pictures.

The most efficient way to cut the pieces is to cut walls first by finding their height (65mm), then cutting a strip off of the chipboard at that width...



...then chopping that strip into the individual pieces.



These pictures are of the internal riser. Remember, no bottom.

Note: Some tutorials on building chipboard boxes would have you cut a channel in the board without actually cutting it into pieces, then just folding it at those scored segments. Without machinery, that is much more difficult to achieve by hand. Plus, it throws more complications into the process. Also, I've found that gluing the joints actually makes a stronger box with tighter edges anyway, so I like it better.

Now, you should have four panels of equal height (65mm). Two of them are the ends at 71mm wide, and two of them are sides at 60mm wide.

Apply a generous bead of glue to the edge of one of the 60mm (side) panels...



...then stick it to the face of one of the end panels, being sure to line it up as precisely as possible with the edge of the board.



Repeat this process until you have a four-sided box with no top or bottom.



DETOUR: RISER SPACERS

Hey, more jargon! Here’s the deal: Not all cards are the same size. There are three primary card sizes we’re dealing with when it comes to most card and board games: Standard American Card Game (the largest), Standard European Board Game (the middle), and Standard American Board Game (the smallest). The sizes are as follows:

Standard American Card Game: 63.5mm x 88mm (poker, Magic: The Gathering)
Standard European Board Game: 59mm x 92mm (Agricola, Dominion)
Standard American Board Game: 56mm x 87mm (Munchkin, Bohnanza)

Since all the boxes under these standardized measurements are the same height, the only stat here that really matters is width. A normal box riser from this tutorial, with no spacers included (just 4 chipboard walls), is a great fit for Standard American Card Game size cards, like Star Realms:



In this case, however, 6 Nimmt cards are Standard American Board Game size, and thus significantly slimmer than a poker card. To prevent the cards from rattling around in the box, we add spacers to the riser to make the internal space smaller. All that means is we’ll cut a few more pieces of chipboard the same size as the sides of our riser, and glue them into the inside of the riser.

For Standard European Board Game cards, we’ll add two spacers, one to each side of the riser. For Standard American Board Game cards (like 6 Nimmt), we’ll add a total of four, two per side.

We know the sides of our 6 Nimmt riser are 65mm tall by 60mm wide, so we’ll cut four more pieces that size. Take one of your new pieces and slide it into the riser to make sure it fits properly. It should be a little snug, but not super tight:



Once you’re sure of the sizing, take each spacer and apply a generous bead of glue to the back…



…drop it into the riser…



…and glue it into place along the side.



Repeat this process (in this case) three more times, until you have two spacers on each side of the riser.

Note: If the spacers bow or don’t want to stay flat along the inside of the riser, you can clamp them down with binder clips until the glue dries. Binder clips are great. They’re like the chipboard-crafter’s version of woodworkers clamps.

Once the spacers are in place, you’ll be able to see how much closer to the actual width of the card the internal space now is:



Once the glue dries, you can drop the cards inside to test the size.



Why spacers? Since these boxes are all a standard size, designed to have the same face and look good on the shelf, I designed the base size around Standard American Card Game (M:tG) size cards, and added the spacers for smaller cards to ensure the external dimensions of the boxes didn’t change with the size of the cards.

Anyway, your riser’s done!

ASSEMBLING THE BOTTOM AND LID

First, we need to do some cutting. Due to my standardization of the sizes for these boxes, there are a few standard widths we’re working with. All boxes are 75mm wide, so we’ll start by measuring and cutting a 75mm wide strip off of the chipboard. From that strip we’ll cut two base-pieces for the bottom and lid, 67mm long (based on our earlier measurements).

Then, cut a 50mm wide strip off the chipboard and chop that into the end and side pieces, which measure 75mm and 64mm, respectively. It is unlikely you’ll get all the pieces you need out of a single strip, so repeat this process until you have four end-pieces (75mm x 50mm) and four side-pieces (64mm x 50mm).

Assembling the bottom and lid are similar to assembling the riser, except now you have a base to work with, which actually makes the process a little easier. If you've done your measurements right, you should have a base piece, two ends whose width is equal to the ends of the base, and two sides whose length is 3mm shorter than the sides of the base, like this:



Start by gluing one of the end-pieces to the end of the base:



Follow that attaching one of the sides...



...then the other.



These will be glued to both the base and the end. That should go without saying, but you'd be surprised, so I'm calling it out here.

For the last end-piece, apply a bead of glue to the bottom edge and to the face at both ends:



Position the glued edge along the base, then tilt it into place:



Note: Gluing these parts together requires precision, but it doesn't need to be perfect from the get-go. One of the beauties of Alene's Tacky Glue is that it holds pretty well while you reposition pieces. Also, don't worry about extra glue squeezing out. All of the external joins will be hidden by the graphics wrap, and the glue dries flat and transparent anyway.

Repeat this process for both the box bottom and lid:



Now, you can also test to make sure your internal riser fits in the bottom properly...



...perfect fit (with a little leeway, of course).



That's it for actual box assembly. You should now have these three parts:



WRAP THE TOP OF THE RISER

This section will be split into two parts: One for a riser with no spacers, and one for a riser with spacers. The first method can be used for a riser with spacers, but the end product doesn’t look as nice, and I’m a stickler for details. The first couple of steps for wrapping the top of the riser are the same regardless of which riser type you have, so the following pictures are all from the previous tutorial.

You'll need to apply a strip of linen paper to cover the top of the internal riser. I usually use just plain white linen paper, for two reasons: 1) it looks really nice and 2) the texture of the paper helps hold the lid in place (although this isn't entirely necessary because the final fit should be fairly tight).

Cut a 35mm wide strip of linen paper long enough to wrap around the entire circumference of the riser (picture from previous tutorial).



Measure 20mm down from the top of the riser (you can also just compare the riser piece to the box bottom to make your mark), and make markings at that distance on all four sides. These markings will help us align the strip as we wrap it around the top of the riser.



The 35mm wide strip will be wide enough to drop below the edge of the outer box on the outside, and wrap a little less than 15mm into the inside of the box. If you do not have access to long strips (14”-18”), it may be necessary to create two separate strips in order to cover the entire circumference of the riser. In my case, I’m working with 12”x18” paper, so mine will wrap just fine.

Apply spray adhesive to the backside of the strip and position it at your markings parallel to the top edge...



...then wrap it around the entire top, keeping it tight and following your markings.



Next, use your XActo knife to cut the corners...



...so they look like this:



Alright, this is where the two different types of riser diverge in method.

FINISHING THE WRAP…

…FOR A RISER WITHOUT SPACERS

Once you’ve cut the corners of the paper, you’re going to fold the excess paper at the top over the lip of the riser, like this:



You’ll want to do this relatively quickly, so the spray adhesive doesn’t have time to dry out before you fold the paper over. Also wrap it as tightly as possible, and use a piece of chipboard, a bone folder, or your thumbnail to cram the paper into the corners as tightly as you can. The finished product will look like this.:



For a riser without spacers, it’s just that simple. It gets a little more complicated…

…FOR A RISER WITH SPACERS

Risers with spacers have two different wall widths, so wrapping the paper over the top lip of the riser is a little more difficult if you want the finished product to look nice. You can use the same method outlined above, but the corners will look a little shoddy, and the paper might stretch or tear in an odd way. So, I’ve devised a way to keep the top of the riser looking nice, it just involves a couple of extra steps.

Measuring the top of the riser is identical…



…as is wrapping it.



Your wrapped riser will look basically identical.



But here is where the process diverges. In order to accommodate the thicker side walls of the riser, we’re going to have to do some extra cutting on the top wrap. If you were to simply cut the corners and fold the paper over the thin sides of the riser, the paper would stretch and tear and cause all kinds of problems trying to deal with the thick sides.

Here’s how we solve that problem: After cutting the corners of the paper like normal, we drop the riser on its side and make a second cut, at the width of the thick sides, like so:



This is going to create four flaps of paper the same width as the thick sides of the riser.



Once we have those flaps, we fold them flat onto the top of the thick sides, like so:



Then fold the wrap down over the thick sides first, covering those two little flaps on each side…



…then fold the other two sides down to finish the whole thing off.



This accomplishes a very clean-looking top for risers with spacers. It’s a bit more complicated than a standard riser, but it’s worth it for the aesthetics and the fit around the cards, in my opinion.

AND FINALLY

That extra millimeter of space we left in the box bottom and lid was to accommodate the extra width added by these paper wraps. Test to make sure your riser still fits.



Yep!

CREATING THE GRAPHICS WRAP

For the graphics wrap, I use a photo printer and print on the linen paper I linked to earlier. Here's what the wrap for the lid looks like flat:



Like I said, I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here. I’m currently working on a separate tutorial for creating graphics wraps, which I’ll link to here when it’s finished. The wrap is created by making a graphic for the very top, then surrounding it with graphics for the sides of the box. Remember, the graphics around the sides should all have their top edge along the edges of the very top panel (reverse that, obviously, for the box bottom).

You’ll want to have some amount of bleed around all of the edges so when you cut out the wrap you have color all the way to the edge, but since we’re cutting these out by hand, we can be much more precise than machinery, so bleed isn’t entirely necessary. On two sides, you'll need 10mm wings (a picture later will illustrate) that will wrap around the sides of the box to cover the corners.

On my print, I have cut-lines on the front (the lines around the edge of the paper). When I'm cutting, however, I transfer these marks to the back of the paper.



You can do this just by turning the wrap upside-down on a white surface (like another sheet of paper). It’s easier if you have a lightbox. I don't, so sometimes I just use my office window.

Once the marks are transferred, use them to draw lines we’ll use for cutting.



These lines are important. If you just start cutting using the marks on the front, you'll end up cutting off marks you'll need to make the perpendicular cuts. Drawing the lines on the back allows you to retain your markings as you begin creating the shape.

Here's what the final cut looks like:



Notice the "wings" to wrap around the sides.



APPLYING THE GRAPHICS WRAP

Start by applying spray adhesive to the back-side of the wrap.



Then, position the box in the center using the lines you drew earlier.



(Here, you can see how the sides without "wings" are the same width as the box, while the "winged" sides are wider.)

In these pictures, I'm assembling the box bottom. Once the box is in place, fold up the sides, starting with the sides with the "wings".



Fold the wings around the sides of the box…



…then fold up the ends to overlap them. I, of course, forgot to take a picture of this step (I always forget something), so I’m just leaving the pic from my original Fluxx tutorial to stand in as proxy:



Remember to do all of this as tightly as possible. Fold and adhere these flaps from the bottom up, so you never end up with any "bubbles" under the graphics wrap.

Last, cut the corners of the wrap just like you did with the riser…



…and fold the flaps over the top of the box.



You're done applying the graphics wrap to the box bottom. Repeat the exact same process for the box top:



Once these graphics wraps are in place, we apply the acrylic sealant (I don’t have pics of this process, but it should be fairly self-explanatory). I like to use Krylon Colormaster Clear Gloss sealant, as it creates a very nice, professional looking finish. Apply the acrylic in 3-4 light coats. DO NOT try to shortcut this process by applying a heavy, wet coat to the boxes. If too much of the acrylic sealant soaks through the paper, it can undermine the adhesion of the spray adhesive.

Applying acrylic sealant accomplishes two goals. First, it protects the color of the print from fading and yellowing over time. Second, it will actually physically protect the more vulnerable parts of the paper, such as the exposed edges on the sides of the box, from damage.

Wait for the sealant to fully dry (usually takes about 1-2 hours), then move to the last step: Inserting the internal riser.

Apply a generous bead of glue to the bottom edge of the riser...



...then slide it into the completed box bottom.



ALMOST DONE

WAIT FOR THE GLUE TO DRY. You don't want to glue your deck of cards into the box.

Then, plop the cards and rulebook into the box…



…and slide the lid in place!



And that’s it! That’s your finished product!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Hopefully this has been informational and useful! I’ve used this technique to create almost 40 boxes for my games over the last year, and I’ll likely continue to do it as I get new card games with odd-sized boxes. I really like the way the completed boxes look on the shelf:



I’ve used variations of this method to create all kinds of other bit-boxes, as well, and I’ll be working on tutorials on some of those variations in the coming weeks and months. As new tutorials come out, I’ll cross-link them with this post. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my other methods and projects with you!

Of course, if you have any questions at all, feel free to drop them in the comments below and I'll try to answer them as best I can. I'll head off the typical first question by saying that I don't have the time to create boxes for others. Sorry. That's why I'm putting this tutorial out there.

Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!
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Naomi Ooooooooo

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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
This looks both beautiful and functional. Thanks for sharing.
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Gabor B.
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Hah! Bet you didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition in this overtext!
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
Wow. Biggest thumbs up in a long time.
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Anicia Plowman
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
This is great!!! Thank you so much for sharing I can't wait to try it out as I have many small card game boxes that need some love after many years of play!
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Andre Luiz Fuzaro
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
This is really a great work... Thanks for sharing.
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
That's an awesome and very detailed post and your box looks very beautiful.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
meeple IMPRESSIVE ... most impressive! meeple
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Pauly Paul
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
Wow that final image looks amazing. Nice job!
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Jim Parkin
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
Holy crap, Luke. Holy crap.

I'm a PnP dilettante by comparison. I must begin emulating this process immediately. Any magic to how you create your wrap images? I'm a dunce when it comes to graphic design and image manipulation.
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Luke Matthews
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
Annowme wrote:
Holy crap, Luke. Holy crap.

I'm a PnP dilettante by comparison. I must begin emulating this process immediately. Any magic to how you create your wrap images? I'm a dunce when it comes to graphic design and image manipulation.

Not magic, really. Just time and Photoshop. I've been contemplating creating a tutorial on wrap images, but I'm trying to figure out how to divorce the process from the tool, because I'm not particularly interested in teaching people how to use Photoshop from scratch.

I'm going to work on uploading the wrap images for the boxes I've already created alongside the outer dimensions for the boxes, but that process is going to take me a while. I've just got a lot going on right now, especially now that this project is off my plate.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
GeekElite wrote:
Annowme wrote:
Holy crap, Luke. Holy crap.

I'm a PnP dilettante by comparison. I must begin emulating this process immediately. Any magic to how you create your wrap images? I'm a dunce when it comes to graphic design and image manipulation.

Not magic, really. Just time and Photoshop. I've been contemplating creating a tutorial on wrap images, but I'm trying to figure out how to divorce the process from the tool, because I'm not particularly interested in teaching people how to use Photoshop from scratch.

I'm going to work on uploading the wrap images for the boxes I've already created alongside the outer dimensions for the boxes, but that process is going to take me a while. I've just got a lot going on right now, especially now that this project is off my plate.

Well, I'm already inspired just seeing what you've accomplished. That said, anything you upload or any other tutorial-for-dummies-like-me you put together in the future would be awesome.
 
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
I also love to see any tutorial you may have about the graphic wrap. Your boxes look fantastic.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
Wold also like to see the graphic wrap information. Would love to see them loaded up into the files section as well.
Are they standard or large size paper. I would want to make some boxes larger for bigger games and could easily adapt the wraps to fit my large format 17" printer. Photoshop files would be great as well.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
tawnos76 wrote:
Wold also like to see the graphic wrap information. Would love to see them loaded up into the files section as well.
Are they standard or large size paper. I would want to make some boxes larger for bigger games and could easily adapt the wraps to fit my large format 17" printer. Photoshop files would be great as well.


I've made a photoshop file that (barely) fits within a standard 8.5x11, but it's still being fine-tuned as I figure out how best to construct the boxes. I did the bottom and riser just fine, but the top was 2mm off. Will post when it's perfected.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
GeekElite wrote:
For the graphics wrap, I use a photo printer and print on either matte or semi-gloss photo paper. I will lean more toward semi-gloss going forward. It creates basically the same look and feel as most board game boxes, and the matte photo paper tends to get scuffed up really easy.


I use photo paper to build tuckboxes, and they'd get all scuffed from folding them into shape. Then I tried protecting the printed side with a layer of transparent self adhesive vinyl, and it worked great. It added a bit of rigidity and stiffness to the resulting box, as well as a nice texture, but most importantly you can score and fold the printed side and no damage will be done to the color.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
Ranko wrote:
GeekElite wrote:
For the graphics wrap, I use a photo printer and print on either matte or semi-gloss photo paper. I will lean more toward semi-gloss going forward. It creates basically the same look and feel as most board game boxes, and the matte photo paper tends to get scuffed up really easy.


I use photo paper to build tuckboxes, and they'd get all scuffed from folding them into shape. Then I tried protecting the printed side with a layer of transparent self adhesive vinyl, and it worked great. It added a bit of rigidity and stiffness to the resulting box, as well as a nice texture, but most importantly you can score and fold the printed side and no damage will be done to the color.

I actually need to update this, since I don't use photo paper anymore. I found a really great linen paper through Neenah Paper that produces fantastic looking boxes with a little surface texture that's really nice. Once the box is wrapped, I spray it with gloss acrylic sealant, and it comes out really nice.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
I'm amazed at how nice your finished product looks on the shelf. Please share your plans (box dimensions, wrap plans) when you find the time.

I'm very tempted to start a quest to convert all of my card-heavy games to your standardized format. It's so tempting! I can hardly wait to try building a box, but what if it's not tall enough to fit card dividers? What if it's too narrow to squeeze in player boards? What if my wrap can't fit on a US letter sized sheet?

So many questions.. maybe I'll just pick a game, just to build a fancy box for it. Just because.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
tazukos wrote:
I'm amazed at how nice your finished product looks on the shelf. Please share your plans (box dimensions, wrap plans) when you find the time.

I'm very tempted to start a quest to convert all of my card-heavy games to your standardized format. It's so tempting! I can hardly wait to try building a box, but what if it's not tall enough to fit card dividers? What if it's too narrow to squeeze in player boards? What if my wrap can't fit on a US letter sized sheet?

So many questions.. maybe I'll just pick a game, just to build a fancy box for it. Just because.

I can informally share a few of my dimensions here:

The face of every box is 75mm wide by 104mm tall. The depth of each box is determined by the number of cards in the game you're boxing up, measured as I show above.

Each half (top/bottom) of each box is roughly 52mm tall. The side walls of the lid and bottom are 50mm tall, and the extra 2mm is added by the chipboard that forms the base of each piece.

The internal risers are all 71mm wide (viewed on the face) by 65mm tall. Again, the depth is determined by the number of cards in the game.

Determine the depth of your riser first, and use it to determine the depth of the overall box.

With these outer dimensions, the internal dimensions of each box are 68mm (w) by 100mm (h) by XXmm (d). This will fit virtually ever type of card sleeve for standard (poker) sized cards, and also leaves a little headway for dividers.

At some point I plan to revise and update the above post and include this information. You'll note that the sizes I quote here differ from the ones I used to create that Fluxx box above. The box in this tutorial is effectively a beta prototype (after boxes for Targi and Guillotine were my "alpha"s).

I'm more than willing to answer questions if you have more. I can't guarantee I'll get to them quickly, but I'll try to get to them if you ask.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
My initial measurements for a Polders box came out to 74mm (W) x 94mm (H) x 205 (D), but I'll adjust it upwards now to your 75mm x 105mm size. So glad that you responded so quickly -- I'd forgotten to add 1mm to account for thickness of the linen wrap around the riser.

Okay, so, I'm having fun figuring out how to make your box design. I'm starting with the riser. Here's a pic showing my rig for gluing the sides at 90 degree angles.. just idle curiosity with a clamp and some Legos.



Thanks for sharing!
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Matthew McLaughlin
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
Your boxes look great!

Could anyone recommend an alternative to the linen paper? That stuff is £60 ($73) on Amazon.co.uk!
 
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
matthetwat wrote:
Your boxes look great!

Could anyone recommend an alternative to the linen paper? That stuff is £60 ($73) on Amazon.co.uk!


How much are you buying?!

This is the stuff I use:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BKZYB9K/ref=pe_385721_3703805...

There's various other suppliers of the same stuff that are similarly priced.
 
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
matthetwat wrote:
Your boxes look great!

Could anyone recommend an alternative to the linen paper? That stuff is £60 ($73) on Amazon.co.uk!


You might want to try actual paper suppliers rather than Amazon. I get my linen paper from Neenah Paper in the US, and it's relatively cheap, depending on the quantity you buy. I'd have to imagine there would be something similar in the UK.
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
These are amazing. Well done! Thanks for sharing.
 
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
These are amazing. Would you be willing to share your files so that I could print some myself?
 
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Re: DIY Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes (Detailed Tutorial w/Pics)
sinutam wrote:
These are amazing. Would you be willing to share your files so that I could print some myself?

I'm workin' on it. I'm building a couple more tutorials and a GeekList that'll have file links. It might take me a while, but it's coming.
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