Chakroun Karim
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In two of the projects I described on BGG I made pdfs for self-made boxes.

Puerto Rico redesign
Magic Realm redesign

but by geekchat I realized that a step by step how to was needed, this is what I will try to do here. I'll also try to improve it in answer to the questions that will come up.

NOTES:
--most of the time 1mm thick cardboard will do. It is on the thin side, but is easy to form. But here I tried with the tougher 2.4mm cadboard. You'll have to skip one step when you use 1mm paper
--I used a large sheet of paper as wrapper, but you can use printouts glued together with the same result.
--the final box size is 310x220x85mm



When you cut the corners, cut a little more on each side (as much as the thickness of your cardboard)
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the cutout bottom and lid parts
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(skip this part if your paper is ≤ 1 mm thick)
to fold the cardboard you need to remove material from the back of the fold. to do this you can make two cuts at a 45° angle to make a groove.
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mark strongly the fold with a bone folder, or the round point of a blunt knife
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The finished fold grooves
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glue only the front (or bottom)
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stick the wrapping paper, and cut as shown (here the shortest side is at the right)
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fold the sides, and fix temporarily the cardboard core upright (use paper adhesive tape to avoid it to melt from the glue solvent)
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glue both the wrapping paper and the cardboard core, and stick as shown
Same for the shorter sides, then fold the extra paper into the box

Repeat for the box lid
------------------

this is my custom-made box for space hulk

NOTES :
--add 3 times the thickness of your cardboard to the measurements of your box bottom to obtain the measurements of the box lid. (if your box bottom is 215x302mm, and the cardboard is 2.4mm thick, the box lid should be about 222x309mm. if it is 1mm thick, the box lid should be at least 218x305mm)

--avoid water based glues, because the paper and cardboard will warp. Use rubber cement, or UHU glue. Read the instructions because most of those glues work by glueing the two faces, wait 5 minutes, and stick. for such a box you will need 30ml of glue


any questions?
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Jeremiah Lee
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Thanks!

I was just thinking about making a box yesterday, but didn't know where to get started. This is a big help, now my prototypes (at least the good ones) can have their own boxes.
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Bob Trezise
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This is fantastic and kudos to you for your skill...BUT, I'd like to just buy a box at this point. My guess is there isn't a good source for boxes, since you did create your own...then again, you might have done it just to prove that you could.
Anyone know of a box source? (something like 12"x12"x3" is what I'm looking for)
Thanks in advance!
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Chakroun Karim
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NickDanger42 wrote:
This is fantastic and kudos to you for your skill...BUT, I'd like to just buy a box at this point. My guess is there isn't a good source for boxes, since you did create your own...then again, you might have done it just to prove that you could.
Anyone know of a box source? (something like 12"x12"x3" is what I'm looking for)
Thanks in advance!


Around my place there isn't, so I had to make mine. Being in the US you should have more luck than me: http://www.jampaper.com/Boxes

and it is easy, if slow and expensive.
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Bob Trezise
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I sent them a query. Quite frankly the boxes on their site look thin.
As for 'easy'; yes I could make 45 degree grooves...just not straight. I can assure you that my box...would look like it was thrown together. Your's look nice!
IF I get desperate, I'll give it a try. I have the board. Just need a good workbench to use...and some skill...maybe Wal-Mart has some skill I can buy.
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Chakroun Karim
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NickDanger42 wrote:
I sent them a query. Quite frankly the boxes on their site look thin.
As for 'easy'; yes I could make 45 degree grooves...just not straight. I can assure you that my box...would look like it was thrown together. Your's look nice!
IF I get desperate, I'll give it a try. I have the board. Just need a good workbench to use...and some skill...maybe Wal-Mart has some skill I can buy.


In that case you can use thinner 1mm cardboard. Most game boxes are made of it, and that's what I used for this :



You then don't need to make actual grooves, just mark the fold with a bone folder, or a blunt table knife.
Really, that Space Hulk box is clearly overkill. Much too thick.
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Steve Sisk
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Wow, very nicely done! I use the same material in all my boxes, though in the US it's sold as single ply chipboard (also called boxboard). It's actually 50 mil (.050" or about 1.27 mm), but perfectly suited for game boxes.

One thing I will note is that you don't have to cut the groves to 45º and work with a bone folder. Just score the sides about 1/2 way through (even a little more is OK since the paper wrapping will reinforce the edges). The trick is to fold them AWAY from the scoring instead of towards the scoring. I've done almost a hundred boxes this way with great success.

Keep up the great work!
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Mystery McMysteryface
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Another thought/option is to find the right-sized box you need of a game or puzzle at the thrift store. You can then cover with Contact papter or wrapping paper or wallpaper, etc.

Just a random thought!!! kiss

It might even have plastic inserts you could use or modify!!
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Chakroun Karim
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SiskNY wrote:
Wow, very nicely done! I use the same material in all my boxes, though in the US it's sold as single ply chipboard (also called boxboard). It's actually 50 mil (.050" or about 1.27 mm), but perfectly suited for game boxes.

One thing I will note is that you don't have to cut the groves to 45º and work with a bone folder. Just score the sides about 1/2 way through (even a little more is OK since the paper wrapping will reinforce the edges). The trick is to fold them AWAY from the scoring instead of towards the scoring. I've done almost a hundred boxes this way with great success.

Keep up the great work!


I only cut grooves with too thick chipboard as shown here (its 2.4mm). For 1mm boards I only use a bone folder. Either way is OK, but I do prefer bone folders because I don't like to cut "chipboard". It tends to separate in layers at the cut, and you get an overall slightly 'weaker' box. Additionally I find it easier to use, and you don't risk cutting too much.
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Bob Trezise
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Will be giving it a try this weekend!
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Bruno Valerio
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This thread deserves a custom made box full of Geek Gold.

Your boxes look very very nice... congrats.

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NickDanger42 wrote:
This is fantastic and kudos to you for your skill...BUT, I'd like to just buy a box at this point. My guess is there isn't a good source for boxes, since you did create your own...then again, you might have done it just to prove that you could.
Anyone know of a box source? (something like 12"x12"x3" is what I'm looking for)
Thanks in advance!


The new Large Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes from the USPS are 12x12x5 1/2, & free to pick up at your local PO
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Neil
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Hi Karim,

I think I am having trouble understanding the first step. I made a box last night (exciting!), and everything looks good except the edges that run down to the corners. The edges aren't staying flush. It might be that I am not folding them tightly enough. I also wonder if I am misunderstanding your first step. You seem to be saying that we should narrow each side of each flap a bit (specifically by the thickness of the cardboard). This seems consistent with your photo. Is this what you intend to say? Please correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe you can elaborate what the instruction is, and why it is important (i.e., what happens if we skip that step)?

Also, one tiny change to your instructions I would propose for people who are clumsy like me is to fold the sides and tape them first, and then glue the bottom to the paper wrap. (Otherwise, glue might ooze out from the bottom into the side flaps and stick them to the paper wrap before you get a chance to properly fold and glue them).

Thanks for your help!
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Chakroun Karim
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Hatchling wrote:
Hi Karim,

I think I am having trouble understanding the first step. I made a box last night (exciting!), and everything looks good except the edges that run down to the corners. The edges aren't staying flush. It might be that I am not folding them tightly enough. I also wonder if I am misunderstanding your first step. You seem to be saying that we should narrow each side of each flap a bit (specifically by the thickness of the cardboard). This seems consistent with your photo. Is this what you intend to say? Please correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe you can elaborate what the instruction is, and why it is important (i.e., what happens if we skip that step)?


Yes, that's what I meant. if you do not remove some material at the edges, the corners tend to become too "pointy" and it's ugly. However, it maybe an overkill to shorten both sides.
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Mark Crane
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This is so cool.

Ikea and craft stores in the US sell blank boxes, but there is a limited range of sizes.

Oh, and I have to mention that in high school my aptitude test said I should be a cardboard box designer.
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Nick King
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When using the bone folder, is the intent to fold away from the bone folder indent, or into it? I ask only because when I examine a playing card box, it has what looks like a bone folder indent on the outside rather than inside, and I would have expected it the other way, not having actually done it myself yet.
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Chakroun Karim
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ohgeetee wrote:
When using the bone folder, is the intent to fold away from the bone folder indent, or into it? I ask only because when I examine a playing card box, it has what looks like a bone folder indent on the outside rather than inside, and I would have expected it the other way, not having actually done it myself yet.


I always fold into the folder indent. I think it is supposed to be done that way. There must be some contingencies in mechanical printing/folding that explain the different fold types (like alignment, the direction of the folding machine, the glueing machine, etc...)
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When using a bone folder, the process is to fold away from the indent. Took me a long time to learn this, and I remember by thinking "turn a valley into a mountain".

If you fold into the indent you are defeating the purpose of removing some of the material to make it fold easier I'm told.


I use it primarily for card making though, and so perhaps for this it is different.
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Aae Suzuki
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Thank you Karim for the informative guide to making boxes. Over the weekend, I made an ugly yet functional insert for Dominion using foam core. Foam core is so hard to cut precisely with pieces longer than 12 inches (especially because one needs to cut three times), and I think your way of using chipboard would have been the better idea. It looks so clean and sharp! Luckily, I have two more Dominion expansion boxes with which to experiment.

I was wondering if you or anyone else had any recommendations for the type of paper used to wrap the box.

Thanks again!
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Jonathan West
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How do you go about printing the wrapping, do you just go to the local print shop? All I have at home is a standard desktop printer, nothing wide-format or specialized.
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Yiannis Altanis
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Well, I'd like to make a 1mm thick box with two partitions.

I got a Bohnanza game with 100++ cards and I thought of making the box divided in two partitions in order to divide the cards and make the box thiner.

Any idea of how I'm going to accomplice that?

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Jake Staines
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Revengeance wrote:
Well, I'd like to make a 1mm thick box with two partitions.


The traditional answer is a folded (but not usually glued) card insert which takes a suitable shape to hold the components you want to hold. So I guess in your case you'd want an insert which was (roughly) a 'W' shape, with two folded-down pits to hold the cards. You can see something like this in the Magic Realm photo above... this is probably the simplest example for two decks of cards.


If you didn't want to do this for whatever reason, you could cut another bit of thick card the same width as your short sides and carefully glue it in place in the middle of your box, but the other advantage of an insert that you'd be missing out on is that they often include some handy way - either a pull-up tag or holes down the sides of the decks - to remove the pieces easily without up-ending the box, and you'd miss out on that.
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Rudolf Aligierski
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I actually did something like this - using second suggestion of previous poster. It is very sturdy and looks ok. Insert is a good way to pull out the cards but you can also do as I did - during building of the four main box sides glue the ribbon into the joint.
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Yiannis Altanis
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Looks wonderful!

Thank you both guyz!
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Wanted to post a quick thank you to Karim!!! I used this thread to make my own boxes for the Cyclades components! They are sturdy and MUCH more attractive than baggies!! Thanks again!!

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