Step 1: Get the materials. You will need the following:
- 6x9 cardboard box (good luck with this part!)
- woodgrain contact paper (I used this one. Not sure if it matches exactly, but I don't really care. I'm sure it's close enough!)
- scissors (and a scrapbooking razor slicer if you got one)
- glue (I used some kind of clear scrapbooking glue)
- hi-res image of woodgrain box cover
- color printer
The hardest thing for me was the 6x9 boxes. I've looked all over for them online, but could never find the right kind. One day I was at a thrift store, and found two boxes of birth announcements and envelopes that were in these boxes. It was one of those privately owned thrift stores, so they charged way too much ($5.00 for two boxes), but since I couldn't find them anywhere else, I just went ahead and got them.
Step 2: Cut out the contact paper to the right size. You need the surface area of the front of the box, plus one and a half times the height on all sides. The height measured 1-3/4", so I added 2-5/8" to each of the 4 sides.
Step 3: Make four cuts vertically between the edge of the contact paper, and where it would meet the edge of the box (2-5/8" in length)
Step 4: Peel the backing off the contact paper and place the box face down on the center, matching the box corners up with the ends of the cuts you made in the previous step. I left some of the backing on to try to help keep the contact paper from sticking to itself, but it turned out to not really be necessary, since this contact paper was pretty easy to pull apart if two pieces accidentally touched and stuck a bit.
Step 5: Flip it over carefully, and squeegee any bubbles out, going from the center out. I just used my driver's license.
Step 6: Fold up the long sides, starting at the center and then squeegee in an outward direction.
|See how its sticking out past the edge of the box?|
|Just cut a little sliver out so it doesn't bunch up in the corner when you fold it down.|
|Fold it down in the center and push down and out.|
|Should be looking good at this point.|
|Step 10: Before the trimming|
|Step 10: Not gonna lie. I ruined one with sloppy cuts and had to print out another one.|
Step 11: Glue that thing on. I lightly dabbed that clear glue stuff all over the back and brushed it lightly with a paper towel to get a thin layer of glue. This is to prevent it soaking through the paper and leaving spots or oozing out the sides when you press it down onto the box.
|The digest-sized stuff I use most often. Some originals, some of them are "play copies".|
|Okay, maybe it doesn't quite all fit...|
Final thoughts: This was a relatively simple project. The cost was about $12.00 plus stuff I already had lying around. I have enough materials to make a second box, and enough contact paper to do a few more beyond that if I can find more of those type of boxes. It took about an hour of my time, and that includes simultaneously taking smoke breaks outside, cooking a pizza, and dealing with babies barfing and kids pooping. Should be a snap for anyone to do.
I think for my next one I'll do a custom cover. I also have this aspiration where I would like to run my games with only whatever I can squeeze in that box. Not sure I can pull it off, but it's worth trying!
If you make one, please post a link to a photo of it in the comments. Enjoy!