Friday, November 20, 2009

when worlds collide

Our house. Pokemon and Magic cards. Some are in piles, others have been built into decks, some are even special enough to be in protective sleeves. We've purchased and inherited some boxes to hold the most precious of sleeved decks, but they are wearing out and we don't have enough of them anyway. So the talk between my son and I for the last week or so has been about embracing our love of cardboard projects and building some deck boxes of our own (we make lots of cardboard stuff at home, like helmets, little spaceships for mobiles, etc.).

So today I was recycling an old PBR 12-pack holder and I realized I was holding the future in my hands. The cardboard was perfect, just like that in our favorite commercial cardboard "Dragon Shield" boxes:

We got two of those DS boxes when we bought sleeves a while ago and they've been the best. But today we took one apart so we could clone it. If you love something, set it free.

In case you want to follow along with us, we first laid the unfolded DS box out flat on top of the unfolded PBR box and traced it carefully. Then, using a utility knife and a ruler (be sure to have something underneath), we cut along all the lines.

The cardboard was too thick to fold cleanly without scoring first, so we studied the creases in the DS box for some inspiration. It looked like they had been scored with a heavy but relatively dull object run along the printed side of the cardboard. We tried ballpoint pens (worked okay, but left a mark), a fork (too blunt and boxy, ripped the cardboard), until finally using some crazy kitchen fork that I think is for lobster. It's a two-tined thing, and sharp as anything, but the back sides of the tines were rounded and about the right size for the score we wanted. Pushing hard against the edge of a ruler worked perfectly. The only struggle I had was keeping the lines perfectly parallel while scoring, but despite my eyeballing it the sides met just fine in the end. I was worried it would be seriously lopsided.

Turning the prepped cardboard into a box requires adhesive on one cardboard flap. We tried two ways of using Elmer's glue on test pieces: straight on the printed side of the cardboard in one case, and in the other we carefully stripped off the printed layer so we were gluing to the rougher cardboard that lives underneath. After both dried for a while, they both seemed strong but we liked the latter approach best. Our final box is drying now, but here's what it looked like just before gluing:

Oh yeah. Green. Crafty. Hip. Geeky. Though I'm not sure I'm ready to let my 8-year old out into the world with it yet.

1 comment:

writememory said...


So let's see...

Pat's Blue Ribbon: Blue and White Deck
Guiness: Black Deck
Heniken: Green Deck
Killian's: Red deck