Raise your hand if you have ever tried making your own box for a unique project or gift. Now, raise both hands if you have ever struggled to get the measurements for the box top and bottom to align so they fit perfectly. I don’t know about you, but both of my hands are in the air right now!
Over the years I’ve had the occasion to make a box for a special gift, or a 3D card. I would spend hours on YouTube or Pinterest looking for directions that matched the size box I needed. I would then spend hours with those directions trying to figure out why my box tops were always so much larger than the box bottoms. Are the measurements messed up so my cutting is wrong? Did I score it wrong? Did I transpose a number when I copied the online directions? Where did I go wrong??
At one time I found an online calculator for making boxes of any size! Sounds easy enough right? Just type in the measurements of the box you need, push the calculate button and boom, there’s your cutting and scoring guide. And in my case, another piece or three of trash because the box tops did not fit! Once again, they were either to large, or WAY to large.
So what do we do?
Last night while watching videos on YouTube, I thought again about making a box. I am giving a few gifts this holiday season and need a small 3″ square box to package them in. So, I did yet another search for box making tutorials, and I finally found the winner!
The video, How to Make Your Own Custom-Sized Boxes was created by Donna Griffith, a Stampin’ Up trainer, back in 2016. Click the link above to watch her tutorial and show her some love.
At first I was skeptical, but after following Donna’s directions, even at 1AM, I was amazed! The box top had such a snug fit! Now I will admit, the item I measured did not fit into the box. I forgot to add a bit of wiggle room to each dimension, that was my bad! But now I know that the magic number is 1/16 of an inch.
Let’s give this a try!
Let me give you a quick rundown of the technique Donna shared. When you have a chance though, give the link a click, watch the video, and show Donna some love.
For my first example I’ll be making a 3″ x 3″ box. Start out by using Donna’s simple formula:
There are a few numbers that you need to know for each box; the size of the item going into it and the how tall the sides should be. For my first example the box bottom will need to be 3″ square with sides that are 1 1/4″ tall. The box top will be the same size of 3″ square, but I don’t want the sides going all the way down. The sides for my box will be 1″ tall. With these numbers, you can determine how large your card stock needs to be as well as your scoring guide.
To fill out the formula, you will add the height of your first side, plus the width of your finished box, plus the height of the second side of the box. According to my calculations my formula looks like the following.
So, for my box I will need a piece of card for the box bottom that measures 5 1/2″ square and scored at 1 1/4″ on all four sides. The box top will start out with a piece of 5″ square card and be scored at 1″ on all four sides.
Now before we start scoring our box bottom we need to apply the magic touch that will make this box fit snuggly together. We need to remove 1/16″ on two consecutive sides of the box bottom. Let me explain. Take your 5 1/2″ square piece of card and remove 1/16 of an inch from one side. Make a quarter turn and remove another 1/16 of an inch. NOW you can score your box bottom at 1 1/4″ on all four sides. The box top has nothing special done to it, just cut the 5″ square and score the sides at 1″.
To put your box together, cut the corners to create tabs. In Donna’s video, she only made an angle cut on one side of each tab. Since I’ve never been one to cut a straight line, I always angle both sides of my tabs as you can see in the examples below.
Next, fold and crease your score lines with a bone folder to really reinforce those lines. Adhere the tabs to the inside of the boxes with your adhesive of choice. For my example, I used Art Glitter Glue. When I make the boxes for the gifts, I will use a combination of scor-tape and glue to ensure the tabs stay in place. When it’s all done you have the best little box ever! The lid fits like a glove!
Let’s make another box!
How about we make a box large enough to hold A2 sized cards and envelopes. We will again use Donna’s handy formula, but because the box is a rectangle we need to add two more measurements to the equation. The example below shows we need a box bottom cut to 9″ x 7 5/8″ and scored at 1 1/2″ on all sides. The box top will need to be cut at 8″ x 6 5/8″ and scored at 1″ on all four sides.
Don’t forget, before you score the box bottom, remove 1/16″ from two consecutive sides of the card stock. My papers, when cut to size and scored look like this:
And my finished box looks like this:
As you can kind of see in the example above, the A2 sized envelope fits perfectly with a bit of wiggle room.
This box is not perfect though, the top fits a bit tight. I don’t think I cut off enough of the card base before making my score lines. It still works, but it could be so much better!
Did any of you already know about this magic 1/16″ for perfect box construction? If you give this a try, let me know in the comments below how they turned out for you. Also don’t forget to jump over to YouTube and watch Donna’s tutorial and show her some much deserved love.
Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you next time!