ArtCraftingWriting

A Box For My Box Set

(Otherwise, it wouldn't be a box set, would it?)

A while back, I published the last of a six-book collection. A couple days ago, I got it into my head that I needed to put them into a box. I mean, what’s the point in a box set if you don’t have a box, right?

To accomplish this, I fell back on my old standby: illustration board and sticker paper.

A little tangent… You can build a lot with illustration board (pressed cardboard ~1/16″ thick) and sticker paper. For example, you can make a children’s board book

Or a folding board game

Or some custom ID badges

But today, I needed to make a box. Specifically, I needed a box that could contain all six books, with maybe a bit to spare. So, I measured the stack of books and worked out the layout for the box.

layout of box

On top of that, I overlaid a design, with tabs to wrap around the edges.

box cover layout

One tiny problem: The overlay works out to about 16″ square, and I don’t have access to a large format printer. Solution? Break it up into multiple prints, with enough overlap to cover any gaps.

overlay printed onto sticker paper

OK, then. Time to assemble the box. I really would’ve preferred using paper packing tape, but I couldn’t find any. So, masking tape had to do.

assembled box

After that, it was just a matter of wrapping the stickers around the box, and stuffing the books inside.

box with stickers added and books inserted

Lessons Learned

  • My laser printer really hates sticker paper. It took me several tries to get a decent print.
  • I probably should’ve cut each side of the box separately, and taped it all together. The folds make it look a bit wonky.
  • Increase the size of the tabs to wrap around the edges of the box. I used 1/4″. Probably should’ve been twice that.

Still, though, it turned out fairly decent, and now my books have the home they deserve.

box set of books on shelf
box set – photo by author

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Steve DeGroof

Steve is an expat Canadian who now lives in North Carolina. He has worked, at one time or other, as: a TV repairman, a security guard at a children's hospital, and a janitor in a strip club. His current day job is as a computer programmer for a bank, which doesn't involve nearly as much being electrocuted and cleaning up vomit. He has a patent for a "Folding Stereoscopic Computer Display", which sounds a lot more impressive than it really is. He has created various "artworks", including: a baby woolly mammoth with a jetpack (which doesn't actually fly), a Giger counter (not a typo), a clockwork orange (a bowler-hat-wearing, wind-up piece of fruit that plays "Singing in the Rain"), a clock in the shape of Rick Astley that chimes "Never Gonna Give You Up" on the hour (for which he is sincerely sorry). His first book, "Dandelion Seeds", was written largely by accident (it's... complicated).

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