‘I thought I’d pass on how I customise my boxes, maybe it can provide some handy tips.’
DIY Custom Gift Boxes for Shipping Fragile Contents.
I found that I needed to create customised boxes that would display different ceramic figures for gift giving and also hold them firmly in place when being shipped around the world. Exactly the right box dimensions for a range of different items are hard to find, especially when I wanted them to be recycled, so by making inserts for the interior I found that my pieces could be raised inside for display and also held safely in place for shipping.
I start by making a paper template for each figure I make. I save and recycle any clean and tidy corrugated card from boxes that have been sent to me and then use the paper template to cut multiple card inserts in one go. A good steel rule and the sharpest craft knife is essential. The insert is wider than the box on each side by the amount of depth I want it to have. I also mark through the template where I want to fold the card and use the steel rule to impress a fold in the card so it bends nice and straight along the line.
I have taken a photograph of some of my textured pottery to print A4 sheets to cover the insert with. It is grey scale at the moment because I refill my cartridges and the colour one has unfortunately temporarily clogged up. I spray the back of the printed sheet with spray mount glue and then add it to the smooth side of the card. Cutting the paper larger than the template means I can fold it over any ugly corrugated edges and create a neat line. Rounded shapes just need plenty of cuts away from the edge of the card to get the paper to fold over in a smooth curve. I also don’t cover the card along the edges where it folds down so it can be glued securely to the box walls with a hot glue gun.
A strip of the same card folded into an L shaped wall beneath the middle of the insert makes everything completely rigid so it can be glued securely to the box walls with a hot glue gun. With strategically placed ties around the contents, either to the insert or the bottom of the box, and then double boxing with biodegradable loose fill, my figures withstand all the heavy handling given to them by the shipping companies.
Nothing is wasted, I then use all the printed paper offcuts for accenting my jewellery packaging and any bits of card go to light the wood-stove in the workshop. My boxes are as recycled/biodegradable/compostable as possible while working around a prehistoric theme, but the methods could easily be transferred to other styles, graphics and materials.