Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DIY - Shipping Box

I ship packages pretty regularly.  You know, it’s all part of the business.  Create, make, wrap, ship.  It’s part of the process.
But I make things that don’t necessarily fit in standard sized boxes.  Besides that, I don’t want to keep buying new, if I have something laying around the house I can use.  I mean, I use reclaimed wood for my business, my actual craft…which is, usually, wood that’s just laying around somewhere, that I end up picking up.
So, every time a shipment of something comes to this house….I don’t throw the cardboard box in the garbage (ACK!) or throw it in the recycle bin (no, no, no!).  I save it.
We’ve had boxes piled up so high, all over the place, at one point, that my husband started throwing them in the attic just to save space!
If you’re a compulsive recycler and reuser like I am, and you can’t help yourself, here’s how you make a box, from a box.
First, grab yourself a box.  This one brought me a new carving bit and traction belts for Sparky.  (See our page, About the Staff, for more on Sparky.)
You like my green counter tops, don’t you?  Admit it!
Next, I use my handy-dandy blade to remove any tape binding the box together. Basically, you just want to get it to one, flat piece.
Next, I take my wrapped item and place it in the box, to kind of eyeball where I need to start making cuts in the card board.  Then, just start trimming away the pieces you don’t need.  (Those pieces can either be recycled – ’cause sometimes I give in – or put aside for smaller boxes.)
Then comes the part that I call, “Bending cardboard to my will”.  This is not as easy as it looks.  When I first began making my own shipping boxes, I would score the inside of the box, especially if I was going against the “corrugated grain”, so to speak.  Now, I tend to just bend it, slowly.  If you do score it, though, be sure not to cut all the way through the card board.  :)
Now, comes the taping part.  I tape one side at a time.  It’s sort-of like wrapping a present.
When it comes to the “sides” I cut, with scissors, a flap for the side to fold in.  I also trim the top and bottom pieces, in case they are too long.  You’ll want the inside a bit shorter, and the one that will be on the outside, to be the same height as the rest of the box.  (You can see on the opposite side, how the box is still longer there.)
Tape is your friend.  If I cut a piece of tape too long, I just cut the corner, and fold both sides down.  This helps seal the corners.
Then….double check the corners.  If you see gaps like this, tape ‘em up!
And, last, but not least, address!  I add stickers of my logo for fun.  I do, still, handwrite.  I like the way it brings into full light that this was handmade.  Right down the the box.  Right down to the address.
And, Wah-lah!  There you have it.  (Client’s name and address hidden for confidentiality purposes.)
And, that’s how you make a box, from another box.  Saves on postage, too.
Now, go.  Cut, fold, tape!