Sunday, June 7, 2015

DIY Pillow Boxes

It's fun to spruce up your products and gifts with nice packaging, especially if you get to design and make it. Gives it that personal touch, ya know?

Coming up, I have OMGCon, Cosplacon, and Anime Midwest and that's it. My life and career are taking a different path so I'm going to use these last three conventions to go out with a bang and do all the things I've never had the time or money to do. Like awesome packaging.

Unnecessary context info. If you're just here for the tutorial, skip down.

I used to sell grab bags at my table, mostly to get rid of overstock or things I had made that I didn't have enough of to set up a full display for. Well they sold so well that at one point I realized I was more stressed about having "enough" grab bags to sell than actually selling my product. I think my record was 48 in one weekend.

When it finally dawned on me that I was underselling a ton of my stock through grab bags as opposed to through regular sales, I quit making grab bags altogether. It just became too much of a hassle. However, I have been asked many times in the last two years to bring them back. With only three more conventions left to go, I am. With limitations.

I will have a paper items pack and a craft items pack, to separate things like jewelry and art prints. Both will be the same price and value, it's just easier for me to separate because my big prints never fit in my little grab bags. And there will only be 6 of each available per convention; once they're gone, they're gone. This will alleviate me needing to throw them together behind the table.

Prints will be in sleeves with the artwork facing in. Craft items will be in these nifty pillow boxes that I'm gonna show you how to make.

Ok the good stuff.

 You'll need: scissors, glue, something dull and rounded for creasing, heavy books for pressing, and your box template.

 Cut that sucker out.

 Crease where to folds will be. Any tool that is rounded and dull will work, like an empty ball point pen or your house key. If you use a blade for scoring, be careful not to cut the paper all the way through. Press just enough to leave a faint indentation, it'll help guide your folds.

 You'll need to fold the little flap over. Then fold the entire thing in half. Make sure you crease the folds well.

 Carefully fold the rounded parts. These will be the ends of your box, so you'll want to get them as close to shape as possible. No need to crease these edges.


 Put glue on the tab. Make sure you have glue closest to the edge where the arrow is pointing.

 And press until the glue is dry. Be careful not to put globs of glue on one spot, otherwise it'll squish out and you'll glue your box shut.

Here they are, all flat and pretty.

  Just press the end flaps inward and it'll take shape.


(And fold flat for storage.)

Other Tips:
  • I wanted my boxes to be pretty shallow, so the width is only set to about 1". You can make yours longer if you want it more rounded. 
  • You'll notice on my boxes, the little tab and the almond shaped end flaps are a solid color. This was just so I didn't have to guess or draw a line where it should fold. Most templates have a tacky little outline of where the folds are. Bleh.
  • When cutting the end flaps, if your cutting is not perfectly round, it doesn't matter. It's not really noticeable once you've folded it all.
  • Most people design their boxes horizontally or tie a piece of twine or ribbon across it to keep the ends from opening.
  • If you want to ship it, you'll either need to pad it with bubble wrap or put it in a box. 
  • Thicker cardstock works better for the box because it gives you a stronger end product and it's easier to indent the folds into a thicker paper.
  • ALWAYS make a test run of your box out of regular printer paper to make sure the dimensions will work out. The first one I tried to make came out way too rounded and the ends wouldn't stay closed.

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