Introduction: Simple Cardboard Sliding Gift or Storage Box
Looking for a gift box or something to deliver/sell your crafts in? Or just want a sliding box for storing bits and pieces? You might find this matchbox-alike handy. This isn't a revolutionary new design, I just happened to need a few and decided to document making one for those who are interested.
It's pretty quick easy to make, the trick is to get the measurements right. Rule of thumb, the sleeve dimensions should be 2mm or 1/16th of an inch bigger than the box dimensions. Remember that and your box should slide just fine into the sleeve.
Step 1: You Will Need:
- Scissors (or craft knife for neater edges, remember your cutting board)
- Scoring tool (or use something with a narrow, blunt end like a butter knife or letter opener)
Step 2: Making the Tray
I'm making a 5cm square tray that's 2cm high, so I'll need a 9cm by 9cm piece of card. You'll need to mark it out for cutting like in the diagram above. From each corner, measure 2cm up both sides, and mark the spot with your pencil. Then take your ruler and match up the marks on either side. Holding the ruler firmly in place, take your scoring tool and then run it firmly along the edge of the ruler to join the marks with a dent in the card.
You can draw lines with your pencil and then fold it carefully without scoring, but scoring does give you a neater and easier line to fold.
With your scissors, snip one line along the corner on each side. Doesn't matter which, as long as you stick to the same one when rotating the card to cut the next. Then carefully snip out a little triangle on the smaller section so that when you fold your box together and glue it, it doesn't get pushed out of shape by any oddly cut bits of card on the bottom edge of the flap.
Fold everything inwards on the score lines to form a tray shape with the flaps hanging out - they should have a little give and want to go in the direction you're pushing them to make it easier. Then dab a little glue on the flaps and stick them to the walls inside the tray.
Set aside your tray and let the glue dry - it shouldn't take long as it's a tiny amount on card.
Step 3: Making the Sleeve
This needs to wrap around the tray to keep the contents of the tray inside, so it will need 4 panels - 2 big to cover the top and bottom, 2 small to cover the sides. Remember to add 2mm to the tray dimensions so it can fit in the sleeve. So for my 5cm x 5cm x 2cm tray, I'll need a strip of card that is 5.2cm wide (I like to add the extra on the width even though it's not having to fit round anything), and 15.5cm long. That length takes into account 2 panels for the top and bottom that will be 5.2cm, 2 side panels that will be 2.2cm, and 0.7cm for the glue flap. That flap can actually be however big or small you want it, 15.5cm is just an easy number to measure to.
With your pencil, make marks at 5.2cm, 7.4cm, 12.6cm and 14.8cm, which would be 5.2 (top), 2.2 (side), 5.2 (bottom), 2.2 (side), 0.7 (glue flap). Do the same on the other side so the marks match up, then take your ruler and join your marks like you did with the tray using your scoring tool.
Then fold inwards the way the card wants to go, snip the corner edges off the 0.7cm flap for neatness, dab some glue on it and fix it to the side panel, carefully lining up the edge of the 5.2cm panel with the corner of the side panel. The easiest way to do this is to fold the box in half with the flap and panel it should attach to on the top. This way it's stable, much easier to line things up, and much easier to put a bit of pressure on to make sure the card is glued together.
All being well and once it's dry (again, won't take long), you should be able to slide your tray snugly into your sleeve, and you have a nice, sliding gift box waiting for you to fill it!
Step 4: Making It Into a Better Storage Box
The simple tray is fine if you're wanting to display some jewellery or a badge or throw a chocolate in there. But if you want it to store things - perhaps paper clips, spare screws, that kind of thing - you might want a bit of extra security on the edges that come out of the sleeve so things don't slip out so easily. This is really easy to do, and you don't need to make any changes to the sleeve dimensions, just the tray. If you look at the diagram above, you just need to add 1cm to 2 of the opposite ends of the tray. So for my 5cm x 5cm x 2cm tray, rather than needing a square of card that measures 9cm x 9cm, I'll need one that measures 9cm by 11cm, which accounts for making the extra flaps. Then follow the same process for the regular tray, but mark out the extra two flaps and cut the extra card away accordingly, then fold them inwards so they provide an extra barrier to prevent things slipping out of the gap between the sleeve and the tray.
Be sure to add these flaps to the sides that will be sliding in and out of the sleeve. This doesn't matter on a square box, as all sides will fit. But if you make a rectangle box, you want to make sure your flaps will be where you need them.