I found out recently that LEGO released a line of Minifigs that came in sealed mystery bags. I saw the series that was out at the time and found them pretty cool, considering I had not touched a LEGO toy in ages. So I bought one.
At ~$3 a pack, you gotta think what's the harm right? Well, what started out as a harmless purchase, has now snowballed into a small addiction. I now have over 50 Minifigs, and nowhere to put them. They were just lying around all over the place and I thought they needed a home before I started loosing some of them or their accessories. So I decided to get a case for them.
I looked around online and in many stores but none of the existing cases fit my criteria, specifically, easy to build, compact, durable, and easily expandable. Since I couldn't find one in the stores that matched my needs, I decided to make my own. After some thought, this is what I came up with.
If you collect LEGO Minifigs and have nowhere to put them, maybe this solution can work for you too.
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Step 1: Parts & Tools
Here's the materials and tools you'll need to make the case. For the materials, you can mix and match any color/background combination that you want. I kept it simple and went with red & black.
- 1 x IKEA Ribba (deep frame) (20.5" x 20.5" x 1.75")
- 1 x Foam board (they usually are 20" x 30" x 3/16")
- 1 x Background (must fit 19.75" x 19.75")
- 49 x Lego base plates (to place the figs on)
- Hot glue gun
- Utility Knife
- 24" ruler
- X-ACTO Knife
Step 2: Cut Strips
Using the utility knife, cut 19 1/8" x 1 3/16" (~483 mm x 30 mm) strips from the foam board. (Fig. 1) Be sure to use a new blade to make a nice clean and smooth cut. 12 strips will have to be made.
After the 12 strips are made, 6 slits need to be cut (Fig. 2 & 3). Do this for all 12 strips.
Step 3: Connect Strips
Now that the strips are all done, they have to be connected. Place the strips perpendicular to each other and connect them with the slits (Fig. 1-4) . Connect them to form a 7x7 grid and fit into the frame (Fig. 4). Make some adjustments if the grid doesn't fit into the the frame.
Step 4: Glue Lego Base Plates
If everything was done right, the grid (shelves) should fit snug into the inner frame. Now you will need to glue the Lego base plates (Fig. 1) to the shelves. Place some hot glue on the bottom of the plate (Fig 2) and stick it to the shelf, placing the plate in the center of each of the square's bases. (Fig 3)
Step 5: Place Minfigs
When the placement of the base plates are completed, the Minifigs can now be mounted.
Step 6: Place Backing
Once the figs have been placed, create the wallpaper. Use the included matting as a guide to measure the background's size. Cut the background (Fig. 1) and then place it on the back of the case. (Fig. 2) If everything fits, place the background, matting, then the frame backing on the frame. (Fig. 3) Attach the picture-hanging wire if mounting it to a wall.
Step 7: Finished Case
Here's the finished case.