Rubberband Hinged Box




Introduction: Rubberband Hinged Box

About: I am a former furniture joiner turned opera singer, and I am doing my best to keep something else than just sound and hot air in my head. I like to figure out how things work, and i like to se if i can make ...

If you do not like anecdotes, please feel free to skip the first paragraph, there is nothing of importance regarding the actual construction of the box.

The Story:

So, this idea came around because I have been needing small boxes on several occasions, always different size, and always on such a short notice that I haven't got time to wait for any special materials (usually different sorts of brass hinges) I usually end up dropping the project all together, and doing something else instead.

Just before Christmas I needed a small box again. This time, the occasion was, that a friend of mine playing the Oboe told me, that the prize of a box for containing the reeds where around 45 -75 dollars. I thought that I would like a share of that market, but I needed to make some prototypes, and they needed to have a working hinges.

I figured that rubber band had all the qualities to make a great hinge, but i couldn't figure out how to fix 'em since I didn't want to cut or glue them but use whole rubber bands.

Seeing how they will eventually break, I also needed them to be replaceable. I got somewhat inspired by this post; KarateKidClipboard and figured the rest out in a couple of nights in my sofa with a block of squared paper and a couple of beers. The actual prototyping happened at the #CopenhagenFablab in Denmark, over a couple of hours.

Tldr: I designed a lasercut box, hinged and assembled with commend household items.

The Design Manifest:

Keep It Simple Stupid aka KISS.

  • Easy on the eyes,
  • Easy to make,
  • Easy to use,
  • Easy to fix

"Please notice the rubber-band-holes in the sides are cut out through the back of the box so that it will stay open and even half open, instead of the rubber bands just trying to close the box all the time. This is the part where I really felt like I had figured something out!"

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials:

Tools and materials:



  • Clamps (i used an old ironpot to keep with the design manifest)
  • Knife


  • MDF/Acryl/Cardboard/Whatever you want
  • Rubber Band (2)
  • Glue (I used a gluestick, again, the design manifest)
  • Toothpicks, round (4-8)


  • Inkscape

Step 2: Cutting the Pieces

  • If you want a deeper box, just cut extra sides.
  • If you want to change the size of the box, just change the length of the straight line making up the front/back or the sides.
  • If you scale it,
    • Make sure that the corner holes for the toothpicks are 2mm,
    • And make sure that the rubber band holes are at least 3mm. Else way you will either have to much hole for your toothpick or to little for the rubber (pun intended)

Step 3: The Files

Step 4: Assemble the Box

If you use the toothpicks to hold it in place, nothing can go wrong while the glue hardens (KISS!)

  • Cut of the pieces of toothpick that is sticking out, with the knife
  • Clamp the entire thing down in one big pile, with what ever clamp you got. Clamps work fine, but so does an old iron pot, or a pile of books, or an old ultimaker2 3d printer if you have one laying around.
  • Now is the time to contemplate whether you glued the top and bottom halves together or not! If you did, remove whatever holds it down and give it a tap with a hammer at the end of the box to get the glue to let go.
  • After 20 min. the glue is hardend enough.

Step 5: Attach the Rubber Band

  • Remove the clamping.
  • Put the rubber bands through the holes and hook them on the Cleat (I learned a new word and so can you).
  • When you have done so, with both rubber bands, on both sides, you should be finished.
  • To lock the box, simply take the rubber band from one cleat and attach it on the other side of the front.

If you liked this instructable, the story or the idea, please vote for me in the "make a box contest."

Extra notes:

  • If you change the set-up please be aware, that I removed whatever lines that was double in the file with all four parts joined together, to save time on the lasercutter.
  • If you would like to linen the bottom just cut a piece of fabric, either on the lazercutter og with the knife using the pieces that you cut out, when you cut the sides, and glue it on.
  • If you want to change the size of the box please be aware of the size of the small holes, the toothpicks need 2mm. holes and the rubber band probably want make it through less than 3mm.
  • If you want any kind of grid in the box (like a pillbox) just draw it up in the inner circle of the sides template.
  • If you want to you can engrave something on the top and bottom
Make a Box Contest

Participated in the
Make a Box Contest

Flat Pack Contest

Participated in the
Flat Pack Contest

3 People Made This Project!


  • Cardboard Speed Challenge

    Cardboard Speed Challenge
  • Sculpting Challenge

    Sculpting Challenge
  • 3D Printed Contest

    3D Printed Contest

6 Discussions


4 years ago

So cool. You have my vote


Reply 4 years ago



4 years ago

Love this! So clever!


Reply 4 years ago



Reply 4 years ago

Indeed. I have also considered making a hole the size of a finger in the back so that one could use it for credit cards. glad you likeit.