Sunday, July 27, 2014

School Bus Box Card Assembly Tutorial

Create this unique "fold out" card to give to a favorite educator
or bus driver (or student).
Basically a bottomless box, this card folds flat for sending.
Or let it "explode" and it becomes a miniature bus
with driver's row and three bench rows of seats inside,
plus lots of details on the bus's exterior.
Cut out words express your sentiments
or recognition or encouragement: "On Your Way".

1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A box base left half with side seat shapes
B box base right half with side seat shapes
C bus lower L chassis with bumpers, wheels
D bus lower R chassis with bumpers, wheels
E bus front grill with bumper, wheels, lights
F upper front engine with contrast liner
G windshield with mirrors, steering wheel, etc
H bus back window overlay with words, base
I bridge strips (3)
J bench (3) and driver seat assemblies
K door frame rim, lower pane, stop sign
L Wheel "washer" extra circles
M side "SCHOOL" letter signs

Review the tutorial for more identification of shapes and how they relate.

 2. Fold the left and right box base shapes on vertical perforations, then join at front tab, overlapping straight edge of left shape at perforation line, making sure upper and lower edges are aligned.

3. Position the left and right chassis shapes so that their upper edges are aligned at edge of "engine" area near center of assembly, and at top of tab at left edge, and parallel slightly below window frames.

4. Layer engine grille with contrast liner and attach at upper center. Attach "SCHOOL BUS" lettering at front grill, then attach grill upper edge flush below engine grill edge.

5. Assemble and attach remaining decorative shapes into their positions, including: front bumper, lights, tires, door with lower panel, stop sign, "SCHOOL" sign panels, side fenders, back window panel, etc.

6. Assemble (lights on) wind shield, fold at tab perforation, then slide tab under engine grille/body edge and attach in place.

7. Prepare to attach side seat shapes behind window openings. This image shows the lower edge cutout tab, The lower inward cut/tab top edge will assist with alignment as shown in the next image.

8. Position and attach side seam shape just in front of the back edge of window cut out, with tab indent at lower window edge cutout.

This shot shows the right panel of the bus body, with FOUR side seats. The LEFT panel includes side shapes in ONLY the back 3 windows, but not the door opening.

9. Fold each of the bridge shapes with tabs extended back.

10. Position each bridge fold edge just below seat tab and even with the back of the window opening.

11. Layer the "On Your Way" welded words over the bus body-matching base shape (this helps with spacing). Attach the assembly over the window overlay on the inside of the panel.

12. Fold the panel into a tube shape, overlap back panel straight edge at left panel tab perf line and attach.

13. Position, one by one, the three bridge strip free ends at the opposite side of panel, positioning and attaching as for previous side with strip below side seat edge and even with the window back edge.

14. Before bridge gluing is set, fold the card box flat and apply pressure to the bridge attachment area(s) to help the bridge strip positions adjust, if necessary.

Un-flatten and continue to attach the remaining bridge strips in similar fashion.

15. Assemble the (3) bench and driver's seats by layering the detail (slots) cutout shape over the contrast base shape, then attaching the lower strip. Before the glue is set . . .

. . . fold the bottom upward so that the shape roughly resembles a chair.

NOTE: this shaping will need to flatten during the card folding flat to ship process.

16. Apply glue to the very bottom back edge of seat assembly . . 

. . . then position at back and at each of back two bridges (large bench seats) so that top of seam is approximately even with top of side seat shape.

Also position and attach driver's chair at the right position on the front bridge strip.

17. To fold the bus into its finished shape, square up the sides and front/back, fold the front engine section into horizontal position so that the side tabs rest on the box side indent edges, then slide the "mirror" hooks together to hold the upper portion in place.

Here you can see the process of sliding the windshield downward slightly into finished position as the hooks are meshed.

18. Fold mirror shapes at center perf, overlap the windshield hook extension and glue in place, taking care that the "slot" area of hook remains open and exposed.

19. Build up the steering wheel "stem" by layering 3-4 (or more as you choose) circles at the backside center.

20. Position and attach wheel behind windshield, at area just above tab.

21. Prepare the wheels by layering the hubcap (with swoosh cutout) over it's contrast shape, then over the tire, taking care to align all center circle cut outs.

Also prepare the wheel "washers" by layering and gluing together 2-3 washer shapes (same as the hubcap contrast circle).

22. Thread the wheel and washer assemblies onto a regular size brad, then insert brad end through body hole cutout. Fold brad prongs back on the inside. To ensure that wheels can spin, take care that the brad is not attached too tightly.

Repeat for all four wheels.

Here is the completed bus with one wheel in place.

Here is the box card folded flat for mailing.
NOTE that all of the shaping elements and positions need to adjusted
into their "flattened" shape, including unlatching the windshield hooks,
extending the engine/windshield sections upward,
allowing the seat bench lower areas to flatten, etc.

Here is another shot of the completed box card.