Sunday, September 13, 2015

Spooky Halloween Block Box Stack

Cut and build this faux "blocks" display
as part of your Halloween decor.
Boxes composed of closely-fitting lid and base
in three sizes plus the long base box
have structural supports inside for strength
and sturdiness. Face rectangles cut from
a number of your favorite paper prints make it extra fun.
Stylized letters and a welded "Halloween" word cut
finish the design.
Group together measures approx. 
13" wide x 5.875" tall x 2" deep. 

1. Identify and cut the shapes.
Each block will require a lid, a base, an inner bridge support, a face panel and a letter.

"S" and "Y" use box A (lid & base each have two sections that join)
"P" and "K" use box B (lid & base each have two sections that join)
"O"s use box C (lid & base are one connected shape)
long "Halloween" box has lid & base that have separate ends to connect, and no face panel.

For more clarity, the next three frames will show boxes A, B & C shapes.

From left: 
inner support
base shapes to connect
lid shapes to connect
face panel with "S" letter

(use these same shapes with substituted face panel and letter for the "Y" box)

From left: 
inner support
base shapes to connect
lid shapes to connect
face panel with "P" letter

(use these same shapes with substituted face panel and letter for the "K" box)

From left:
inner support
base shape
lid shape
face panel with "O" letter

(use these same shapes with substituted face panel for the other "O" box)

2. Lid and base assembly is similar for all letter boxes. Box B will be demonstrated.

Each size box lid has a symbol cutout in a tab to identify which go together. Here, Box B LID cutout, a tiny square, is shown.

The corresponding base box will have a double symbol cutout. Box B BASE will have two tiny square cutouts.

3. Prepare the LID sections by bending inward on all perforation lines for box top, sides, tiny and long tabs/flanges.

4. Join the two LID sections by overlapping the straight side edge to align with the corresponding side tab perforation line, adjust for top and bottom alignment, then attach and apply pressure until secure.

5. LID shapes for boxes A-C include narrow "bevel" face panels (to simulate cut and routed wood block).

Bend the top tab and bevel panel of two adjacent sides inward as shown, with the small bevel tab inserted under the bevel panel of the other. Apply dab of glue, align straight angled edge to tiny tab perf line, then hold and place and apply pressure until secure.

Repeat for the two remaining tabs that can be joined at this point in the assembly.

6. Form the LID into a tube to bring the end edges together. Apply adhesive and complete the seam.

7. Bend bevel panel edges into position and complete the fourth bevel seam.

8. Prepare to attach the LID face panel into place by bending the tab/flanges inward to be perpendicular to the box sides. Apply glue to the tabs, then . . . 

. . . bend the front panel into position, adjust/square up, and apply pressure to secure each of the three sides of panel to tab/flanges.

NOTE it will be helpful, after initial grab of glue, to turn the box face down on flat surface and apply finger or tool pressure from the inside.

9. Build the BASE in similar fashion to the LID, except omit the bevel joints. In other words, join the two halves, bend top tab/flanges inward, bend top panel into place and attach. (Of course, for the BASE the top panel will actually be the bottom - or back - of the box.)

10. Prepare the inner "bridge" support. Wider support shape will fit Box A. Narrower support will fit Boxes B & C. Shown here, the narrower support shape has an asterisk star symbol in one of the bottom tab/flanges. 

Bend all tabs outward; fold in half & glue.

11. Bend tabs perpendicular to panel, apply glue to backsides of tabs, then insert into the BASE interior, center, and attach tabs to back and sides.

NOTE: it is important to make sure the support is "squared up" to the bottom and sides and roughly centered. If not squared to sides, the support may undesirably pull the sides inward.

Here is a completed shot of the BASE with support in place, for reference.

12. Position and attach the face panel, and the appropriate letter.

NOTE: once again, turning the box face down on flat surface and applying pressure from the inside of box, against the backside of the front panel will assist.

13. Assemble the box by inserting the BASE into the bottom of the LID.

This is an intentional tight fit, so the two will need to be squared up to slide together.

14. Prepare the long box LID and BASE by bending sides and tabs of main and end shapes back.

Attach end piece to main shape.

Position and attach Halloween word cutout to LID front (or wait until LID is assembled).

15. Bend the side and end panels to be at right angles to the face, bring straight edges to align at tab perf lines and complete side seams. NOTE that the long LID and BASE assembly are very similar.

NOTE: best practice with these kinds of seams is to try to "snug" the tab-attached piece to have end edges line up. In other words, since the side is overlapping the tab on the end shape here, the side will naturally be a smidge longer. Try to nudge the end straight edge to align with the side straight edge.

(This is a subtle thing, but a good idea if possible.)

16. Prepare the long box inner support by bending into an "M' configuration as shown, with the tabs bent back.

17. Dry fit the support inside the BASE box to see how it goes in. Support should be centered.

Remove, apply adhesive to the tab faces, then reinsert, adjust to be centered and fully inside the BASE, then apply pressure to tabs to complete attachment to the inside.

This view shows how the support inside BASE should look when completed.

17. Complete the long box by inserting the BASE inside the LID, again an intentional tight fit.

18. If desired, the BASE and LID of all boxes can be glued together

ALSO OPTIONAL: add weighting materials such as doll poly pellets, rice or beans, metal plugs or washers to bases before inserting into LIDS.

Here is the completed long box.

Assemble the ensemble like this:

Happy Halloween!