Sunday, November 8, 2015

Believe Blocks Nativity Ensemble

Spell out the message of the Season
with these dimensional letter-front blocks.
Four block sizes are created with closely-fitted
lid and base with interior supports.
Block boxes range in size from approx. 7.25" tall 
to 4.5" tall. All boxes are 2" deep.
Optional 'L' block box includes hexagon post holes
to receive the "post" for the Bethlehem Star wand.
Add the 3d manger with swaddled Baby Jesus
for an inspiring display, shown ensemble below.
Find more information and assembly guides
for the star wand and manger further along
in this blog.

APOLOGIES for the random formatting irregularities
with this post. The Blogger program was not
behaving in its standard fashion as this post
was prepared.

1. Identify and cut the shapes as shown in these images
NOTES: the ensemble is composed of seven boxes constructed from four sizes/shapes.
'B' uses box 1 shapes
'e' (3) uses box 3 shapes
'l' and 'V' use box 2 shapes
(use modified box 2 shapes for pole box)
'i' uses box 4

Boxing strips and base front panel all include small numerals to identify which box it is. Boxing strips also include a small cut out symbol. Refer to the cut file line drawings for more clarification.

NOTES (cont.):  the cut file(s) include only ONE  shape 
for pairs that should be cut. 
That is, cut two lid and base boxing strips, strut strips.

LID and BASE panels are not identical for the box. 
(You need to cut one lid and one box per unit.)

Also NOTE that strips shown include a rim flange 
which was removed in the final version of the cut file.

If you plan to create the "Believe" nativity ensemble 
that includes the Star Pole, you will need 
to use the Optional Box 2 shapes as shown here. 
(Use Box 2 regular version for the 'V'.)

Star Pole Box 2 includes boxing strips 
that have the hexagon opening to accept the pole, 
struts that have an opening through which 
the pole will pass once inserted into the completed box, 
and a pole platform that will help hold the bottom end 
of the stick in place on the bottom panel of the base, once inserted.

Since the ensemble word requires three 'e' boxes, 
cut 3 sets of the shapes as shown.

Box 4 for the 'i' letter is the box that will be used 
to demonstrate the construction and assembly, 
which is similar for all boxes, except the optional Box 2.
 It will be explained separately.
2. Identify the LID boxing strip for the 'i' which has 
the tiny '4' cut in the end tab. 
Two of these strips will be used to create the LID.

Identify the BASE boxing strip for the 'i' box by locating 

the tiny square on point cut below the numeral 4 on the end tab. 
Two of these strips will be used to create the BASE.

NOTE: The other box sizes/shapes have their own numerals 

and tiny cut out symbols to identify them also.
Identify the LID front panel (left in image) and the BASE front panel. The BASE panel includes the numeral 4 cut.

The LID and BASE panels for each box will be nearly identical size. BASE is a very little bit smaller.
3. Bend the LID boxing strips back on all perforation lines.

Position first long edge of LID front panel along the long tab's perforation line, overlapping the tab shape, adjust so that top and bottom ends match boxing strip, then glue in place.

4. Bend the second side of the boxing strip into position to line up the short panel edge to overlap the tab to the perforation line, adjust as necessary and glue in place.
NOTE that it may be helpful to turn the assembly face down on a flat surface and apply finger pressure from the inside of the box along the tab to get a thorough and smooth connection along each seam.

5. Position and attach the second LID boxing strip to the tab end of the attached first strip, taking care to overlap the straight edge exactly along the perforation line of tab, adjusting top and bottom to match.
6. Repeat the aligning and attaching of the third panel edge to corresponding boxing tab. 

Prepare to attach the final panel edge to boxing tab, while at the same time aligning and attaching the end tab to the corresponding unattached straight end of first boxing strip.
7. Prepare the BASE of Box 4 in the same fashion, using the appropriate boxing and panel shapes.

8. Prepare the strut reinforcing strips by bending back/inward  at center and tab perforations. 
9. Apply glue to the face of the tabs, insert one into each end of the BASE and press tabs to attach the inside surface of side walls as shown. Take care that the perforation lines and tab end edges are perpendicular to the front panel.

The point tip should rest at or close to the top/bottom walls, but not press them out of shape, nor actually attach there. There is also a gap between the end tabs where they attach. 
10. Assemble the decorative letter front panel by centering and attaching the letter shapes.

Apply adhesive (dry adhesive such as roller-applied double-stick adhesive tape) to the accent panel edges, then position, centered on the LID front panel. A small, approx. 1/8" margin of the LID will remain showing all around.
Turn the LID face down on flat surface and apply pressure behind area where panel is attaching to achieve a thorough and smooth connection. 
11. Fit the LID over the BASE to complete the box. 
NOTE that this is an intentional tight fit.
12. Attach the LID and BASE together by applying adhesive between the side walls all around.

NOTE: adhesive may be more easily applied to the lower side edge near corner of the BASE after the LID has been placed onto the BASE, but before the two have been completely pushed together.

OTHER BOXES: Prepare the remaining 'B', 'L' no-pole hole, 'V' and 'e' boxes
in similar manner to the 'i' box that has been shown.

For the POLE HOLE 'L' BOX,
modify the assembly as follows:
13. Fold the platform shape in accordion fashion.
 Apply glue to one side of all faces that can join.
Press flat into a "stack", taking care that the
edges of the hex hole openings line up as precisely as possible.
14. Prepare the BASE using the boxing strips that include 
the end hex openings, the LID using one regular strip for the top and side,
and one that includes the hex pole opening for the bottom and remaining side,
and the regular 'L' lid and base front panels.
Position and attach the platform stack on the bottom
of the BASE.
15. Prepare the special strut shapes in the same manner of
perforation folding. Position in similar manner, taking care
that the pass-through openings at the "point" fold ends
are centered next to the hex openings.
16. Position the hex hole cover (left off the shapes layout image)
on the outside of the BASE to cover the hole and
keep the pole from pushing through out of position.
17. Fit the LID and BASE together 
and make sure the top hex holes line up
before gluing together.
18. Prepare the Star Wand following separate assembly
instructions that can be found following this post.
(You can also find the manger and swaddled Babe
assembly instructions in posts below this one.)
Apply glue to the end and approx. 1/4" up the sides,
then insert through the top hex hole, 
through the pass-thru openings of both struts,
and "wiggle" until the end sits into the hex recess
of the platform on the bottom interior.
Hold in place until adhesive is secure.

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful, Jodi! A great way to make a Christmas scene come to life :)