Friday, 27 August 2010

How To Make Storage Boxes That Protect Your Props And Save Space

Some of you may have the same problem I had with my props and sets: you create something you may want to re-use, but when the time comes around, it is damaged, bent or broken.
Well, not any longer. Here is a quick way to store things neatly, in limited space.

To create these practical boxes, start by measuring the available space your items will need to fit into (width, height and depth). This could be a shelf or, as shown here, a bigger storage box. Decide how best to break the space down, keeping in mind the size of the objects you would like to store. 

I decided to make a separate box to store the items from each project. I planned to fill the available space with, first, several boxes of the same size (large enough to work well for most projects). I then moved on to planning smaller boxes, which would fill out the rest of my bigger storage box, and would work better for projects with smaller or fewer items. If you have more shelving space and don't need to use every tiny corner, you may want to buy some ready-made boxes and just insert some partitions to divide up the space inside each box.

Now you need to make your boxes. Get plenty of foam board and steel sewing needles (sewing pins with big heads aren't suitable for this) and start cutting and assembling. When joining the box sides together, push the needles into the foam board at a c. 40 degree angle. This will make the boxes more durable and also prevent the needles from coming out again. You can secure the corners with tape as well as needles (but my boxes were so small that I didn't think this was necessary).

Add some partitions to divide up the space inside each box if desired. This stops items bumping up against each other, and also keeps them separate and organised, so that the box contents can be seen in one glance. If you use ready-made boxes you may want to stick the partitions into place with double-sided tape instead of using needles.
I didn't add partitions into the box containing the dolls house furniture as these objects are equally heavy and snuggle neatly into the box. This means they can't move around and damage each other.
The boxes with more fragile props are divided into smaller compartments. 

Use tape to add a lid to your box, and elastic or ribbon to keep it closed.

OPTION: Use the same technique to make a gift box!
Make a box, as described above and cover the finished box into coloured paper or gift wrap.

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