Making Tuckboxes

After five years of heavy duty service, my original tuckbox for Give Me The Brain finally gave up the ghost. So I made a new tuckbox for it. Then I bought the Aquarius reprint, and wanted a smaller box with less dead air. So I made a smaller tuckbox for it. Then mission creep set in, and I found myself making custom tuckboxes for four other games as well. The finished results are pictured above. Here’s how you make them, in seven easy steps.

STEP 1) Measure the height, width, and thickness of the deck of cards that you want a box for. If you want to have the rules in the box with the cards, sandwich the rules in the middle of the deck, if able; make sure the rules do not stick out beyond the card dimensions. I prefer to make my measurements in millimeters, but to each his own. I advise you round up a hair on the dimensions; it’s better for the tuckbox to be slightly too big than to be slightly too small.

STEP 2) Go the the Craig Forbes Tuckbox Generator at http://www.cpforbes.net/tuckbox/tuckbox.cgi. Input the dimensions of your deck, add a title, and click "make PDF template". Save the PDF file.

STEP 3) Your PDf template is meant to be double sided, but the black text on white box is lame and boring. Here’s a fast way to put an interesting image on the box without spending hours with Photoshop. Find an image of the game, somewhere, anywhere, the higher resolution the better. I like using boxfronts and card scans. Whatever says "Oh Yeah, That Game" to you. Go for it.

STEP 4) Print the FIRST PAGE only of the tuckbox PDF on the thickest cardstock you can manage. I use 110-lb cardstock.

STEP 5) Use your printer’s manual feed tray to print out your selected image from Step 3 onto the other side of your cardstock sheet. This is going to be the outside of your box. Make sure you use the smallest margins possible, so that you cover the entire tuckbox outline on the other side. You can pay attention to how the page is oriented, to control the tuckbox outline and image features overlap, but don’t stress over this unless you’re picky.

STEP 5) Okay, now you have your single page with the tuckbox outline on one side and a big colorful image on the other. Now cut the tuckbox out, using only the solid lines. The wide strips of leftovers make great bookmarks!

Step 6) Score the dashed lines to make good crisp creases. The best tool for this is ballpoint pens that no longer write.

Step 7) Fold your box up along the creases, and glue the gray flaps shut, one at a time, side flap first, then bottom flap. I use a thin smear of craft glue, and slip the deck inside the box as a weight to put pressure on the glue as it dries. Be careful not to get your cards stuck to any beads of glue that might upwell into the box. This is why you should use the glue sparingly.

Now you’re done. Admire your handiwork. Call your parents and brag about your prowess in arts and crafts. Blog about it. I am right now.


Nifty future gadget: the Space Replicator

Recommended (dead) Webcomic: Narbonic, which ran from 2000 through 2006.

Movies I’ve Seen:

Roadie (1980) ~ win friends by fixing stuff

Arthur (1981) ~ John Gielgud best butler ever!

Strange Brew (1983) ~ subsidization perpetuates hackneyed Canadian stereotypes

The Flamingo Kid (1984) ~ hit by a smooth criminal

The Name of the Rose 91986) ~ 13th Century monks are creepy

Ride With the Devil (1999) ~ Oscar hopeful Civil War western

Toy Story 2 (1999) ~ finally seen ALL the Pixar!

Not Another Teen Movie (2001) ~ good example of well done spoof

Midnight: Chronicles (2008?) ~ teases with suggestions of plotline

What I’ve Been Reading:

"Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin

"Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage" by Sherry Sontag

"Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison

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