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How to make a classic board game box

Hello! My name is Angelo Fresti and I am a graphic designer from Italy. In my spare time I design board and card games and I often make the boxes for my prototypes myself. Today I would like to share my knowledge about how to make a custom made classic boardgame box, better known as ‘rigid box’ or ‘set-up box’. Those kinds of tabletop boxes provide a durable and elegant packaging for any type of board game, card game and puzzles. You can make your own board game box even more exclusive by using luxurious printing techniques like a ‘linen finish’ or a ‘relief embossing’. In this tutorial I’m going to focus on a little box for card games or small board game prototypes, but by enlarging the proportions you can use this tutorial for any type of box size.

board game box tutorial

In order to create the classic board game box you need the following tools and materials:
Cutting mat
Scissors
Utility knife
Pencil
Steel ruler
Glue
Painter’s tape
• Cardboard (1mm – 2mm)
• Printed artwork on poster/flyer paper

board game box tutorial

For the cardboard base you need to find (or make) a template with the dimensions as desired. On sites such as The Game Crafter you can download free templates for different kinds of boxes.

board game box tutorial

I always make a stencil when I have to make several boxes for my prototypes. By tracing the outlines of the stencil you can quickly make some top and bottom parts for the cardboard base.

board game box tutorial

board game box tutorial

Cut out both parts of the cardboard base with scissors. By using a steel ruler you can carefully trace the folding lines with a utility knife to slightly cut them. Do not press too hard otherwise you will cut through the cardboard.

board game box tutorial

After you’ve slightly incised all folding lines you can fold the protruding sides inwards, with the incisions pointing outwards.

board game box tutorial

Use some pieces of painter’s tape to hold the corners of the box halves together.

board game box tutorial

You can use a template to design your artwork in graphic software like Photoshop or Illustrator. I always use InDesign to make the artwork fit properly on all sides of the box.

board game box tutorial

When I’m making my prototypes to send across the globe to publishers I print my artwork on high quality poster paper. For this tutorial I’m using colored paper to differentiate the top and bottom part of the box.

board game box tutorial

Now its time to glue the artwork on the cardboard base! First start with the bottom and gradually spread the glue over the entire surface.

board game box tutorial

Press the glued surface against the inside of the artwork and align it properly.

board game box tutorial

First spread some glue on the largest protruding part of the artwork.

board game box tutorial

Fold it around the edge of the cardboard base.

board game box tutorial

Repeat previous steps for the other side.

board game box tutorial

Now glue the remaining parts of the artwork.

board game box tutorial

And fold both parts around the edge of the cardboard base.

board game box tutorial

Repeat all previous steps for the top part of the box and you’ve got your classic board game box!

board game box tutorial

I used the box I made in this tutorial for the game Fjords. Now it fits in my pocket!



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