Giant Cardboard Stash Box

A Stash Box for Giant Cardboard Icehouse Pieces

Eeyore and his stash box.

May 2004

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A few years ago, the Looneys started selling giant cardboard icehouse pieces in addition to the standard little plastic ones. These are great, and turn playing games like IceTowers into actual sporting events. They are sold flat and undecorated, and you decorate them and fold them up into pyramids yourself. This makes shipping easy, but once you fold them up, they no longer fit into the box they arrived in!

Somebody (I forget who, sorry) realized you could use the cardboard from the shipping box to make a new box that would hold the giant pieces and keep them from being damaged or lost during travel. It's pretty simple, and takes less than an hour.


What you need.

You need:

The Process

Lay it out flat.

Begin by cutting any remaining tape and laying the box out as flat as you can. I don't recommend removing the tape, since you'll probably just wind up damaging the cardboard.

I'm serious about not caring about your work surface. You're about to cut through the cardboard with a razor knife, and yow will cut any carpeting or scratch any flooring below the cardboard. I don't care about this carpeting.

Cut off the extra flaps.

Cut off the thin flaps at the top and bottom. You won't be needing any of that, so throw it away.

A quick word about the razor knife: use a new blade. I can't tell you how many times I have messed up a project because I decided to save money by using an old blade. Eventually I just bought blades in the largest bulk pack I could find so that I can change them for each project and I still only run out every few years.

Start measuring.

Bend the box up at the first bend, and push a 3-pointer into the corner. This is how you start measuring. Mark the cardboard a little further over than the other edge of the pyramid. This should be a little farther than eight inches, because the pyramids are eight inches wide. Go for eight and a quarter or eight and three eighths inches. Mark in a "valley" of the corrugation; this will make folding easier later.

Mark first two sides.

Extend a line from the mark all the way to the other side of the cardboard. Mark the same distance on the other side of the first bend, and extend that line, too.

There will be an extra two inches of cardboard next to that line. Leave it there! It will be the flap that holds your box together.

You know have two sides of the box marked out.

Amrk third and fourth sides.

Measure over from the first line you drew to mark out the third and four sides of the box. Remember, you want a little more than eight inches. You could count valleys in the corrugation if you want the sides to be exactly the same size. Make the third side one corrugation longer, though; it will compensate for the flap being on the inside.

The last line should be very near to the last bend in cardboard. If you're way short of the line, remeasure all your sides because your box may be too tight.

Cut off extra cardboard.

Cut off everything after the last line. This is a nice big peice of cardboard that you might use for something else, but you won't need it for this box, so hide it like an afikomen.

(Yes, I did choose to wear this shirt precidely because I knew it would make painful interference patterns.)

Mark bottom flaps.

Mark a line all the way across the cardboard (perpendicular to the corrugations) four inches away from the edge. Those four inches of cardboard will be the bottom flap of your stash box.

Score all lines.

Score all the lines you've drawn to make bending easier later. I used the blunt back end of a marker. Don't press too hard, or you'll break through the top layer. If you do, don't panic, just reinforce the bend with packing tape.

Cut the corner.

Cut off the little corner bit there; it will only be in the way if you leave it.

Cut and fold flaps.

Cut between each of the flaps, then fold each flap along its score line to loosen things up a bit.

Fold box on score lines.

Fold the box up along its lnegthwise score lines as well. Double sheck to make sure you didn't punch through while you were scoring, and reinforce if necessary.

Measure for top flaps.

Stack up your stash of giant cardboard Icehouse pieces. The most efficient stack is to stack the sizes separately, then put the two on the ones and the threes on top.

Fold up one of the bottom flaps, and lay the stack down so that it rests against the flap you just folded up. You might have to hold the stack to keep its center line paralell to the floor.

Mark for top flaps.

Mark at the top of the stack. This is the height of your stash box. Mine came out to be about 23 inches tall. If you make it much shorter you'll have to squich the pieces in, and if you make it much longer they will rattle around.

Mark lines for top flaps.

Extend lines all the way across from the mark, then measure four inches further up and draw another line all the way across.

Score for top flaps.

Score the first line you just drew, same as you did before for the other flaps.

Cut off other corner.

Cut off the other extraneous corner piece.

Cut off extra piece.

Cut along that second line you drew to remove all the extra cardboard.

Cut between flaps.

Cut between the top flaps of the box…

Bend top flaps at scores.

…and bend each one up along its score line.

This is your final cardboard.

This is the final shape of your cardboard piece. You can put the razor knife away for know, and grab the packing tape.

This is probably the best time to flip the cardboard over and decorate the white side if you want an artistic-looking box. This is more interesting, and makes your box easier to spot in a crowd, but it's by no means ncessary.

Tape extra flap.

Stick a piece of tape along the edge of the side flap. This piece should be half on and half off the flap, sticky side down (Careful not to stick it to the floor!).

Fold extra flap over.

Fold the flap over so that the sticky side is now facing up.

Fold box in half and press down.

Fold the whole box over at its mid-point, and press the far edge down against the tape.

Pop box open.

Pop the box open and check the tape. Also check out that my box is a little crooked. If yours is crooked too, don't worry about it; it's just a box!

Tape bottom flaps shut.

Fold the bottom flaps shut, and tape them closed. I usually tape across the gap, then across the two perpendicular edges to get a good seal.

Try to get the box as square as possible before you tape it! Line up the edges of the flaps and press them together if you need to.

Fold other end shut, but don't tape.

Fold the other end shut, but don't tape it. You just want to add rigidity for the next step.

Lay box down and tape side seam.

Lay the box dow with the seam edge up, and tape the outside of the seam corner.

Open up flaps and stare down gullet.

Your stash box is now structurally complete! Stare down into its piece-swallowing gullet!

Insert properly stacked pieces.

To insert the pieces, it's easiest to lay the box down and slide the whole stack in sideways. If you try to drop the whole stack in, the smaller pieces might wind up falling and getting damaged.

Close top flaps and go!

You can seal the top flaps with the nifty box flap trick, or using any clever method you prefer.

Decorate, for ID purposes.

If you didn't decorate the outside earlier, use a marker to label the outside of the box so that you can tell it from any other stash boxes that might be laying around.

This whole process only took me about an hour, and I was taking my time to make sure I did a good job for the camera.

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