This is a new topic started based on requests about my boxes asked elsewhere. I like to mess around with craft work once in a while. As much as there are some great pre-maded card boxes out there to purchase, I prefer to make my own.
The decorated paired boxes to the right are the adventure deck for my household. A very basic "panel" design for the graphics is used rather than full wrap around because
- Handmade boxes are not always the same dimension from one to the next, even when the pieces are cut to supposedly precise duplicate measures.
- Assembly can cause shift and slight warp of configuration from one box to the next.
Though neither problem is noticeable to the eye, these variances do make it impossible to do full wrap decoration of a box, such as you seen on commercial products like Talisman.
Graphics you see are based on those I designed for a Talisman Rules Card template, which Jon put into the latest plugin for the Strange Eons card maker. The only absconded graphic was the reduced art inside the split center ring. You should all know where that came from. I have no intention of sharing these graphic panels, so this little breach in morality, ethics, or law stays inside my house.
Panel art (designed in Photoshop CS4-E) is printed out on photo quality semi-gloss light-weight paper with black bleed zones all around. Once the panels are cut out, the edges of the white paper are dyed to black using a permanent marker. The panels are then adhered, and are designed to leave a bit of black between them from the paper used to wrap-assemble the box (such the other ones in the background).
These two side by side boxes allow for an adventure deck of about 200 to 250 sleeved cards (at a guess(, depending on how tightly one packs them in. That's more than enough for any game, and I have other boxes that store cards not used.
For components, I use black matt board with black core. All panels (external and internal) are cut by hand, assemble with light use of black butcher/craft paper and basic glue sticks. I've use rubber cement and other non-soluable glues, but they tend to maked the paper stretch and the shrink, causing initial fitting problems and them warping.
All boxes have approximately an 1/8" extra space side to side and just under 1/4" top clearance. This gives enough room for the separator tab you see to the left. Discards can be placed face forward or face back behind the separator, depending on whether the box's backend or the behind the separator is where people want to access the top of the discard pile as needed.
Boxes are built to my estimation of the deck in question and how many cards it will need to hold. If I find later there are more cards needed, well, I just build a bigger box. The two small ones on the left and right right edges of the first picture hold about 50-70 cards each in sleeves.
So why such a small deck? One will eventually be used for the Talisman Tasks quest deck, the other possibly for a spell deck.
To the right you can see a little of how the boxes fit together. They are actually two boxes cut in half. The inner one's split is offset from the outer. Though matt board (for picture matts) may seem rather flimsy, when done this way it becomes pretty tough and sturdy for general handling.
There is also the possibility to build other sizes and to use one box for even multiple small decks. After all, you need a little somewhere to put those Alignment and Talisman cards. In the next box below on the left, the cards are all from the same deck, but dividers have been permanently added to the interior, creating 6 compartments. This is for the Purchase deck, which includes Armor, Weapons, Followers, Resources (rafts, bottles), Tools, and Other (I won't try to explain the last two categories right now). Eventually this box will be decorated with appropriately colored panels which will include match monotone illustrations of a sample card from each category on the outside bottom half. It should be easy to see which little subdeck to grab when look for that Purchase one has just made.
As both storage and in-play deck organizers, these are so much better than a loose deck on the board (especially if using those slippery card sleeves). A whole deck and can easily handed around the board no matter how many players you have. While someones digging out that mule they just bought, with the Purchase box in hand, the next players is already taking her turn.
So I'll warp it up here. Perhaps when I have time to get to it, I'll post pictures of the finished Purchase, Spell, and Quest boxes. If you have any question, feel free to post them.
Oh, and laid on their sides, they fit pretty well into the box, though with the board on top them, the top shell of the Talisman box does ride about 1/4" high.