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Boxes from Paper-based Materials


This box is designed to minimize handling of a fragile specimen. The specimen can be stored and transported in the box, and the drop sides provide easy access without handling the specimen (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Box with fixed sides and drop front. Nylon hook and loop coins can be used as fasteners.


Deborah Confer
Lane County Historical Museum
740 West 13th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97402 USA
Tel (503) 687-4239

Photograph: Julio Gisbert and
Rosa Garcia-Perea
Illustration: Karen Ackoff after Deborah Confer

Publication: 1992



The box is made using pH neutral, corrugated paper board. The drop sides are tied together with cotton twill tape.

Materials Tools Supplies

  • 100% cotton twill tape, 3/4in; 10 pieces approx. 6in long each
  • Acrylic resin emulsion, low viscosity
  • Large binder clips, 8
  • Metal straightedge
  • Pencil
  • pH neutral, corrugated paper board, single wall
  • Utility knife


Drop sides

  1. Determine dimensions of the box (width, length, height).
  2. Draw the box, according to the diagram (Fig. 2), on the sheet of corrugated paper board. When drawing the box, use solid lines and dashed lines as illustrated in the diagram.

    Figure 2. Pattern for box.

  3. Cut out the box with a utility knife. Cut through the solid lines only.
  4. Score the box on the dashed lines using the utility knife and straight edge. Be careful not to cut through the underside of the corrugated paper board.
  5. Fold up the side flaps along the scored lines. The straightedge is useful in keeping the fold straight. Work the flaps with a back and forth motion to fold them along the scoring; work them gently to avoid splitting the corrugated board.
  6. Fold up the sides along the scored lines.
  7. On the exterior sides, using the acrylic resin emulsion, adhere the end of a twill tape tie at each corner, 2in down from the top. Orient the twill tape tie according to the diagram. Hold the tie in place with a binder clip until the adhesive has dried completely.
  8. When the adhesive is dry, tie the sides together with the side flaps on the inside of the box.
  9. Fold the lid down. To secure the lid, ties may be added to either side of the lid flap and to the sides of the box perpendicular to the lid flap.

Fixed sides

To make a box with fixed sides, adhere the sides together:

  1. Apply adhesive to the side flap on the exterior surface.
  2. Fold up two adjoining sides with the side flap to the inside of the box.
  3. Hold the seam in place with a binder clip until the adhesive has dried completely.
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