DIY Protective Mylar Tuck Box
I can't afford the space and money of a fancy display shelf so my collection is in Ikea drawer units called Helmers. The decks are stacked on top of one another in the drawers and not all decks are built alike so the various sizes and materials can lead to damage.
After a discussion of plastics and storage in Johanes' show thread, and seeing someone's homemade mylar tuck on The Discourse, I thought about all those overhead transparencies no one wants anymore...
The materials you will need are:
- A deck that needs protection.
Some mylar sheets. I'm using overhead transparency film.
A template such as a flattened tuck box.
A sheet of white paper.
fine felt pen
mat knife or other cutting tool
bone folder, or empty ballpoint pen, or knife with rounded edges
double sided tape and/or scotch tape
burnishing tool, or something long with a smooth rounded end
I chose to make a tuck for the Marshall McLuhan deck since it's a lot thicker than the first one I did and I wanted to see how sturdy a deeper mylar box would be. It turned out well.
Tape your template to the mylar sheet. I taped mine into the corner so there would be 2 straight edges I wouldn't have to cut.
Trace your template onto the mylar using a fine felt pen. I used a Pigma the first time I did it and the ink wiped right off without leaving a trace. This time I used a Pilot Fineliner and the ink leaves a slight stain after it's wiped off. Not really a problem as you will see.
The ink will take longer than usual to dry since it's not on an absorbent surface. Draw all the horizontals or vertical lines and then wait for them to dry, or blot the ink with paper or your fingers. After those lines are dry you can use your ruler to draw the lines going in the other direction without messing it up. If you do mess up just use a damp cloth to wipe away the ink, dry the sheet and start again.
I found this template online and it was not really the right size for my chosen deck so I had to trace the parts that worked and then move the template to make the tracing longer and deeper. Since every deck I want to protect has different dimensions I chose to wing it rather than making a template every time. Remember to make your fold lines as dotted lines.
Including a cut back in your design, that will let the box open wider, makes these mylar boxes easier to use.
Place the tracing, ink side down, on a white sheet of paper so you can clearly see the lines but you won't get any ink on your deck if it isn't completely dry.
Put your deck within the outline to make sure it will fit with a little room to spare. You don't want too tight a fit.
Cut out your traced tuck. I used knife and ruler. I'm used to cutting curves with a knife but if you're not you may want to use scissors for the curves. Be careful not to cut the dotted fold lines.
I wiped the ink off after cutting out my tuck since this particular ink was leaving faint traces I could use to see the fold lines. If your ink wipes off completely you may want to leave it on until after you make the creases.
Crease your fold lines. Do this on the inside surface of the box. I made my creases using a ruler and a bone folder, pressing the edge of the bone folder hard over the crease line several times. You can use anything that has a hard rounded edge, or an empty ballpoint pen. If you use a sharp edge you will cut and weaken the mylar and the fold line will crack. After creasing make sure all ink is wiped off.
Man that's dusty! Cleans up nice though.
Fold all the crease lines using your fingers to carefully press toward the crease until it bends. you don't want it to crease in the wrong place because it can't be undone or fixed.
Use a smooth rounded surface to press the creases down and make them sharp. You want a 45 degree angle.
If you are using double sided tape apply the tape to your bottom and side tabs now. Leave the backing on the tape for now and cut off any bits that stick out over the egdes of the mylar.
Look at where I have applied the tape to the "outside" surfaces, meaning the surfaces that are on the same side of the mylar as the outside surfaces of the box.
Peel the backing off the large bottom tab only and stick the two small tabs to it. Peel the backing off the small tabs and stick the bottom of the box to the small and large tabs, making sure it all lines up. Peel the backing off the side tab and stick it to the inside of the box side, making sure it all lines up before you press it together.
Using the bone folder, or a rounded knife handle like the one I show in the tools pic, press the taped surfaces together by sliding the tool along the surface while pressing.
**It should be possible to assemble the box using scotch tape instead of double sided. It might even look neater, but I don't think it will hold as long. I could be wrong there so go ahead and try it.
Your box is now done. The deck will be protected from storage wear but will remain visible.