HOW TO reduce cable eyesores and wasted packaging at the same time
I’ve haven’t been able download email or pictures for the past two days! I figured out that my external hard drive was full. All the video tutorials I’ve made and pictures I’ve taken have filled it up already! I went to an electronics store and upgraded to a fancy shmancy new one.
This resulted in an eyesore of wires and power cables. I couldn’t live with that! I whipped up an upcycled solution from the box the hard drive came in. I also made a couple of complementary decorative accessories to use up more of the packaging.
I’ll show you the basics of covering a box, a quick and dirty way to restyle a box, and let you in on some of my secret design techniques.
All you need is a pair of scissors, X-acto knife, ruler, Tempaper (contact paper or normal paper), and glue.
Covered cable box
This works best with boxes that are constructed without glue. The general techniques in this tutorial can be applied to glued boxes and any object with straight edges. I do NOT suggest hiding any adapters in the box if they tend to get hot, but if you must, then punch some air holes on the top and sides to allow hot air to escape. Use the air holes as another design element and create cool patterns!
- Open and flatten the box.
- Cut a sheet of Tempaper to the size of the flattened box.
- Peel off the Tempaper backing.
- Place the outside surface of the flattened box on the Tempaper.
- Smooth out the air bubbles pushing from the center outwards.
Design secret – This is how you get a smooth finish when you cover anything with. Start smoothing from the center outwards towards the edges. This helps prevent wrinkles and bubbles and makes sure the adhesive sticks!
- Cut out the excess Tempaper leaving about 1/4″ – 1/2″ allowance around the box.
- Cut an angle at every corner leaving about 1/8″ – 1/4″ between the angled edge and the box corner.
Design secret – This is how hardbound books get their clean covered corners.
- Cut a slit between every flap of the box.
- For each flap of the paper box, fold in the side edges of the Tempaper. Make a crease in the folded Tempaper at the top edge of the flap, then fold down the Tempaper over the top edge.
Design secret – Cardboard or any thick paper has a thickness. Sounds obvious, but sometimes I forget. The crease makes a it easier to fold over the top edge and also gives you a cleaner covered edge. It’s all in the details!
- Cut a hole large to accommodate all the wire to enter and exit the box.
- Fold the box back up.
- Insert your wires.
Quick and dirty box restyle
I turn my boxes inside out all the time. If you need to store an item in it’s original box, turn the box inside out. You can decorate it to match your decor and store it out in the open without it creating more visual noise.
- Open and flatten the box.
- Using an X-acto knife, roughen the flap that was glued by making cross-hatched scores along the entire surface. You can also sand it lightly with sandpaper.
Design secret – Slick cardboard and paper is often coated to protect from smudging and moisture. This makes it difficult to glue on as well. Roughening the surface makes it possible to glue onto.
- Apply glue to the flap.
- Reassemble the box inside out.
- Cut a strip of Tempaper, removing the backing before wrapping it around the box.
I noticed that the manual was a conveniently a perfect square, so I tore the sheets in half and made a little origami octahedron.Pin It