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Nov 17, 2011

Acorn Box Tutorial

acorn box

I like a challenge. Like looking at a picture of something and figuring out how to make it. This acorn box is one of those. The original design was created by Jessica Wolf of Paper Acorn. Having made a few, I can't imagine making enough for a wedding! Do yourself a favor and buy them from Jessica if you want more than one or two. :)

How to construct a hexagonal, slant-sided box with a separate lid

Download cutting files PDF or DXF base and DXF lid. (Does someone want to do an SVG? All those score lines!)

MTC version available on the Make the Cut forum

If you are planning to print and hand cut the template, print the template mirror image on the wrong side of your cardstock.

Score and cut out.

acorn box template

acorn box template

Start setting in the creases, lightly. Mountain fold green lines, valley fold red lines.

The first (yellow) picture is the inside (wrong) side of the base, so all the folds are going the opposite direction.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

This (brown) picture is the lid from the right side.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

For both the base and the lid, start by creasing the hexagon in the center of the piece. Then crease the valley folds down the centers of the darts (triangular pleats around the outside edge).

To crease the mountain fold of the dart: pinch the valley fold shut and push the dart to one side, then the other.

Crease along all the score lines around the outside edges of both the lid and bottom.

Once you have pre-creased all the folds, you can start assembling the box.

Assemble the base

On the inside of the box, firmly crease each dart so it lies flat. Push all the darts in the same direction, either to the right or left of their center folds.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

Fold down the top edge pieces, then fold each down again, rolling the cut edge inside the second fold. As you roll each piece to the inside, insert the side tab of the piece to its right between the folds. This is a little tricky. Work around and around the piece, curling the edges under, sticking the adjacent tab in a little, curling and inserting, until they are all linked together. Then you can push the entire edge down inside the rim of the base.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

You probably won't need any glue to hold the rim in place.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

Assemble the lid

You will need 6 small clamps or clothes pins.

Crease the darts as you did on the base.

Flip the lid so you are looking at the inside (wrong side).

Push all of the darts to the right and glue down the tab at the top of each dart.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

Clamp the tabs and let them dry thoroughly. Drying time is critical while assembling the lid!

hexagonal acorn box with lid

Next you will glue the rim tabs. You are going to glue the entire rim and then clamp them. Yes, you'll feel like you need six hands for this part.

Before you glue anything, look carefully at the order that the left and right tabs are stacked as each segment is glued together.

Work with the wrong side (inside) of the lid facing you. From any corner, push down the flap on the left-hand section and slide the tab of the right-hand section in front of it. Then make sure the triangular (left) tab is at the very back of the stack.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

Spread glue on all of the tabs: the outside (right side) of the right-hand tabs and the inside (wrong side) of the triangular tabs.

Push each pair of sections together until they meet. Push the right-hand tab to the left and wrap the left-hand (triangular tab on the outside) firmly to make a nice corner. (Shown here from the outside.) Clamp each corner, just for a minute, as you turn the rim of the lid to the inside.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

hexagonal acorn box with lid

Now you are going to turn down the edge all around the rim. Spread glue on the insides of the rectangular-ish pieces around the outside edge of the lid.

Fold down each rectangular flap to the inside. Position a clamp at each corner, clamping the two triangular tabs. One triangular tab is on the outside (which you already glued) and one is on the inside of the lid.

hexagonal acorn box with lid

Insert the stem through the lid and secure to the inside of the lid.

Here's the frustrating part: it's really hard to get the lid to fit perfectly. Thicker or thinner cardstock makes a tighter or looser lid. If you overlap the joins on the lid too much or too little it can throw the size off. Once you make a lid from a particular paper you may find that you need to re-scale the lid pattern and make another one for a better fit. I found that a 2-3% change, bigger or smaller, was usually enough.

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