Friday, September 24, 2010

Nintendo DS Organizer Tutorial

I decided to make an organizer for my family’s Nintendo DS.  Same building principles could be used to make organizers for a Game-boy, or PSP, or about anything small.  Think in girly colors it would also hold small toys like Pet Shop Pet’s or Polly Pockets.  You determine the size you want.

Too simple to make. 

Supplies needed:  A recycled box, ruler, permanent pen, exacto knife, matching duct tape, button, elastic, material.  I used a bulk brownie box because it was a bit more durable than a cereal box and still not too bulky.

First guesstimated using game pieces how deep the box would have to be.  I then used a ruler and sharpie to draw my cutting lines.

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I cut only the front and two sides with a Sharpie knife.  You’ll see why later.  

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So it looked like this. 

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Here’s my learning curve.  I had notched the corners because I originally intended to have a small lip folding over on those front three sides (you’ll see that in some of the pictures).  I ended taking off those folded over lips when I covered the box later.  They got in the way and were a Nuisance.  However I did learn not to just try and fold the cardboard because it doesn’t fold in a straight line.  So, where ever you have a fold, first lightly score that fold with your exacto knife.

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The long back of the box I scored and then folded over the front.  Marking the excess that I could cut off.

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In order for it to not be as bulky I also took out excess pieces of cardboard and re-enforced edges with a little strip of tape.

With the cardboard left over from the main box I cut a piece perfect for the inside bottom.  I’m not giving measurements because it all depends on the size of box you want to build.  However, make sure you measure twice before you cut.

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I also wanted a few dividers.  So, measuring the height of the inside of the box (allowing for a padded bottom), I cut some extra strips of cardboard.  Leaving a little over a half an inch on each side to bend and secure it to the inner walls.

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Remember to score the cardboard with your knife, where ever you need to fold it.  Use your game pieces to determine the sizes, leaving enough room around their edges to take them out.

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I happened to have an imitation leather jacket that one of my sons had worn through.  The lining was in shambles and the collar was duct taped to hide the cracks.  It was heading to the dump.  But, then I thought that I could re-use the material for small bags and boxes like this one.  Oh, the joys of being a craft hoarder,  saving trash for a new life.  I suppose you could use any material you have laying around.  Might want to add a thin layer of batting if you material is super thin.

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The quilted lining of the coat provided just what I wanted for the bottom of my organizer.  So, I took the lining and cut a piece large enough to go over the bottom cardboard insert piece.

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Here’s another learning curve.  I tried first gluing it on.  Didn’t hold too well so I turned to the duct tape again to hold the lining to the bottom side of the cardboard that no one would see.

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Then I cut a piece of the faux leather from the back of the coat and made sure I had enough (with a little extra, mine was almost too little) for the entire outside of the box.

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Using coordinating (black) duct take I was able to tape the leather to the box.  I would fold it over the sides and tape it in.

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Not sure how to explain how to trim the leather.  But where ever there were corners I made sure to trim so there wouldn’t be bunches of material wadded up.

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The sides were the trickiest.  First I taped a small section of the front and back to the cardboard, then I folded the side sections up and over that taped section.  I even used a little glue to secure the leather would stick to the cardboard.

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Once the leather was secured to the outside of the box, I filled in the remaining inside area of the flap with more duct tape.  Trying to make the tape lay as smooth as possible.  Then I placed the lined cardboard in the bottom of the box.

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The box is pretty sturdy and baring some child stepping on it should hold up quite well.

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The dividers are what I added next.  First, I put matching (of course duct tape on one side.  Then, the next piece of duct tape that I used for the other side of the cardboard strip, well, I cut it a wee bit longer so the tape could hold the folded edges to the inside walls of the box.  Don’t know if that made any sense, but it involves using duct tape to adhere the dividers into their positions.

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Then I filled up the sections of my new organizer.  Yeah.

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To the front of the flap I sewed on a button.  I’m sure you could use Velcro too.  I just wanted to use what I could find laying around.  I also had a thin string of elastic.  I had to use a black permanent pen to color it black because it was white to begin with.

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Tie a know in the elastic and loop it around the button.  Then stretch it around the box and loop it back over the button from the opposite direction.

And there you have it.  A mini-organizer to keep those game pieces and stylus’s from getting lost.

It can be stored in almost any position.  Here it is in a cubby of my china hutch.

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I think you could also decorate this box using Mod-Podge and decorative paper.  I lined a Hidden Book compartment with Mulberry paper and Mod Podge once and it turned out terrific too.  Let your imagination guide you.  I made this organizer when I heard about the recycled box challenge here. 


That and I also needed a cheap way to organize some kid stuff.

Happy Crafting.