Make a box

Here is how to make a smaller box from a big box. We get a regular supply of cardboard delivered to the house, but they are usually too big to use to wrap gifts directly. So I use them make smaller boxes.

What you need:

  • Large cardboard box (or sheets of cardboard)
  • Heavy scissors (I use kitchen shears)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Length, width, and height for the new box

Start by deconstructing the old box. Most cardboard boxes have a single glued seam along a side edge that can be pulled apart. Lay the box flat and layout the cut and fold lines for the new box.

Cut and fold lines laid out on cardboard

I recommend using existing fold lines if possible. Measuring out from the center, mark the width of the new box with dotted lines (for folds). My box is 6x6x5, so the sides are all the same width. If you need different width and length, alternate the values as shown in pencil in the picture above. Mark the height of the box across the sides also with a dotted fold line. Make a one inch tab on the end (mine is on the right). Above and below each side, measure out flaps that have a height equal to 1/2 the width. Then using heavy scissors, cut out along the outside lines.

Box pattern cut from larger box

Cut the flaps free by making two cuts on either side of the line. This makes gives room in the corners when the box is assembled.

Box flaps cut free

Before folding the sides, tab, and flaps, gently score the lines using a ruler and a pointy, but not sharp implement (such as the outside tip of the scissors, or a dull pencil). Then gently fold the cardboard along the line. If the cardboard buckles instead of folding neatly, score again a little harder, and work the fold with your fingers close to the line.

Flaps, sides, and tab prefolded

Check the box by folding it together with the flap inside the opposite edge. If it looks serviceable, use hot glue to secure the tab in place. The box can be store flat, or assembled with packing tape.

Assembled box

Project update

My waiting project is progressing. My original idea was a cowl double knit with polka dots. I chose two variegated yarns, which is making the pattern muddier than I envisioned. On the plus side, it looks like an old school monitor glitch, which is cool in its own right.

Double knit cowl in progress

Warm and cozy

When I bake bread in the winter, and the house temperature is cooler, I have a heating pad that I wrap around the bowl to keep the dough warm. Not too warm, I turn it only to the lowest setting, but even that small amount of heat makes the sourdough happy. The heating pad was designed for human backs, but works quite well wrapped around a bowl.

Heating pad wrapped around a bowl of dough

Laundry goblin

Laun•dry gob•lin | ‘lôndrē ‘gäblən | noun

: mischievous creature that manifests on piles or stacks of newly cleaned articles of clothing, attempts to dislodge result in relocation to another laundered surface, relative density of lead, has sharp bits

Laundry goblin aka Izzy the cat

Sourdough Rye crackers

My favorite cracker recipe. I divide the dough into three sections and roll each section as thin as I can on parchment paper (until it fills most of the cookie sheet sized parchment. I don’t prick them because I rather like it if they puff up. I also bake at full temperature for twenty minutes (or until the edges are just starting to get golden), then turn the oven off, prop open the door and let the crackers get crisp. They don’t last long, everyone in the house likes them.

Sourdough rye crackers
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 120 g rye flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Olive oil spray
  • Coarse salt

Mix the ingredients in a bowl, cover, and put in the fridge overnight (or two nights if you forget, they still come out OK). Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it gently a few times. Divide the dough into three sections and roll each section out on a baking sheet sized piece of floured parchment paper. Spray the surface of the dough with olive oil, score the dough with a pizza cutter at approximately one inch intervals, then sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Transfer the parchment paper to baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, rotate the sheets, bake for about 10 more minutes until the edges are just starting to brown. Turn off the oven, prop open the door, and let the crackers cool in the oven. Store in an airtight container. (But who are we kidding? They probably won’t last the day when the fam finds out what you made.)