Monday, April 28, 2008

Miskatonic Storage Box

Here's a quick and easy project building on the Miskatonic Seal and Miskatonic Special Collections Label I put up last week. I'll be showing you how to create a storage box for an artifact from the Miskatonic collection using a few simple tools and easily acquired materials.

You'll need the following:

An Exacto knife with a fresh blade
A sponge
A steel ruler
A copy of the Miskatonic Labels sheet printed out on a laser printer or photocopier
One sheet of green felt
A cup of tea
A cheap paintbrush
Some craft excelsior
Some glue. I prefer Aleene's Tacky glue, but anything will do.

First off, we'll need an artifact to box up. I'll be using a small Cthulhu idol I picked up off Ebay for around $8.

The idol measures roughly 2.5" by 2.5" by 2.5" so I need to find a box big enough for it to fit into comfortably. After a little searching on Ebay I found this 4" by 4" by 4" cigar box.

While I wait for the box to arrive in the mail I can enjoy a relaxing cup of tea and start aging my label at the same time. Take your label sheet and lay it face down on a waterproof surface, either a countertop or a cutting board. Using your sponge, dab the tea all over the back of the paper. Now carefully flip over the paper and make sure it's flat before once again sponging down the paper. Set it aside at wait for it to dry.

After a few hours your label sheet will have taken on a mellow brown color. Here's what it should look like compared to the original sheet:

Fill in one of the labels with whatever information you think is appropriate and cut it from the sheet. When you're done it should look something like this:

I used a fountain pen with brown ink, but pretty much any writing instrument will do. You'll also note that I cleverly reproduced the atrocious writing of a Miskatonic professor. Heh.

Amazingly, right after I finished aging my label the postman arrived with my box from Ebay. After unpacking it I found that the box was branded with cigar logos on the inside of the lid and the bottom of the box itself. Covering those logos with felt will not only disguise the humble origins of my storage box, but the green felt will make the whole thing look more professional.

First off, you'll need to measure out the pieces of felt you'll need. For the bottom piece I just placed the box on top of the felt sheet and traced around the box. The inside of the lid was a little harder since I couldn't just trace it. For it I did some rough measurements with a ruler and cut out a template from scrap paper. After a few test fits I trimmed the template down so that it fit the inside of the lid perfectly and then used it as a guide to cut out my second piece of felt.

To glue the felt to the box you'll need to spread a thin layer of tacky glue and then apply the felt. This is where you're cheap paintbrush is going to come in handy. Just dribble a small amount of tacky glue all over the bottom of the box, staying about 1/4" away from the edge. Then use your paintbrush to smear the glue evenly across the surface, stroking from the center of the box towards the edges in order to get an even layer. Once that's done just apply the felt and make any adjustments to keep it centered. Repeat the same procedure for the inside lid of the box and set both aside to dry.

Once the glue is done you may find the felt hangs over the edges of the box. If it does you can use your Exacto knife to trim off any excess and even up the edges. Once you're done it should look something like this:

Finally, it's time to apply the identification label. Place the label face down on some scrap paper and use your beat up paintbrush to once again smear a thin layer of tacky glue all over the label. Carefully lift it up and lightly apply it to the box. Use your fingers to press the label tight against the wood, starting in the center and slowly moving outward to remove any bubbles and make sure the glue is evenly spread. If any glue sqeezes out from the edge you can use a damp cloth to wipe it away. Set the box aside to dry for a few hours.

When you're done it should look something like this:

Finally, we'll fill the box up with some packing material to protect the contents. For this we'll use a handfull of craft excelsior, just enough to surround the idol and keep it safe.

Just a couple of bucks and an hour or so of time and you're the proud owner of a dangerous artifact stolen from the shelves of Miskatonic University!

1 comment:

dvmah said...

hi there! (first of all i would like to apologize for my eglish wich is very poor, im from Mexico) congratulations on the proyect is very interesting and i might build one for myself, but with all due respect there are a couple of mistakes in your blog and i would like to help you out with them so the proyect is more accurate, the first one is that the idol you bougth as a cthulu figurine is actually Tlaloc the mexican god of water, second, the label writes something like "tlazo-leo" (is kind of blurry) i think that the name you were looking for is Tlazoteotl wich is an aztec godess and her name means "the one who eats filth" and people who was about to die use to go to pray to her in order to give her their sins and die in peace, and the label also says that the sculpture comes from PerĂº, and the Incas (wich was the dominant empire in Peru) didnt worship those gods. i would like to stress that im not criticizing your work in the wrong way or trying to be an ass i really liked what you did and i would like to contribute. thanks for reading this and congratulations once again