Compartment boxes can be used for storage, display or as presentation for gifts. They are useful for storing supplies for handicrafts such as bead work, scrap booking or sewing. Commercially available boxes can be adapted and decorated or boxes can be crafted from scratch using card, wood, paper or plastic. Compartments can be arranged side by side or in layers. They can also be concealed to make secret compartments.
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Paper and Cardboard Compartment Boxes
Paper or card boxes can be used to present small gifts. Typically, the box and compartments are assembled separately, with the compartments being held in place either by friction, glue or tape. Compartments can be made by slotting together pieces of cardboard or stiff paper; alternatively, paper or thinner card stock can be folded to make dividers. The exterior of the box can be decorated with paper shapes, stickers, stamps, pencils and pens or paint.
Sewing boxes need to be constructed from sturdy materials such as wood. An existing box can be adapted; alternatively, plans for many kinds of sewing boxes can be found in books and online. Compartments can be crafted from thin sections of wood to help to organise needles, spools of thread, fabric swatches and other supplies. One compartment can be filled with wadding and covered with fabric to make a built-in pincushion. As sewing items come in many different sizes, it helps if the compartments constructed in different depths. Shallower compartments can be made to lift out, revealing more sections underneath.
Shadow boxes are glass-fronted boxes used to contain ornaments, curios or memorabilia. For example, souvenirs collected on vacation can be displayed in a dedicated shadow box. A shadow box with compartments allows many small items to be displayed separately. This can prevent the box from looking too busy and help smaller items to stand out, rather than being overwhelmed by larger ones. Shadow boxes can be made from wood, hardboard or fiberboard. The glass front can be taken from an existing picture frame. Internal dividers can be made from balsa wood or foam art board.
Trinket boxes can be made by modifying an existing small box or constructing a box from scratch. They typically have at least two compartments, more often several. The inside of these compartments can be lined with satin, velvet or felt; these can be held in place with PVA or hot glue. Larger compartments or drawers can be built into the box to hold bangles and other pieces that won't curl or fold to fit in smaller sections. Strips of plastic or cardboard covered with fabric and bent into inverted U-shapes can be fitted into one compartment so that rings can be held in between them.
Tray and Drawer Compartments
Instead of being crafted to fit side by side, compartments can be constructed as trays that lift out or drawers that slide out. This makes for a very compact design, although it can be somewhat harder to construct. Compartment boxes with drawers are sometimes built to hold mah jong sets or other games. They can also be used for jewellery. Boxes with drawers should be made from fairly durable materials -- wood or at least thick cardboard -- as weaker materials will not be able to withstand the action of the drawers.
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