Sturdy puzzle boxes protect puzzles.
image by Samantha Thompson
Puzzles are a common hobby by people of all ages. Children especially enjoy using puzzles. The thin cardboard boxes that puzzles come in are just not sturdy. The corners come apart and the puzzles spill out. Pieces get lost. Make puzzle boxes that are strong enough to outlast the puzzles they store.
Gather your supplies. Put on protective gear. Measure one piece of 1/4" thick wood to be 10" wide and 12" long, and one that is 10 1/2" wide by 12 1/2" long. Using a meter stick to measure with will give you a straight edge to use for making a sharp clear line with a marking pencil. Run the pencil along the edge a few times and cut along that line for a perfectly straight and accurate cut. Those two pieces are the top and bottom of the puzzle box. Paint them if desired.
Use the meter stick again to measure and mark two strips that are 10" long and two strips that are 12" long. Each strip should be 2" wide. Measure and mark two strips that are 9 1/2" long, and another two that are 12 1/2" long. These also should be 2" wide. These strips are the sides of the puzzle box. The 9 1/2" and 12" strips are for the bottom half of the puzzle box, and the 10" and 12 1/2" ones are for the top.
Cut the side strips using a skill saw. Separate the top pieces from the bottom pieces. Lay out both top and bottom pieces according to how they'll fit together. Remember, the top piece sets on top of the strips, and the bottom piece sits underneath the bottom side strips. The boxes will both be 2" deep.
Cut pieces of the 1/2" square wood to be 2" long. These pieces will brace the corners of the bottom box. Ready the stapler with 1/2" staples. Place one 2" piece in each corner of the bottom box. The corner of the block should fit right into the corner of the box. Use the stapler to staple through the 1/4" wood and into the block on each side. Repeat for each corner. This is the bottom puzzle box and it needs a bottom. Use staples to attach the bottom of the box by inserting the staple from the bottom, through the 1/4" wood and into the blocks.
Put together the top of the puzzle box by placing the longer strips, or side strips, with the top and bottom edge strips between them. Lay the the end edges of the side strips will overlap the end edges of the top and bottom edge strips. Insert two staples on the overlapped edge of each corner. You will use only eight staples. Space them 1/2" in from the edge. Set the top piece on the sides. Firmly press and allow to dry 24 hours. The top box is larger than the bottom box. Fill the bottom half of the box with a puzzle and slip the top half of the box over the bottom just like your basic cardboard puzzle box.