Custom-made christmas box

As I mentioned in my teaser last week: Teaser: ready for assembly I’ve been working on a large project.
I wanted to make something new using LED-lights, edge-lit acrylic and a box with hinges.
I made a prototype and showed it to my boss and she bought 33 of them to give at Christmas to all my colleagues.

I first had to buy some wood. I found some MDF with a white side at a local shop. I painted the other side in matte black.
The battery holder and switch were bought at Mini-in-the-box.
Next, I used the Hingebox generator. After several tests to get a tight fit I modified the design to fit my needs.

For the hinges, I used 3mm birch triplex and a small bamboo stick as the pin.

I order some yellow acrylic as a front and to engrave our companies logo and some clear acrylic for the edge-lit on top (not on the photo below).

The most time was spend on cleaning the MDF. I didn’t use any tape, next time I will use some very wide tape (if I can find some). I used a lot of Alcohol to get all the stains off.

The electronics was also a challenge. I had never soldered before and the big parts I could manage.

But for the very small switch, I had to ask a friend to help, with more experience (20+ years and doing some soldering on a weekly basis)

When assembled the lid can be opened, the clear acrylic is inside during transportation and the battery can be replaced. On the back is the tiny switch.

This is the final result and with the background lights off:

The LED inside the box is a clear light and the one on top changes 5 colors.

I’m quite proud of the result and mostly glad I’m finished :wink:

Things I learned:

  1. Count the items when you receive your order. I ordered 40 battery holders but only received 25. I noticed only a few days before the deadline so I couldn’t get more in time. I ended up sticking 8 batteries with tape.
  2. Test all parts before doing the bulk processing. I made the slot in the lid 3mm wide but the clear acrylic was 3.3mm thick. So I had the sand all legs of the Merry Christmas-sign.
  3. Do use masking tape. I took so many evenings cleaning all the MDF.

Great result and congratulations on completing such a project. Thank you for letting us see the final product instead of leaving us guessing, and thanks for sharing what you learned. Enjoy the feeling of a job well done.


Wow, they came out great! I was wrong on my guess though. Next year, do music boxes! :laughing:


Oh how cool! Nice edge-lit treatment! :grinning:


Not only did you learn a lot … but, looks great! PLUS … you got a sale!

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You can find wide masking tape at a local Sherwin-Williams paint store. I use the tape for non-proofgrade stock.

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Good job. Thanks for sharing tips and tricks.