16: Etched Storage Boxes

These small plastic dialog boxes—featuring quotes from classic games like Final Fantasy VI and Earthbound—are some of the products I sell on Etsy, available as magnets or pins. They’re tiny, and while they stack nicely it gets a little unruly when I have stacks of dialog boxes just sitting around my workbench. So, this week, I decided to solve the issue by laser-cutting a small plastic footer to fit inside some of Jennifer’s jewelry gift boxes. She donated one of her boxes a while back just to keep the dialog boxes from being stored out in the open, but it was still difficult to find out whether I had the right dialog box handy when necessary.

The Earthbound dialog box storage has two columns, handy for dividing standard texts from Mr. Saturn texts.

The Earthbound dialog box storage has two columns, handy for dividing standard texts from Mr. Saturn texts.

I designed the footers so that they would fit snugly in the bottom of the jewelry box (which has had its fuzzy cotton interior removed). Measuring the slat dimensions was as easy as measuring the existing dialog boxes and providing a little extra space so that they wouldn’t fit too tightly or be scratched by the new plastic. An early 1/16″ thick prototype didn’t hold the dialog box blanks as firmly as I’d like, but I really did want some give so I could easily flick through the product. Once I settled on a better material—1/8″ black acrylic with no cap—I cut one footer out with two columns for Earthbound dialog boxes and one single-column piece for the longer Final Fantasy VI dialog boxes. The results fit very nicely in the repurposed jewelry boxes.

The Final Fantasy VI dialog boxes fit lengthwise, with room for only one column.

The Final Fantasy VI dialog boxes fit lengthwise, with room for only one column.

The lids have been etched with an example of the contents within.

The lids have been etched with an example of the contents within.

For a bit of extra fun, I laser-etched the box lids with one of the main dialog boxes from each series. I was hoping that the lid material would etch away to the white underneath, but the brown cardboard color has a homemade appeal to it.

Eventually, I’ll be stealing more of Jennifer’s dialog boxes so I can separate out the Earthbound dialog boxes from their Mr. Saturn counterparts. Hopefully she won’t miss them! In the meantime, I’m just going to keep shaking the Earthbound box back and forth, because the shuffle sounds great!

If you’re interested in the dialog boxes, check out their section on my Abecediary store on Etsy! They’re available as magnets or pins, and I’ll even put whatever quote you’d like on them, so long as it fits!

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