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6 useful steps to make a ballot box

It seems that everyone likes to collect something. Politicians collect votes, businesses collect money, researches collect data, and old women collect cats*. So, there comes a time in everyone’s life when they accumulate enough of a particular collectible that a container is needed. Enter: this tutorial. I needed a box to collect donations for SingStar (think iTunes/Karaoke), but after following these useful steps, you will have a box that is perfect for collecting just about anything, from money to macadamia nuts.

*Do not attempt to place cats in this ballot box

Materials needed:

  • Starbucks Coffee Box
  • 1 piece of cardboard or construction paper
  • Ruler
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Slick design templates (courtesy of us) and a touch of creativity!

Step 1: Empy, open and prepare

If you acquired your coffee box through traditional channels (ie: purchased at your local Starbucks for $12) then there will likely still be a silver bag of joe inside. Open up your box, pull the bag out, and place it in the recycling. Also, before you do anything further, grab your piece of cardboard/construction paper and place it on your work surface. We don’t want track marks on our table now do we!

Step 2: Trim around the edges

Flip your box upside down and slice off the handles of the box on each side with your ruler and knife. Cut off an additional centimeter or two past the handles (you’ll see why in a second).

As demonstrated by Andrea, the talented graphic designer and hand model, the handles were cut off in such a way that they do not block the slits in the lid.

Step 3: The closer

Fold in the handles first and then close the front and back flaps. Then, slap a few slabs of adhesive on there to prevent it from popping open. Don’t worry about what the box looks like yet, we’ll be covering this up later.

Step 4: Slice n’ dice

Grab our design templates and have your way with them in your favorite image editor. Then print them off and slice them around the edges.

Step 5: The tricky part

Assuming you used our templates and printed on 8.5×11 paper, your design won’t quite reach the top of the box (see below: excess paper on left and not enough coverage on the right). Slice off a corner of the top left side. You will use this to fill the void space on the right uppermost corners. Check out the pictures for more on this process.

Make a few helpful tape loops and place them on the bottom corners of each side. Then, starting with the base of your designs, stick them to the box and fold the top of your design paper over the lid. Make sure to leave the lid design for last.

Step 6: Finishing touches

Place your top design on the lid and grab that X-Acto Knife. Neatly slice down the center and your ballot box is complete!

Hope your lemonade stand is mega successful!

As the social media and community coordinator at, Michael is the voice you hear when you phone our 1-800 number and the text you read skim three days a week on our blog. Keep up with his antics on Twitter @MrConkin.

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