Thinking inside the box

Here’s the problem – Mysterium come with a wonderful custom insert, but once I bought the second expansion, the cards no longer fit in their designated spaces. So now what? The box barely closed and the cards were a mess inside.

My first step was to check The Broken Token to see if they had an organizer – I’ve already gotten their organizers for Suburbia, Dead of Winter, and Oceanos. Sadly, they haven’t taken up Mysterium yet. I searched for other organizers, and found a couple, but decided instead to dip my toes in the make-your-own insert pool.

After an order to Amazon for a pack of 5mm foam board, I was in business. I started by trying things on paper. (I love getting out the graph paper!!! Putting my bachelor’s in math to good use…heh.)

But then I found I needed to see things in real-space, so I did a combination of placing things in the box, testing them with the width of the foam core, and planning/recording things on paper.

Once I thought I knew how things would be laid out, I listed out the pieces I wanted to cut, and started cutting. What’s the worst that could happen?

Next up, I needed to cut notches to fit the pieces together. I’d like to say I had a plan ahead of time for that, but I did not. The lines drawn in the above image show where each of the walls would contact the bottom piece, and helped me figure out where to put the notches.

And I had enough spare board in case I messed it up.

Turns out that it worked!

I also needed another few additional trays for the chits, cardboard cutouts, and player markers. This time I cut out a piece of graph paper of the right size to fit in the space I wanted it in the box. Using that paper, I laid out where each thing would go.

I changed things up a few times until I was happy with the layout.  Then I cut out the pieces, notched and tested out the tray.

After making and testing the two other mini-trays, the last thing to do was to make sure that the board – the ghost’s shield – would also fit in the box. To do that, I drew out where the board would lie. I hoped that after cutting additional notches that the board would lie flat, flush with the top of the box.

Then I glued everything together.

I tried a couple of things to help get the cards out of the deep slots. First I tried some finger cut-outs, but they didn’t seem to help with the very bottom cards. In the end, I put narrow flat pieces of foam board across the width of the slots (seen in the upper left tray). These allow you to push on one side of the stack to lift up the bottom of the other side of the stack. I’m a little disappointed that I don’t have as much extra room for expansions and additional dream cards as I thought I would, but at least everything fits for now.

Finally, once it was all dry, I put everything in.

And now the box closes, and nothing should shift out of its assigned spot!


3 Replies to “Thinking inside the box

  1. Brilliant! It seems like an overwhelming task to me but you’ve laid out the steps very logically.

    1. I was a little intimidated at first, but then decided that I could always go back to the original insert, so it wouldn’t hurt to try.

      Now I’m eyeing all of my games, wondering which ones could use the same treatment!

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