This is how I line 10 Flat rate boxes for 10 bucks.
I buy my foam at Lowes for $9.59 including tax.
It has 6 sheets in a pack, each sheet is 3/4" thick X 48" long X 13 5/8" wide.
These instructions will make 2 large ( 12 X 12 X 5.5") and 8 Medium (8.5 X 11 X 5.5") flat rate boxes.
I buy this foam at Lowes:
Other things you need are:
A retractable utility knife
A tape measure
A roll of shipping tape in a dispenser
A dry wall T square
Sheet one. Using your T square measure 12" from the top edge.
Verify that you are still at 12" with the tape measure at the other end because the foam
is not perfect and you can't trust its edges to be straight.
Make the cut. Snap off the bottom piece and save it.
Measure and cut 12", move cut 12", move and cut 12" - You don't have to mark it, just cut -
I marked it so you could see what I do.
This will give you 4 - 12 X 12 X 3/4 pieces which become the tops and bottoms of the two LARGE flat rate boxes.
(Plus the strip which you set aside for later use)
Using your T Square Measure 4" form the top edge, verify that the other end is at 4"
with your tape measure, make the cut.
Measure down another 4", verify the other end with your tape measure, make the cut.
Measure up from the bottom 4", verify the other end and make that cut.
Snap them apart, save the skinny strip, set it aside with the saved strip from sheet one.
You now have 3 - 4" X 48" strips which will become sides of boxes.
Strip 1 - measure 12" and cut, Measure 12" and cut, measure 12" and cut, set aside.
Strip 2 - Measure 10.5" and cut, Measure 10.5" and cut,
Measure 10.5" and cut, Measure 10.5" and cut, save the 6" scrap end piece.
Strip 3 - Measure 7" and cut, Measure 7" and cut, Measure 7" and cut,
Measure 7" and cut, Measure 7" and cut, Measure 7" and cut, save the 6" scrap end piece.
This will give you:
4 - Large box sides (Left and Right) 4" X 12"
4 - Large box ends (top and bottom) 4" X 10.5"
6 - Medium box ends (top and bottom) 4" X 7"
and a couple 6" scraps.
OK - Now you do the following exact same thing to sheets 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Measure 4" from the end, verify with your tape measure and make the cut.
SNAP IT OFF,
Measure 7" and make the cut, save the 6 and 5/8" piece of scrap.
With the big piece which is now 44" X 13 and 5/8" you measure down 8.5" from the top edge,
verify the measurement at the other end with your tape measure, make the cut.
Then measure up from the bottom edge 4" - verify the other end with your tape measure and make the cut.
DON'T SNAP IT APART YET!
Measure 11" from the end, make the cut (did you remember to verify?), move 11" cut, Move 11" cut.
This will give you:
4 - 8.5" X 11" Medium top and bottoms (Times the 4 sheets = 16, enough for 8 boxes)
4 - 4" X 11" Medium Left and right sides (Times the 4 sheets = 16, enough for 8 boxes)
And 4 scraps which you are going to save.
Now make your boxes, start with the two large flat rates,
I like to put my up arrows on them before I tape them together because its
easier and faster to mark a flat box.
Place one 12 X 12 in the bottom of each box.
Place a 4 X 12 left and right, a 4 X 10.5 top and bottom to make the sides,
Select your "Lucky Penny" and tape in place, do it again, those two large flat rates are done!
Move on to your 8 Medium boxes, mark and tape them, place a 8.5 X 11 piece in the bottom of each
box, place a 4 X 11 piece on the long sides left and right, use a 4 X 7 end piece top and bottom.
Now you are going to start to run out of those 4 X 7 pieces, if you have been paying attention
you know you have only 10 and you need 16. But you have 4 scraps that are 4" X 6 5/8"
So you just trim a short scrap (you have 16 of them) down as shown,
And wedge it in. Place the little piece in the corner and swing the big piece in like a door.
You now have just one box to complete and you are short two ends but you have two 4" X 6" scraps left,
you know whats coming, right? The scrap, wedge door trick:
use all the scraps as packing when you ship:
And tape the two long strips together with 5 little strips in between, trim it down to 4" and cut it into 7" lengths so you have plenty of 7" ends. That way you can make ALL 6 pieces of foam into 12 flat rate medium boxes next time if you want to.
Combine with the breather bag post in this section, and the heat pack post I will write this fall when
I start using them again, and you too should be able to safely ship smaller fish via priority mail
in breather bags with confidence any time of year.