Shipping Container Tissue Box

It’s been a while since I last work on miniature project. I intended to make a miniature project with a purpose or function. After some thought I decided to make a tissue cover box in the shape of a shipping container. The idea is not anything new, you can find these shipping container cum tissue box at Amazon such as this one:
Decor Metal Container Shipping Tissue. 
Yes, this is the product name listed in the Amazon page.
(Photo Credit:

At first I draw the 3D model in Sketchup, then unfold and flatten it using Papekura to make the papercraft template. Soon after I found that my design is too complex and made it difficult to build with 200gsm paper.

The initial sketch of how the model supposed to look.

So I considered my design as a fail project and put the idea on hold until – a Google search months later lead me to lasercutcard website. They sell tabletop wargames accessories using laser-cut card stock, inclusive of a shipping container. What excites me is that how simple the design is, they use 1mm card stock to build up layers of detail.

Shipping Container by lasercutcard.
(Photo Credit:

About the same time I encountered this solution I found a blogpost about shipping container modeling. The plastic model was painted and hair brushed with extreme details that it looks like the real thing!

Guntruck Factory Shipping Container by miniaturecreationsbymatt72.

Based on lasercutcard design I draw a new set of templates for my tissue box. I’m going to use mounting board as the material, which left me with two choices. First, mounting board comes with multi-colored boards – I can just choose what color that I want and no further painting work is needed. Or second, I use the normal white-color board and paint it over with a rusty effect – just like the Guntruck Factory Shipping Container.

The revised design of the Shipping Container Tissue Box.

As much as I wanted to do the second option, I knew that I’m not good at painting and afraid that I might screw things up. In the end I made up my mind and go ahead for the second option. If I mess things up I can just build another one. That’s the beauty of cardboard/paper modeling. =)

 All the Parts.

Cutting up the Parts.

Building the Parts.

Next I painted the whole box white with Pelaka craft paint. Two layers of coating is enough because the board is already white. The hardest part for me is to paint the MAERSK logo as I need to use small brush paint.

Paint job done!

It turns out to look quite good and I’m so happy with it. But I’m not done yet. The biggest challenge is to add the rusty effect with only paint brushes, which I’ve never done before. Following online tips and the photos of the Guntruck Factory Shipping Container I tried my luck in creating a rusty shipping container.

First I add a grey tone to the box to indicates the wear and tear. Next I use the sponge brush to dab a little brown paint over the edges, holes and circles as this is the place where rust usually formed. Lastly I add a watered-down orange paint over the brown spots to complete the rusty effect.
And the final looks is truly amazing!! Well, at least it is for me. Lol =)


update 05-2017:

I entered this project for Instructables Papercraft Contest 2017 and won Third prize! Yippiee!!
Thank you Autodesk and Instructables!!


March 2017

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