I don’t imagine this solution is something that applies to everyone but who knows, this may come in handy some day.
Those of you who have to ship hard copy patterns know well the frustration of packing patterns for shipping. If the patterns are best shipped flat, your problem hinges on using an unfolded cardboard box, making a envelope of sorts although it is common the patterns end up getting folded and bent in transit. If the patterns are oversized, then the problem is finding a box long enough into which you can pack the rolled patterns. What many of us have done is to cut two boxes apart to combine them but this is an unsatisfactory solution because the seam of the two boxes isn’t stable. Even if you can find a long box suited to the task, the midsection is weak. There’s nothing to keep the sides of the box from collapsing. Hence this solution I developed last week.
I made my shipping container from two boxes as shown below. Off to the right side is the rolled up pattern I need to ship. As you can see, the two boxes together are just the right size to ship this pattern.
When I was laying the boxes on top of each other and girding myself for the task of cutting off the two ends of each in order to marry them into one long box, it occured to me that I didn’t need to cut them apart. Rather, I could just cut holes in the ends of the boxes into which I could slip the pattern (below).
The advantage of this solution was box strength, maintaining the structural integrity of all sides. With the two boxes remaining intact at their seams, this provided ribbing (below), significantly reducing the likelihood that the midway point of the box could become crushed.
If anything, it was easier to tape the boxes together with intact sides than if I’d cut them away. I don’t have a photo of it, but I stood on the midpoint of the completed box with my full body weight with nary the slightest bow ensuing. I don’t know what you think, but I was pretty pleased with the solution.
Speaking of shipping boxes, I found a great resource if you’re looking for some. This business sells new and used boxes. The new boxes are misprints or overstocks from other businesses. This won’t be of much service if you don’t need many boxes though. I think the minimum they’ll sell is 100.