We bought our nephew a plush Porg (the Star Wars beastie) for his birthday (he's 25), but we wanted a better way to present the gift than the plastic bag it came in.
My wife suggested; it needs some sort of cage...
So, here is my special transport crate for a wild Porg. (Though you can, of course, use it for any other similar-sized plush toy that might be dangerous... bears, dinosaurs, or, of course, puffins...)
Step 1: Needful Things
As well as the files on this step, and a sheet of 3mm plywood, you will need...
- A piece of scrap card (I used a piece from a frozen food carton)
- PVA glue
- Masking tape & old newspaper
- Clamps. You can never have too many clamps.
- Black paint
- A small hook.
Step 2: Cutting
I cut the parts of the crate itself from 3mm plywood and the parts for the stencil from a frozen food box.
Pro tip: the card can blow around a lot, so hold it in place with small magnets.
Step 3: Gluing, Part 1
The order you glue the crate together is important.
First, do the bottom, sides, and back.
Make sure the loop on the corner of the base is at the front-left of the crate as you look at it.
Glue along the fingers of the joints, lift the parts into place, and gently clamp it until it is dry.
Step 4: Gluing, Part 2
Before you put the lid on, you need to balance the door in place, with the bottom pin of the door in the loop at the bottom corner of the crate. This is easy if, like me, you clamped the body of the crate at an angle.
Then, glue the lid in place, making sure the top loop fits over the top pin of the door.
Finally, for this step, clamp the crate in as many directions as possible to make sure the joints dry firm.
Step 5: Fit the Door Catch
I bought a small hook-and-loop catch from a local hobby supply store (they're online as well: link).
The loop is too thick to screw into the edge of the door, so I designed a hook on the door to receive the hook of the catch.
Lay the Porg crate on its side, place the hook in the right place, and mark the screw-hole with a pencil.
The screw that came with the hook is longer than the plywood is thick. I could have trimmed the screw, but, instead, I decided to add material to the inside of the crate. Two of the off-cuts from the door grill proved to be perfect for the job.
Using a sharp knife, I drilled a pilot hole in the side of the crate, right through one of the offcuts (I drilled from both sides), and another pilot hole in the last offcut. I also added a drop of PVA to the offcuts, just to be sure.
To save the effort of measuring and/or guessing where the screw would emerge on the inside of the box, I waited until it actually did emerge, then placed the drilled and glued offcuts over the tip of the screw before finishing screwing the screw all the way in.
Step 6: Add the Stencil
Every animal in transit needs warnings to keep others safe.
I was originally going to engrave the warnings with my laser, but, for authenticity's sake, I decided to cut stencils and paint on the warnings.
I cut stencils to say "caution wild animal do not feed", "up" and "top", but after adding the first, I decided that was enough.
I placed the stencil, fixed it in place with masking tape, then wrapped up the rest of the Porg crate in newspaper. I made a couple of passes with a can of black paint, left it to dry, and then unwrapped it.
There was some bleed of the paint, but to my mind that just adds authenticity.
Step 7: Add the Beast
That's it, you're done.
All you need to do now is persuade your Porg to get into the crate. I found that a trail of nachos works well...