The Art of Custom Magic: The Gathering Deck Boxes
Bringing swag to a card fight.
Double sleeved? Check.
Now what? You wouldn’t just put your precious deck in an unlabelled cardboard box, or– gasp –put a rubber band around the whole thing. No. Just no. You can find plenty of awesome custom made deck boxes online, especially from Etsy.
But wait, why not make your own? I decided to do just that, and was pleasantly surprised at how really enjoyable the whole process has been. To skip forward, this is the end result:
My idea was to make a unique case, not just a square box. I went to the whole grimoire/spell book look-synonymous with Magic: The Gathering, think-‘library’, ‘Magic’ etc– but wait, I don’t even know how to make stuff out of leather!
After remembering that the internet exists, and several Youtube tutorials later, I was convinced that I could channel leathercraft skills of a master medieval armourer. Even in my naive confidence however, every aspect of the build took a lot longer than expected.
If you’re planning to make your own case, Etsy and eBay are your friends. The leather I’ve used, glue, wax thread, stitching needles, awl buckle/clasps and rivets all came from eBay. The fancy book corners are from Etsy-and there are lots to choose from.
The case itself is constructed just like an old book hard cover. Two layers of leather with a piece of hard card in the middle-hand stitched all the way around. If you ‘knock’ on the cover it’s rock solid and feels just like an old hardback tome.
The most time consuming aspect of the build, and most relaxing is the stitching. As the leather is very thick you have to use an awl to make each hole several times. And to actually fit the leather needles through the hole you need to use pliers. It’s meticulous, time consuming but very relaxing. I’ve managed to get through the Lord of the Rings Extended Trilogy whilst stitching my latest box.
All Strapped In And Ready To Rock
Inside, cards are secured by a thin strip of leather which holds the deck vertically, with a clip at the top. This ensures that no cards can actually fall out. The case is obviously not as robust as a fully enclosed deck box, but that’s not the look I was going for. This is more aimed at a collector who wants to put their deck on display, on the desk or shelf. However you can still use it to casually transport your cards every now and then.
Making your own case can add more personality to your deck, and is a great form of self expression in the game you love. I’ve learned a ton of new skill-sets and gained a new hobby in the process. I will definitely design and make more cases and deck boxes, it’s like building your own Lightsaber! As a Magic player, after painstakingly building your perfect deck, why not top it off and lovingly hand-craft a case for it too?
If you like my case, I can make you one via my Etsy shop, just leave a comment below!
Thank you for reading,