Party Package

One From the Archives
 Posted June 11, 2018 — Originally from October 5, 2011
Party Package
This post was originally written on October 5, 2011, and is presented here in with minimal editing.
Disclaimer: I do not reccommend mailing this package, it may or may not be entirely legal, and that choice is on you.

When one is presented with something that has to be mailed, and one happens to also be bored, make a trick package! In this case by “trick package” I mean a package, that when opened, opens with a big poof of glitter and confetti, which will henceforth be refered to as “the payload”.

The first step is to construct an appropriate laucher for the payload. There are many possible ways to do this, but after some looking around failing to find a jack-in-the-box, I settled on using bungee cord and and a plastic storage container for the propulsion and structure. Then after some digging through my supplies of random I-swear-it-may-be-useful-someday stuff, I determined on a simple safety pin and paperclip release mechanism.

Triggered Mechanism Figure 1: Trigger Mechanism

As can be seen in Figure 1, the bungee cords are crossed from the corners, poulled to the bottom with a safety pin, and held in place with a paper clip (The orientation in Figure 3 was the final one). The bungee cords may need to be adjusted to not have any slack, when in the relaxed position, but neither should they be too taught. It also helps if notches are cut in the corners of the container, to keep the cords from wandering (not pictured).

Armed Sideview Figure 2: Armed Sideview

Once the bungee cords are on the container, the center is clipped together with a safety pin, and the spring end is pointed downward. The hole in the safety pin sping can then be put trough a hole in the bottom of the container (Figures 2, 3 & 4), and secured with the paperclip.

Figure 3 Figure 3

It should be noted here that the amount of paperclip stuck through the safety pin is of great signifigance. This has to do with the mechanism for releasing the payload, a string must be run down from the top of the box, to the paperclip. When the top of the box is lifted it should pull the string, thus pulling out the paperclip. It can be seen that some experimentation should be done to determine the proper attachment place on the box top for the string, verses the length of the paperclip trigger pin. Note however, that the paperclip should not be made too short, as it could wiggle out during transportation.

Figure 4 Figure 4

To allow the paperclip free movement when being pulled, spaces probably need to be placed on the bottom of the container (Figure 4). Here, it can be seen that the stick-on rubber feet from a recently purchased ethernet switch were used.

Figure 5 Figure 5

The container then needs to be secured to the bottom of the box it will be placed it. Figure 5 shows that zip-ties were used here to that end. An important thing to note is that once the zip-ties are secured, there is no more adjusting the paperclip, so from here on the device needs to be armed.

Now a payload carrying method needs to be devised, I made a tinfoil basket to fit down over the bungie cords, and it also allows the sides to build bent up as to touch the top, so minimal payload will escape during transportation (Unfortunately this was not captured in pictures).

Figure 6 Figure 6

After loading the payload into the basket, and putting your original mailing in the box as well (if you still remember what you were supposed to mail), the string then needs to be pulled taught through the top, and secured as to not move when opened (Figure 6). As to this purpose I found Gorrilla Glue to be suitible due to its expanding qualities.

Now the package is all ready to be mailed! Try your best to conceal the string and zip-ties whist securing the package. Also attept to give some indication as to which way is up when opening, as opening this upside-down will take all the fun out of it. I took the very obvious aproach of indicating wich way is up.

As a footnote, consider the audience and possible locations when determining the type of payload, glitter may seem like a good idea, but is most painfull to get out of one’s eyes and more diffucult to get out of carpeting.