Fixing Torn Tops on Marker Boxes: Supply Surgery


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Many teachers remove their supplies, such as markers, from their boxes and then put them in other containers; usually organized by color. It looks great and I love the idea of organizing student supplies. However, I work off a cart and keep my markers inside their original boxes. This helps me to keep things organized on my cart because the marker boxes are a nice rectangular shape that stand up well. As every art teacher knows, when students—especially 300 of them!—repeatedly open boxes of crayons or markers the boxes suffer.

If I remain on a cart, I have decided that I am going to make this ‘surgery’ a beginning-of-the-year exercise to save myself headaches later.

Why Bother?


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I prefer 1/2″-1″ masking tape versus transparent tape. I could make this akin to a true surgical procedure and use scissors, but tearing follows the 80/20 Rule and is good-enough. My Crayola markers have a lid that is perforated. Why? I have NO idea! Because it is perforated, it gets torn quite easily usually from students opening and closing the box or picking the box up by this perforated flap.

How It’s Done

I start by removing the markers and then opening the lid completely. I tried taping the inside of the lid but the cardboard would separate from the tape and it did not work well. Instead, I laid out a piece of tape across one of the perforated seams. After taping, I fold the perforated part and crease it firmly between my thumb and index finger to make sure the fold is present so the box can be closed again. I then apply another piece of tape so it partially overlaps the first piece but also covers the second perforated edge along the flip-top lid. Once again, you will need to press firmly to crease that fold so the box closes properly. Two pieces of tape usually do the trick for me.

That is it. A simple solution for a common problem. Like I said, if I remain on a cart next year I plan on doing this first thing so the problem is solved before it even becomes one!

Do you have a ‘supply surgery’ scenario that you would like to share to perhaps save someone else a few gray hairs? Please feel free to post. Would love to hear from you!


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