Title:
Gift box with side saddles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A collapsible, flat-folding gift container is disclosed. In various embodiments, the gift container includes a center basket that is reconfigurable to hold items of various shapes, sizes and number. The gift container may also include attachable side compartments. The gift container is also provided with a pre-formed, perforated handle and a pre-formed, perforated balloon receptacle for attaching balloons, cards or other decorative items to the gift container.



Inventors:
Wagner, Paul F. (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/170818
Publication Date:
12/18/2003
Filing Date:
06/13/2002
Assignee:
WAGNER PAUL F.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/162, 206/549
International Classes:
B65D5/42; B65D5/4805; B65D5/489; B65D5/49; B65D71/56; (IPC1-7): B65D75/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Billy C. Allen III (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A collapsible, flat-folding gift container comprising a central basket having at least one interior flap defining a compartment therein.

2. The gift container of claim 1 further comprising at least one side compartments attached to the central basket.

3. The container of claim 2 wherein the side compartment is attached to the central basket by a rivet.

4. The container of claim 1 further comprising a pre-formed handle.

5. The container of claim 1 further comprising a pre-formed hole for attaching objects.

6. The container of claim 4 further comprising a pre-formed hole for attaching objects.

7. The container of claim 1 further comprising a decorative design preprinted on the container.

8. The container of claim 2 further comprising a decorative design preprinted on the container.

9. The container of claim 6 further comprising a decorative design preprinted on the container.

10. A gift container comprising: a collapsible, flat-folding central basket having a plurality of interior flaps defining a plurality of compartments within the central basket; and at least one rectangular side compartments attached to the side of the central basket.

11. The container of claim 10 further comprising a pre-formed, perforated handle.

12. The container of claim 11 further comprising a pre-formed, perforated receptacle for attaching decorative objects to the gift container.

13. The container of claim 10 further comprising a decorative design preprinted on the container.

14. A gift container comprising: a collapsible, flat-folding container for holding a plurality of gift items, the container further comprising a reconfigurable means for subdividing the container into a plurality of compartments.

15. The gift container of claim 14 further comprising at least one auxiliary means for holding additional gift items affixed to the first means.

16. The gift container of claim 14 further comprising a pre-printed decorative design.

17. The gift container of claim 15 further comprising a pre-printed decorative design.

18. The gift container of claim 14 further comprising a pre-formed perforated handle.

19. The gift container of claim 18 further comprising a pre-formed perforated receptacle for attaching decorative items to the gift container.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a gift container. More particularly, this invention relates to a collapsible, flat folding gift container.

[0002] An increasingly popular cultural trend is to package a gift in a decorative manner. In many instances, the packaging is itself considered to be part of the gift. Traditionally, gifts are wrapped in decorative paper or placed in various decorative containers. Examples of traditional gift containers include cardboard boxes, paper bags and baskets made from wicker or other rigid or semi-rigid materials.

[0003] Rigid or semi-rigid baskets have been used in the prior art for holding multiple objects, for example a collection of bottles or cans containing food or beverage items. Transparent or translucent plastic or a similar material is often used to wrap or cover the basket to hold the items in place, while allowing the items to still be visible. However, these prior art approaches suffer from a number of defficiencies. For example, rigid or semi-rigid baskets are not reconfigurable to contain gift items of varying size, shape or number, necessitating baskets of varying sizes and shapes. A further disadvantage of the prior art is that rigid and semi-rigid baskets often tend to be rather bulky items, thus requiring larger storage spaces that cannot be used efficiently without the likelihood of damage to the baskets. Therefore, what is needed in the art is a gift container that is collapsible and flat-folding, providing for easy and convenient storage. Furthermore, a gift container is needed that is reconfigurable for holding gift items of varying size, shape and number.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention relates to a new and improved gift container. In various embodiments, the gift container includes a center basket that is reconfigurable to hold items of various shapes, sizes and number. Reconfiguration of the central basket is accomplished by the means of interior flaps that fold outward from the exterior walls of the central basket. These interior flaps allow the interior portion of the central basket to be reconfigured to include multiple compartments of variable size, shape or number. The central basket is designed so that it is collapsible and flat-folding. The gift container may also be provided with a pre-formed, perforated handle and/or a pre-formed, perforated receptacle for attaching balloons, cards or other decorative items to the gift container.

[0005] The gift container may also include attachable side compartments. The side compartment attaches to the side of the central basket by any of various connectors. The side compartment is preferably attached to the central basket by a removable connector, for example, a plastic rivet. The central basket preferably includes a pre-formed, perforated hole or slot for receiving the connector and attaching the side compartment to the central basket. The attachable side compartment expands the volume of the gift container and/or allows for holding smaller or differently-shaped items. The side compartments are also collapsible and flat-folding for easy storage.

[0006] The gift container and side compartment may be made from any material that can be folded and perforated yet is strong enough to hold its shape. The preferred material for the gift container is cardboard, which can also be pre-printed with various decorative designs, which may be selected to reflect or relate to the interests of the gift recipient, the occasion for the gift, or the gift items within the gift container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is an angled front view of a gift basket in accordance with the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a top view of a gift basket in accordance with the present invention collapsed and flat-folded.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a side view of a partially assembled gift basket in accordance with the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 4A is a side view of a partially assembled side container and fastener in accordance with the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 4B is a front view of a partially assembled side container and fastener in accordance with the present invention.

[0012] FIG. 5 is a view of a gift container in accordance with the present invention prior to assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The various embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying figures identified above. Referring to FIG. 1, a gift container is comprised of a center basket 1. The interior portion of central basket 1 is divided in to two approximately symmetric halves by vertical member 16. The central basket includes interior flaps 5 that divide the basket into compartments for holding items. The interior flaps 5 are hingedly connected to the interior side of front face 15 of the central basket 1. (The flaps are shown partially folded outwardly in FIG. 1 for clarity of illustration; however, the interior flaps have a full range of pivotal motion relative to the hinged connection to front face 15.) Interior flaps may also be connected to the rear face of the central basket (not shown) or the side faces of the central basket.

[0014] In one embodiment, the central basket 1 has four interior flaps 15. Two hingedly connected to the interior of front face 15 and two hingedly connected to the interior of the rear face (not shown). This allows for subdividing the interior of central basket 1 into up to six compartments for holding various items, for example six bottles or cans. Furthermore, because the interior flaps 5 are hingedly connected on one end to the central basket and are floating on the other end, it is not required that the individual compartments be of comparable size or that they house items of the same size or shape. The interior flaps may be oriented at various angles to accommodate larger or smaller items in the various compartments. Furthermore, because the interior flaps 5 will fold substantially flat against the interior face of the wall of the central basket, fewer than all of the flaps may be extended, allowing, for example, one large compartment on one side and two compartments on the other side of the central basket. Various other configurations are also possible.

[0015] In the embodiment of FIG. 1, center basket 1 includes a pre-formed, perforated handle 3 and a pre-formed, perforated receptacle 4 in vertical member 16. The handle 3 and receptacle 4 are be pre-formed in the assembly by perforating the cardboard to provide a “punch-out” assembly. The handle is for the purpose of convenient carrying and portability of the gift container. Receptacle 4 is provided for the purpose of attaching cards, balloons, or other decorative items to the gift container. With prior art gift containers, it was necessary to secure such items to the handle of the container, which interfered with normal carrying of the gift container, or to tape or staple such items to the gift container or for the giver to cut a hole in the gift container, all of which resulted in a less aesthetically pleasing final product.

[0016] In another aspect of the invention, the gift container may also include side compartments 2. Side compartments 2 provide additional flexibility to the user in the size, shape and number of items that may be included in the gift container and presented in a visually appealing manner. For example, the central basket can hold a plurality of individual containers or items, for example cans or bottles of a beverage, etc., and the side compartments can hold other smaller gift items, for example snack foods or any number of gift items. By providing the central basket and the side compartments, it becomes possible to place a multiplicity of gift items in the basket in an organized and visually appealing manner such that all of the disparate gift items may be aesthetically displayed. Additionally, the recipient can remove or replace one item at a time without disrupting the placement of the other items.

[0017] Still another aspect of the invention is that the central basket and side compartments can be constructed out of material that has been preprinted with a decorative design. Such decorative designs may be selected to appeal to the occupation, hobbies or other of the interests of the intended recipient, or may be selected to relate to the various items included in the gift. For example, the central basket and side compartments can be constructed out of cardboard that has been preprinted to resemble a tool box, doctor's bag, fishing tackle box, etc.

[0018] FIG. 5 illustrates a gift container in accordance with the present invention. Gift container 1 is cut from a single piece of suitable material, such as cardboard. Flap assemblies 30 are a second piece of suitable material, e.g., cardboard, that are glued onto the unitary piece of cardboard from which the gift basket is assembled. Flap assemblies 30 are used to form interior flaps 5, discussed above, and the construction of these items will become clearly in accordance with the discussion below. For purposes of the following discussion, in FIG. 5, solid lines represent a cut edge of the cardboard, while dashed lines indicate a fold line.

[0019] To form the collapsed gift container structure, the central basket is assembled as follows. Segment 41 is folded to an angle of 90 degrees relative to the page by folding at fold line 21. At the same time, vertical member segment 16a is folded along fold line 24 so that it is substantially parallel to front surface 15. Similarly, segment 42 is folded at an angle of 90 degrees relative to the page by folding at fold line 22. Segment 43 is folded 90 degrees relative to segment 42 by folding along fold line 23, which brings faces 15 and 18 substantially parallel. At the same time, vertical member segment 16b is folded along fold line 24 so that it is substantially parallel to front surface 15 and rear surface 18.

[0020] These steps will have caused vertical member segments to substantially overlap, with edge 28a of vertical member segment 16a being adjacent fold line 25 and edge 28b of vertical member segment 16b being adjacent fold line 24. Column members 20a and 20b will be at an angle of 90 degrees relative to the overlapping vertical member segments to provide additional structural support to the central basket. Vertical member segments 16a and 16b may be attached together, e.g., by an adhesive, if desired. To maintain the box in an assembled state, tab 27 is folded at an angle of 90 degrees relative to rear surface 18 along fold line 26. Tab 27 is then affixed to tab receiving area 29, e.g., by an adhesive, forming a four sided box of two side faces 17, front face 15 and rear face 18. The structure thus folded is illustrated in FIG. 2

[0021] As was noted in the preceding section, pre-formed handle 3 is pre-cut into the gift container, and may be provided in the form of a perforated cut. Similarly, holes 4a and 4b are formed for the balloon receptacle 4, and holes 14 for attaching a side compartment are also pre-formed in the gift container assembly.

[0022] As noted above, interior flaps 5 are formed from interior flap assemblies 30. Interior flap assemblies 30 are affixed to the inside of the front face 15 and the rear face 18 as indicated in FIG. 5. The flap assemblies 30 are attached to the interior of the face by, for example, an adhesive applied between the fold lines 31 for each assembly 30. The ends of each assembly 30 are left free, so that folding them outward from the interior surface of the front face 15 and rear face 18 forms the interior flaps 5. Fold lines 31 comprise the hinged connection of the flaps to the interior of the gift container faces as described above.

[0023] Referring to FIG. 2, the basket is shown in its assembled, but collapsed and substantially flat configuration. The collapsed center basket is assembled by first folding flap B 8 inward, next folding flap C 6 and flap D 7 inward, and finally folding flap A 9 inward and interlocking it with flap B 8.

[0024] Turning now to FIGS. 4A-B, a side compartment 2 is assembled from its collapsed state by first folding flap B 12 inward, next folding flap C 10 and flap D 11 inward, and finally folding flap A 13 inward and interlocking it with flap B 12. Referring to FIG. 1, a side compartment 2 attaches to the center basket 1 via two fasteners 6. Fasteners 6 may be any number of suitable fasteners, including, for example, interlocking tabs, rivets, etc. In a preferred embodiment, the fasteners are plastic rivets. The fasteners fit within holes in the center basket in the pre-formed, perforated holes 14.

[0025] Although a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, the invention is not so limited and will be understood to include all such modifications and variations as would be apparent to one skilled in the art and come within the scope of the appended claims.