Printing Guide

How to Print Your New Music Box Arrangements

Hi there! Thank you for ordering! This guide will walk you through the steps on how to print your first music box arrangement. We’ll start by gathering all the necessary tools and materials. Then, we will calibrate the printer so that the music box strips are printed out in the correct size. After printing, we will cut the paper into the individual strips, and punch out the holes. Once that’s done, we’ll place the individual strips in order, using the measure numbers as a guide. To finish, we simply cut off any overlap, and tape the strips together to make a continuous melody.

What You’ll Need:

  • 8.5” x 11” (US Letter) Printer PaperHeavyweight paper around 90lbs works best, but if you don’t have any heavyweight paper at home, you can also glue multiple sheets of normal weight paper together until you get the desired thickness.
  • Scissors, or a Paper SlicerA paper slicer usually yields the nicest looking results, but a pair of scissors also works great.
  • Tape,
  • Glue, and
  • The PDF file of the arrangement you’d like to print out. It should be found in the email sent in your receipt.

Optional: If you still have one handy, grab one of the blank paper strips that came with your music box. We can use this later to make sure the new prints are scaled correctly.

Step 1: Printing Your Music Box Strip

After purchasing a music box arrangement from our online catalog, you should receive an email containing a link to download your music box arrangement in PDF format. If you didn’t receive a download link to your file, be sure to contact us. We’d be happy to help, and send you a new one!

Once you’ve downloaded the PDF file, open it in Google Chrome. After opening the PDF file in chrome, click the print icon on the top right hand of the screen, or hit Ctrl + P on your keyboard. A dialog window should appear, containing useful printer settings. We need to print the PDF at exactly the right size in order for it to be compatible with the music box. To do this, press the “more settings” icon, and make sure to check the following settings:

  1. Set the paper size to Letter 8.5” x 11”.
  2. Set “fit-to-page” to off.
  3. Set the scale to 100%.
  4. If available, set the margins to none, and set the page layout to landscape.

After adjusting the settings above, you can print the arrangement. Once you’re done printing, try to find one of the blank paper strips that came with your music box or another arrangement that you know is the right size and works.

Compare the lines from the original paper strip with your new print. If the lines align and the spacing between lines is the same, you’ve successfully printed out your new arrangement at the right size.

Troubleshooting: If your new print out is still the wrong size, try to print the PDF file using the printer dialog. To do this, open the file in Chrome, and press Ctrl + Shift + P. Be sure to double check that the printer is set to print at 100% scaling with no margins. You can also try the borderless printing option to remove the page margins.

If you’re still having trouble, contact us. We’d be happy to help! If the PDF method isn’t working well with your printer, we can send you the music box arrangement in a different file type like JPG.

Step 2: Add Thickness to Your Pages

After you’ve confirmed that the newly printed strip is the right size, check to see that the newly printed paper strip is about the same thickness as the blank strips included with your music box. In order for the music box to grip on the paper, we’ll need a thickness of around 110lbs.

If you’re using normal printer paper instead of cardstock, you’ll want to glue between 2-4 pages together. Remember that the glue will also add some thickness to your page.

Let your glued pages dry for at least 15-30 minutes. 

Step 3: Cut Out the Individual Paper Strips

Each page should contain between 1 to 3 strips that can be fed into your music box. Cut along the solid border lines, so that the individual strips are the same size as the blank template that came with your music box.

You can use Scissors or a Paper Slicer to cut the individual strips out along the solid boarder line. Once you’ve cut the strips out, it’s helpful to compare them again with the blank strips that came with your music box, to make sure the newly cut music box strips are the right height.

Important Note: Due to limitations of some home printers, sometimes the printer doesn’t print the very top of the page. The first strip of every page might be missing its border/cut line. If this is the case, you can compare the second strip on the page to the first to make sure they are the same size.

Step 4: Punch Out the Holes

After you’ve cut out all the individual strips, it’s time to punch out all the holes. Use the included hole puncher that came with your music box to punch out all the circles in the template.

Step 5: Assemble Your Music Box Strip

Now that you have all your individual strips punched out, it’s time to tape all the strips together. On the bottom of each strip, there are measure numbers. These numbers start with 1 and ascend in order until they reach the end of the music box arrangement. You can use these numbers to sort all your strips in order from beginning to end.

You’ll notice that there is a little bit of overlap between strips. This overlap is there so you can easily splice the paper together. Align the holes of the two strips you’d like to tape together and use that as a guide to make a perfect cut, so that the music stays in rhythm as it goes from one page to the next.

Pro Tip: Before you finish cutting the strips, find the first strip that begins the song. Cut a slight slant to the beginning of the strip so that it forms a point. This will make it easier to feed into your music box.

You’re Done!

Now that you’ve got the music box strip assembled and punched out, you can feed the strip into your music box!


Still not sounding right? Try these tips:

  • The arrangement doesn’t sound right, and there’s a lot of wrong notes. This could be caused by a couple things. If the strip isn’t scaled to exactly 100%, the holes will trigger the wrong note to be played. Also, if the individual strips weren’t cut on the borderline, the holes might not be aligned properly.
  • The music box slips because there isn’t enough traction between the music box and the paper strip. This is caused when a lot of notes are played at the same time. Try increasing the page thickness by gluing more pages together.

I hope that you found this guide useful, and if at any point you’re having trouble printing and assembling your music box strip, be sure to contact us. We’re happy to help!