Make a Fun Personalized Gift Box

DecoratedBoxesIt’s become a bit of a tradition for me to make & decorate paper boxes – to put home made goodies in, for family members, for Christmas. My hubby & I then assemble a little Colorado care package that includes things like a bottle of wine from our local winery, honey from the local honey company, the Women’s Bean Project, and other fun, local consumables we find each year. This year my star boxes included dehydrated apples that we made this fall…made with organic Colorado apples.

Making boxes is fun & simple, and I’d thought I’d share the process so you can try it for your next gift!

All you really need is two sheets of square paper (you probably need an exacto knife and a ruler, too) and whatever art supplies you want to use to embellish the cover. My stars are stamps that I carved.

Here are a few sizes I’ve created recently:

Start with two letter sized sheets (8.5 x 11)
Cut these sheets to 8.5″ x 8.5″ and 8 ⅛” x 8 ⅛”
This makes a box that is approximately 3″ x 3″ x 1.5″deep
Start with one 12.5 x 12.5 and one 12 x 12 sheet (this makes a box that is about 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.25″deep)

I’ve found that generally the box bottom needs to be about 3/8″ – 1/2″ (9-14mm) smaller than the lid. You may have to experiment a little bit, and when you get started (before decorating) I find it helpful to make a prototype.

You can play with sizes, depending on the paper you have on hand and/or want to use. A text weight that is not too heavy is best.
Once I have my paper sizes figured out, I decorate the box lid before doing any folding! Unleash your creativity and have FUN here!

Next I’ll do my best to explain the process of making the box!
Important Note: I know the photos are quite small in the post, and if you click on any of them, they will open full size (about 800px at the widest). Doing this may be helpful to decipher anything you are having trouble figuring out. Feel free to print the template images if you’d like! And if you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I will reply! If you have a question, chances are others do, too!

Center Marks I mark the centers of my paper squares with a light cross of lines – to make it easy to fold accurately into the center.

Fold Corners – Fold each corner into the center, and then fold that flat edge into the center to meet the corner.

Start Folding 2nd center fold
Once you have done this for all four corners you will need to create a pinch fold. Pinch Fold

Here is an image illustrating the fold marks:


Begin to FORM the box by folding the two opposite sides together forming the opposite walls of the box
Next fold the pinches in. Forming box

Then fold the flaps over the pinches, and voila, you form the box.

Finish Forming Box Finish Forming Box 2
StarBox1 Star Box 2

Lid Variation: For a more delicate look you can make a box lid that is shorter in depth. Below is an image illustrating the extra cuts you need to make to the lid paper.

BoxTemplate Lid Variation

Here’s an image of the final folding and the basic look for this lid variation (this is a prototype):

Lid Variation Fold Lid Variation

I’ve created these boxes for all kinds of gift occasions, including for chocolates for my hubby on Valentine’s Day. It adds a personal touch to any gift, and I’ve had friends tell me they keep their boxes, or have used them again for another gift giving occasion.

Have fun making boxes for your next special gift! I’d love to hear!

Lisa, aka the mountain mermaid

Another Important Post Note:
This post is part of the beautiful Jamie Ridler‘s annual Hands Up How to Series. If you did not land here from her site, please go check it out for other helpful ‘how-to’ posts. The listing of Hands Up How To posts will be up on Christmas Day!


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Filed under Art & Design, Creativity, Friends, Joy

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