Friday, November 7

How to make a gift box

We all have seen pretty little gift boxes. Ranging in size from a few inches to hold small trinkets and jewelry, to several feet long to hold decadent bath robes. These are so easy to create yourself that the next time you see them for sale for several dollars that's just plain as it gets, you will chuckle knowing you can make them yourself. Now using this technique you really won't be able to get bigger than a 10" square box because most decorative cardstock and trimmer/scorers are only designed for 12x12. Your total dimensions can't exceed 12 inches (that is width + depth + depth). Also make sure you read to the end before trying as I tend to add tips as I think them!

In this example I'm going to show you how to make a 6" square box that is 2" deep. Then I will show you how to create the same box with your specified dimensions with a simple calculation.

You will need the following supplies:
2 sheets of thick cardstock in whatever color or pattern you desire. *
A paper trimmer
A scoring blade **
Adhesive ***

*I like to use 2 coordinating pieces so the top and bottom don't match, but coordinate.
**If you don't have a scoring blade then you can attempt the folding by measuring out your dimensions where I state to score it and simply draw a pencil line and fold it on the line and use a stiff object to press it into a nice crease.
***The thicker the paper...the stronger the adhesive needed. I use thick cardstock and double sided sticky tape works great.

Step 1:
For the bottom of your box you need the first sheet of cardstock. Keeping in mind you are creating a 6" box in this example. You will need to cut your 12x12 cardstock into a 10" square. You will score the cardstock at 2" and 8". That is 2" from each end. Then you rotate it 90 degrees and repeat. Creating a paper with score marks that look like this:

Step 2:
You will then pick the short sides and make 2" cuts stopping at the score line. In the case of square boxes, any two opposite sides will do. Your cuts will be where I have drawn the blue lines below:

Step 3:
You will then bend to create a nice crease all of the parts marked pink in the picture directly above. Those are all of your score lines. It is easier to crease all of the score lines in this step than it is to crease as you go.

Step 4:
You will apply adhesive to the tabs that are marked as solid blue squares below. You will be putting the adhesive on the decorative side (the side shown on the outside of the box) as they will be tucked in.

Step 5:
Fold those now sticky tabs in and use the short side 2" flap to cover them.

You may need to hold together or clip together to allow the glue/tape to fully adhere, but within moments your box bottom will be complete. Set it aside and we can begin working on the lid. As I said, I like to use a coordinating cardstock for the lid. The lid will not need to be as deep, so we will start by trimming our 12x12. You don't want your lid to cover the bottom you just worked so hard on...right?

Step 6:
Trim your 12x12 cardstock to a smidge over 7" square. I say a smidge, although it should be roughly 1/8th of an inch over. This is because you do not want to smash your box lid on top. You will want it to fit comfortably over your bottom so it requires approximately an 1/8th inch extra. A lot of trimmers do not have an 1/8th inch mark so if that is the case, it is completely okay to eyeball the extra smidge. =)

Step 7:
The steps will now be pretty similar to steps 1-5 above. Instead of scoring at 2" in from each side all the way around, you will score at 1/2 an inch all the way around. That will leave a 6 and 1/8th inch center.

Step 8:
You will make the same cuts as above in step 2. You will basically follow steps 3, 4 and 5 as well. To create your box lid. The total dimensions for your bottom will be 6"x6" and 2" deep. The lid will be 6 and 1/8th x 6 and 1/8th and 0.5" deep.

Now I told you it was quite simple to make the box any size, but that with 12x12 cardstock 10" is about as big as you can go. Well what if you wanted a box that was 4x4 or 6x6 or even 3x5. Easy Peasy. You will still follow the steps above EXCEPT for the initial score marks.

If you are making a perfectly square box then you will start with a piece of cardstock. Figure out how deep (tall) you want it and how wide you want it. If you want a 4" box that is 3" deep you will start with an 10" square piece of cardstock. Your beginning sheet will be always width+depth+depth. You will make the score marks all the way around at 3" instead of the 2" in the example above. Your score marks will always be placed at whatever inch mark you decided for the depth. The steps are the same as above after that. Including making the box lid with the extra 1/8th of an inch.

If you are wanting to make a box that is NOT square, but rather a rectangle, the steps are again nearly the same, with the exception of the beginning deminsions and score marks. In this case you won't start with a square sheet. You will figure out the size by the same steps as with a square sheet. If you want it to be 3"x5" and 3" deep you will cut your starter sheet to be 9"x11". 9" equals 3"wide + 3" deep + 3 " deep. The 11" equals 5" wide + 3" deep + 3 " deep. Your score marks will still be created at 3" all the way around and after folding them you will see you are left with a 3"x5" box!

I hope some of you will share your boxes. I make these all the time. Birthday paper, hearts for valentine's day, or Christmas paper for the holidays. You can even decorate it in a character theme for a box to send home birthday goodies in.

I will try to figure out how to post a video tutorial (for those that learn by seeing) and add several tips to make your box uniquely yours......


  1. Decorative Jewelry Boxes are very unique found in various shapes and sizes with exquisite details of painting.To know more log on to:-

  2. Great tutorial! So easy to follow! Thanks.


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