- Step 1: Choose a pattern and print it
Choose a box to make. Download and print the pattern.
Choose a pattern that prints in color or select
a black&white pattern to print on colored cardstock or use your creativity to decorate the box.
Make a lightweight box by printing directly on cardstock. For a stronger
box, print on computer paper and trace or transfer the pattern (see
cardboard before proceeding.
Tall with square bottom
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The
Adobe Reader is available for free.
- Step 2: Adhere Decorative Paper (optional)
Give the box a decorative look with art paper. Glue the paper to the reverse side of the cardstock.
Tip: It is very important to use a very good adhesive when laminating decorative
paper to cardstock. Glue sticks and glues marked as suitable for children will not give a strong enough bond.
When using a spray adhesive, follow the instructions for a permanent bond. Double-sided, sheet adhesives are
convenient but more expensive than other options.
- Step 3: Cut
Cut around the box pattern on the solid black lines. Try to make your cuts very smooth and accurate. The box will be stronger and go together better if the cuts are made neatly.
The box will have either two or three pattern pieces. The larger pieces are the box sides and the smaller rectangular or square piece is the box bottom.
Using a straight edge or ruler and craft knife will make some of the cutting easier, but be sure to protect the table with a cutting mat or thick piece of cardboard.
Caution: Be careful. Craft knives are sharp and should not
be used by children.
- Step 4: Score
Score the box side piece(s) on each straight line. To score, place the straight edge or ruler along
a straight line. Use a dull point, like an empty ballpoint pen or bone folder, and run it along the line
using the straight edge as a guide. On cardstock, the score should just be an indent to aid in making folds.
If you are using light to medium weight cardboard or poster board, use a
straight edge and a craft knife or scissors to make a half-cut.
- Step 5: Fold
Fold on each scored line. Make the creases sharp by running your thumbnail the length of the fold line.
- Step 6: Glue
Using the side glue tab(s), glue the side piece(s) together to form a box shape. Be sure the glue tabs are
on the inside. Glue the tabs to the sides of the box with a good craft glue.
Fold the bottom glue tabs over, apply glue, and attach the box bottom. Let the glue dry.
- Step 7: Finish
You can leave the box plain or decorate it with stickers, paper cut-outs, stencils, stamps, etc. Use
tissue paper to wrap gifts placed in the box or use wax paper for gifts of food. The box may be left open
or fold the knobbed tops over and tie closed with a ribbon—either way the gift will look elegant in this box.