- Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It
Choose a box to make. Download and print the pattern. The smaller
box pattern (3" by 2¾" by 1¼") includes both the box bottom and top.
large box (3¾" by 3½" by 1¾") requires separate patterns for the bottom and top of the
Make a lightweight box by printing directly on cardstock. For a stronger
box, print on computer paper, and trace or
transfer the pattern to
cardboard before proceeding.
Smaller Tree Box
Tree Box Top
Tree Box Bottom
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The
Adobe Reader is available for free.
- Step 2: Cut
Cut around the box pattern pieces on the solid black lines.
Try to cut accurately. The box will be stronger and fit together
better if the cuts precisely follow the pattern outlines.
Using a straight edge 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.
Larger Box: The side strips for the larger
box are in two pieces. Glue the two pieces together, using the glue
tab to join them where indicated on the pattern.
- Step 3: Score
With a ruler or straight edge, make a score line along the
bottom of the tabs on the side strip. At notches marked with a short
line, score straight across the side strip from the notch to the
other side. For the smaller box, there are seven marked notches, and
for the larger box, there are three marked notches on each side
strip piece. For the larger box, also score the glue tab line.
To score: Turn the side
strip pattern with the marked lines up. If you are using cardstock,
use the bone folder or empty ballpoint pen to make an indent—not a
cut. If you are using light- to medium-weight cardboard or poster
board, use a straight edge and a craft knife or scissors to make
- Step 4: Fold
Fold the tabs over, then unfold them to about a 90° angle.
Fold on the seven score lines made at the notches. Fold the lines to
match the direction, inside or outside, of the corresponding corner
on the cutout.
In preparation for gluing, bend the side strip around the
tree-shaped cutout. Position the middle fold at the top of the tree
shape. If the side strip is too long, adjust it by cutting a little
from one end. If the side strip is too short, cut the tree shape
down a little.
- Step 5: Glue
Coat the inside of the glue tabs with a thin layer of white
glue. Apply a band of glue around the perimeter of one of the
tree-shaped cutouts. Make sure that the band of glue is as wide as
the depth of the tabs. Wrap the side strip around the cutout,
pressing the glue tabs firmly in place along the sides, and into or
around each corner. Apply glue to both ends of the side strip
overlap and press them together.
Finally, glue the
other tree-shaped cutout in place to hide the tabs.
- Step 6: Make Box Top
Repeat steps 1 through 5 for the box top. Optionally, glue the
insets to the second tree-shaped cutout.
You may cover the sides of the top with decorative paper or
ribbon prior to gluing the second tree-shaped cutout in place. Cut a
strip of paper the same size as the side strip. Glue the decorative
strip in place, carefully aligning the edges. Cut glue tabs on the
other edge, fold and glue over existing tabs.
- Step 7: Decorate
Decorate the box top however you like! To give the
box the look of a decorated Christmas tree, add thin strips of gold
paper as "garlands," and circles made with a hole punch as