Try your hand at making boxes featuring sides that lock together. The interlocked sides create a striking design that you can further enhance with patterns and designs. These square boxes are ideal for gifts of cookies or brownies. With the lower flaps tucked in, the straight-edge boxes are very secure and work well as product packaging.
Related craft: To make another style of interlocking box, see the Interlocking Curves Box craft project.
Related craft: To make an envelope with interlocking flaps, see the Half-moon Petal Envelope craft project.
Choose a box to make. Download and print the pattern. The same pattern is used for the top and bottom of the box. For the larger 4" boxes, print the pattern of your choice twice. The smaller 2¾" box pattern only needs to be printed once. For a St. Patrick's Day box, use the Shamrock Box pattern for the top and the Interlocking Points pattern for the bottom.
Use the Inset Templates pattern to make decorative inset cutouts for the boxes' sides and tops, or to use as masks for stamping and painting. You can make precise borders with these inset/masking templates, which are custom-made for the Interlocking Box patterns.
Make a lightweight box by printing directly on cardstock. For a stronger box, print a black and white pattern on computer paper, and trace or transfer the pattern to cardboard before proceeding.
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.
All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.
Cut around the box pattern pieces on the solid black outline. 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.
Snip each corner on the dashed line. This creates the glue tabs needed to assemble the box.
Tip: At this point, you may cover the cut-out box pattern with decorative paper. Cut paper that is a bit larger than the box pattern, and adhere it to the reverse side using a good spray adhesive.
Tip: If you plan to cut the box sides into another shape, do it now or anytime before gluing. See an example of a box with sides trimmed to semi-circles.
Score along each of the four fold lines.
To score: On 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 a "half-cut".
Fold one side along the score line, then unfold. Repeat for the other three sides. When using thick cardboard like Bristol board, fold back so that the score is on the outside of the box. Lighter cardboard can be folded either way.
Fold the cardboard into a box shape. Be sure that the glue tabs are on the inside. Glue the tabs to the sides of the box with a good craft glue.
The top and bottom of the top are identical. Repeat Steps 2 through 6 to create the second half of the box.
Use one half as the box top and the other as the bottom. Rotate the top one quarter-turn and slip the box halves together with the tall sides on the outside.
Decorate the box any way you like. Adding stickers and cutouts works well. You can also use markers, paint or colored pencils to decorate the box before gluing it together.
Tip: The tall sides can also be tucked inside the box for a tighter fit. Try tucking in the bottom sides or both the top and bottom sides.
Your box is now complete!