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elegant box!

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Pillow boxes in three sizes
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More pillow boxes to make

Pillow Box

What you will make:

Follow these instructions to make a pillow box for small gifts and party or wedding favors. This is a terrific box that resembles a pillow in shape and makes an elegant package with the addition of a ribbon. The pillow boxes also offer the nice feature of storing flat. The project includes printable patterns in a variety of sizes.

Project Extras: Use the special Father's Day printable patterns to make pillow boxes for Dad, or make pillow boxes for Thanksgiving with printable patterns that feature fall colors!

Related craft: For Father's Day gift bags, download Aunt Annie's printable patterns in the Tube-shaped Gift Bags craft project.

Here's what you need:
  • Colored or white cardstock
  • Glue
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Bone folder or empty ballpoint pen
  • Optional: Decorative paper (wrapping, art, etc.), spray adhesive, stickers, paper cut-outs, and ribbon.

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make Pillow Boxes

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose a box to make. Download and print the pattern. You can select a colored pattern or a black & white pattern that you can print on colored cardstock or cover with decorative paper. Use the special "Dad" box patterns for Father's Day or whenever you need a box for a small gift for Dad. For fall season gifts, use one of the printable Fall Colors pillow box patterns.

Make a lightweight box by printing directly on cardstock. For a stronger box, print on computer paper and trace or transfer the pattern (see how) to cardboard before proceeding.

Pillow Box
Pillow Box pattern
Smaller Pillow Box
Smaller pillow box pattern
Tiny Pillow Boxes
Tiny pillow boxes pattern

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.

Step 2: Cut Pillow Box - cut out pattern

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 fit together better if the cuts are made neatly.

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 3: Score Pillow box - score fold linesFold Lines

Score along each of the two straight fold lines and the four curved fold lines in red. On cardstock, use an empty ballpoint pen or bone folder 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.

Step 4: Cover with Decorative Paper (optional) Pillow Box - glue decorative paper to reverse side of pattern

Cut a rectangular piece of decorative paper larger than the box pattern by ¼" to ½" all around. Center and glue. Fold the excess paper over and glue, or trim away.

Tip: It is very important to use a strong adhesive when laminating decorative paper to cardstock. Glue sticks and glues marked as suitable for children will not provide 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 5: Fold in Half and Glue Pillow Box - fold in half and glue tab to inside of box

Fold the box in half and glue the tab to the opposite side. Be sure that the glue tab is inside of the box. Let the glue set before going on to the next step.

Step 6: Shape Box and Close Ends
Pillow Box - shape box and fold  ends over

Gently pinch the two box edges, causing the top and bottom to bow out. Push both flaps in at each end of the box. You may need to use your fingers to "encourage" the crease on the curved fold lines.

Add decorations to the box as you desire. You can do something as easy as adding a layered band of decorative paper to enhance the pillow box. The bands on these boxes were made with strips of paper cut from Aunt Annie's black polka-dot ePaper.

That's it! Your pillow box is done!
Pillow boxes with paper ribbon

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

ePaper Extra

Polka dot ePaper with black dots on cadet blue, celadon and light goldenrod backgrounds.

Tip: Use Aunt Annie's coordinating cadet blue, celadon green and light goldenrod polka dot ePapers with the colored box patterns.

Pillow box made using ePaper

Tip: Change the look of the pillow box by printing the black & white pattern on decorative cardstock and adding a coordinating ribbon.

For these boxes, Aunt Annie's Gingham Check ePaper was printed on white cardstock. The box patterns were then printed on the cardstock's reverse side.

Dad's Shirt pillow box

Tip: Wouldn't your dad love to get a gift in a box made especially for him? Select from two printable pillow box patterns—one that's decorated with a shirt and tie or the other with hearts and a "Best Dad" award ribbon.

Best Dad pillow box

Pillow Box made with Mixed Dots ePaper sponged with yellow

Tip: Lightly sponge over decorative papers, like Aunt Annie's Mixed Dots Digital Papers, to get a distressed look, or slightly change the color scheme of the paper.

For this box, Aunt Annie's Mixed Dots ePaper was printed on white cardstock then lightly sponged with yellow paint—see how in the Sponged Paper Cards tutorial. The box pattern was printed on the reverse side prior to sponging.

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