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How to make a treasure chest out of a shoe box

Updated February 21, 2017

Recycle an old shoebox into a treasure chest for children to use as a prop when playing pirates, or for stashing their own treasures. It is a quick and easy project for children to complete with only a little help from an adult.

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Getting started

Use the utility knife (this should be done by an adult only) to cut through two corners on one side of the box lid, creating a flap that will become the treasure chest's lid hinge.

Place the lid on the shoebox, and tape the flap, or hinge side of the lid, to the outside of the shoebox with clear shipping tape.

Open the shoebox lid and tape along the inner edge of the hinge. The lid will open and close, like the top of a treasure chest.

Decorate the outside of the treasure chest with tissue paper. Pour white glue to a paper cup, and stir in a little water to thin. Lay pieces of coloured tissue paper over the outside of the box; using paint brush, apply a layer of the glue solution over the tissue to affix the paper to the box. Cover the entire treasure chest.

Tip

Help your child get creative and use additional embellishments, such as glue-on imitation gemstones, a ribbon trim or craft foam shapes.

Warning

Don't let young children use the utility knife; an adult should do all the cutting.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shoebox with lid
  • Utility knife
  • Clear shipping tape
  • Coloured tissue paper
  • White glue
  • Paper cup
  • Water
  • Paint brush

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

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