How to make a cardboard box template

Sturdy cardboard boxes make an ideal base for creating art project templates. You can make several templates from one cardboard box and save money by not buying ready-made templates from a craft shop. Use cardboard boxes to make templates for letters of the alphabet, puzzle pieces, houses or animals. The templates can be used over and over, then put into the recycling bin when you're done with them.

Place the cardboard box on the table right-side up and open the flaps.

Pick any corner on the box and place the utility knife between the flaps on the corner. Cut the box down the edge to the bottom.

Turn the cardboard box to another corner and cut along the edge to the bottom of the box. Repeat for the two remaining corners.

Lay one side of the box on the cutting mat. Cut along the crease where it joins the bottom of the box. Cut the remaining three sides free from the box bottom.

Pick a long or short side of the cardboard box, depending on how big your template is.

Place the picture or design you are making the template for under a piece of tracing paper and trace the outline with a pencil.

Turn the tracing paper over and trace the outline again. Flip the paper back to the front and place it on the cardboard. Trace the outline on the tracing paper.

Cut the template out using the craft knife or a pair or sharp, heavy duty scissors if the cardboard is thick.


The picture or design you're using for your template will transfer onto the cardboard box like a carbon copy.

You can also make a cardboard box template by tracing around a paper cutout or drawing a design by hand.


Always cut away from your body and keep fingers clear of the knife.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Utility knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Picture or design
  • Tracing paper
  • Heavy duty scissors
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About the Author

Marie Louise is passionate about her writing, bringing personal knowledge and experience on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, chronic pain conditions, parenting, research, alternative medicine and animals. Her work appears on several different websites.