How to Make Paper-Covered Boxes

Updated November 21, 2016

Old shoe boxes or cardboard storage boxes simply take up space in many people's closets, or next to their dustbins. Instead of letting these boxes sit or throwing them away, make them into something useful and attractive. Crafting paper-covered boxes is a practical way to recycle while saving money on pre-decorated storage containers. Use paper-covered boxes to hold keepsakes, jewellery, recipes or seasonal decorations. You can also use them store first-aid or art supplies in plain sight. Or make a few paper-covered boxes for holding gifts.

Sketch geometric patterns onto the sides and lid of your box, if you like, using a pencil and yardstick. Create a grid, triangles in a spiral or other patterns.

Measure the sides of your box and each shape in your pattern. If you're making a complex pattern, trace each shape on tracing paper.

Cut decorative paper into the necessary shapes with scissors, using your traced patterns as a guide, if desired. Use any type of decorative paper, from old wrapping paper to rice paper or painted newsprint. If you're creating a geometric design, cut shapes to the exact sizes you need so they fit together perfectly. For the base pieces, which simply cover the sides of the box, leave a 1/2 inch extra paper on all sides.

Spray the back of your paper pieces with spray adhesive and press them gently onto the box, making sure they're straight. First attach the pieces that simply cover the sides of your box, carefully smoothing the 1/2-inch border around the corners and over the lip. Then press the pieces of your pattern onto the base piece of decorative paper.

Allow the box to dry for about an hour after finishing.


Line the inside of the box with felt or velvet to store materials that may fade or tarnish. To create a jewellery box, cover strips of cardboard with paper or fabric. Snip them at 1-inch intervals and fit them together to create a grid. Fit the grid into the box.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Pencil
  • Yardstick
  • Decorative paper
  • Tracing paper (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive
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