How to Make Recycled Gift Boxes

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With the holiday season coming up, gift giving is on my mind.   But in addition to the gifts, do you give the wrapping a second thought?  What if you are trying to be green?  What if you have limited funds?  Well, there is something you can do.  You can make your own recycled gift boxes.

card and materials to create a box

card and materials to create a box

Now what I have in mind are smaller gift boxes.  Think gift cards, jewelry, a few pieces of candy, or maybe a sweet handkerchief.  If you want a recycled option for wrapping a chainsaw… well… that is another post.

I use something that I have on hand or more specifically, save just for this time of year.  Holiday cards from the previous season can be turned into gift boxes.  For the most appealing packaging, select a card with a pretty design or graphic near the center of the card.

Using a ruler mark the dimensions of the completed box size which includes the amount folded over to create the sides of the box.  For instance, if the card you select is 6″ x 4″, you can mark (on the under side of the card) what you want the size to be… perhaps 5″ x 3″ or perhaps 4″ x 4″.  Now measure from those points inward (towards the center of the card) a uniform measurement such as 1/4″, 1/2″, etc.  This amount will be the height of the sides of the box.  In other words, the depth of the box.  Be sure that all sides are uniform otherwise the box will be lopsided.

cut from edge to fold line to create a flap

cut from edge to fold line to create a flap

Now using a sharp pair of scissors, cut along the outer measurement.  Next fold along marks you made for the depth of the box.  (Fold inwards towards the center of the card).  At each corner, use scissors to cut from the edge of the card up to a fold line (this should look like a small flap).  You will have four cuts that will now allow you to fold, creating corners.  Either tape or glue the flap to secure each corner.

flap folded and taped to create corner

flap folded and taped to create corner

Congratulations!  You have just created the top of the box.

completed recycled gift box

completed recycled gift box

Use the remaining large portion of the card to create the bottom of the box. Repeat the previous steps, but decrease the measurements by 1/8″. Example: 4 7/8″ x 3 7/8″.  Remember, you want the top of the box to fit over the bottom of the box.

This project is a fun way to create custom boxes for small items, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.  You can recycle cards from previous years and turn them into pretty gift boxes that don’t require wrapping paper.  (And if the boxes are created from fairly substantial paper, you can reuse them year after year).

assortment of recycled gift boxes

assortment of recycled gift boxes

So sit down with and get ready to make this family friendly project.  Involve your kids by having them select their favorite cards.  They can help measure and mark the dimensions.

With the holidays around the corner, you have plenty of time to create your own custom gift boxes.  Have fun!

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11 responses »

  1. Love this idea!! Thanks for sharing a new use for old Christmas cards. Usually I just cut them up for tags or to decorate packages that I mail presents in.

  2. Pingback: {Greener} Gift Giving for the Holidays

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