Friday, December 16, 2016

DIY Holiday Gift Boxes

What's the first gift they'll want to unwrap? The one in a box that looks extra special! Here's how you can take generic gift boxes from the dollar store and transform them into something magical.

Materials you need:

• Plain cardboard boxes of various kinds and sizes
• Figure or object for the box top (a little house, an animal-let your imagination be your guide)
• White acrylic paint
• Acrylic paint in a color of your choice for the body of the box
• Paint brushes
• Quick-drying craft glue
• Glue gun and glue sticks
• Glitter (optional)
• Epson salts (for the snow)
• Ribbon

For this first set of boxes, I used plain brown cardboard boxes of various shapes and sizes.

Step 1: Paint the body and the side of your box lid with acrylic paint in a color of your choice. I pulled the color red from the little houses I planned to use on the box tops.

Step 2: Paint the top of the lid with white acrylic paint. 

Step 3: Next attach the object, figure or animal onto the top of the box lid. (The little snowman was found at Walmart by the way.)

Depending on the object you choose, you may or may not require a glue gun to attach it securely. White glue alone wasn't going to hold this snowman, so I resorted to hot glue. 

Step 4: You could leave the box top with just the white paint and that would look fine, but I wanted my lid to have the sparkle of snow. 

Warning: This is where this project gets a little messy! I recommend you lay down some newsprint for easy clean up. 

Once your object or figure is dry on the box lid, spread a generous layer of quick-drying craft glue on the remainder of the lid (I used a popsicle stick to spread the glue). Sprinkle epsom salts over the surface of the glue. Add a few glitter sparkles as well, if you like. Press down the epsom salt and sparkles into the glue with your fingers. Allow the lid to dry.

Once the salt and glitter is set, turn the lid on its side and gently knock off any of the surplus salt and glitter that did not adhere.

Step 5: Attach a ribbon to your box. I used a bead of white glue under the ribbon to keep it in place. 

This box had a deep lid, so I used a plaid ribbon and ran the ribbon around the centre of the box. (You can find similar vintage Christmas houses at Michaels craft store.)

On the two round boxes, I used a narrow gingham ribbon and wrapped it around the circumference of the lid.

To create this box topped with a church, I painted a plain cardboard box sage-green. Next I stenciled some snowflakes in a slightly lighter shade of sage. 

To finish off the box, I ran white ribbon all the way around the lid (a fine bead of white glue under the ribbon secured it in place). Then I topped the white ribbon with a narrow band of gold ribbon (again a fine bead of glue holds the ribbon in place). At the front, I attached a bow in the same gold ribbon (I used hot glue to attach the bow).

This next group of boxes were even faster to create. These dollar store boxes already came with a nice silver print. 

To top this box, I used a reindeer and some mini-Christmas trees (which mirrors the theme of the silver print on the box). All I did was paint the lid white. Then I attached the reindeer with some hot glue. 

The next step was to add the epsom salt and glitter (see method above for attaching the salt and glitter).

To secure the trees, I twisted off each tree from its cork base. Then I used the wire at the bottom of the tree to poke a small hole in the top of the box lid. 

Next I applied a little hot glue to the base of the tree and inserted the wire trunk back into the hole. On the underside of the lid, I reattached the cork with a little hot glue.

Isn't this bear sweet? I think this box would make a great gift for a toddler or a baby's first Christmas.

Again my box had a nice silver snowflake pattern, so all I did was fancy-up the lid (see working method above). Around the lid, I ran a pretty, baby-blue ribbon with a bow at the front (again see notes above about securing the ribbon and bow).

I hope you've found some inspiration to make your own gift boxes extra special this holiday season!

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