Looking for a fun activity to do in thirty minutes or less? This DIY gift box is a quick and easy craft that you can use for practically any occasion.
In this tutorial, we’ll take you through the whole step-by-step process of making your own lidded gift box, give you a free printable template and cut file, and teach you all the tips and tricks to customize them even further.
The Benefits of Making A DIY Gift Box
A handmade gift box is an easy way to add a personalized touch to gifts or favors for bridal showers, Christmas, birthdays, classrooms, and baby showers.
Not only are small store-bought gift boxes hard to come by, they are usually expensive (especially when you need enough for a party or classroom) and limited in design choices. Making them yourself is much cheaper and gives you the freedom to match your own style and aesthetic.
Supplies Needed For A DIY Gift Box
You only need a handful of supplies to make your own boxes, and most of them are things you can easily find online or in a local store. We’ll give you the exact supplies we used, but this project leaves a lot of room for flexibility. Feel free to make substitutions and use whatever you have on hand.
-Our printable gift box template PDF (or our cut file if you have a Cricut, Silhouette, or other brand of cutting machine)
-Scissors (a small pair like these are ideal for fitting into the small details of the template)
-Glue stick (preferably the purple disappearing kind) or any other paper-safe permanent adhesive
-Ruler or other hard straight-edged object (preferably made of metal like this one, but wooden ones also work well)
-Ribbons, bows, stickers, and other embellishments (optional)
How to Make a DIY Gift Box: A Step-By-Step Guide
Step One: Print Your Template
Download a copy of our free printable box template. When you open the PDF, you should see two pages: one for the outside floral design and one with the cut and fold lines.
Next, load your card stock into your printer and adjust your printer settings as needed.
Print the box template double-sided so that the floral design is printed on one side and the cut lines are printed on the back.
Step Two: Cut and Score Your Box
Using a pair of scissors or a craft knife, follow the solid black lines to cut out your box shape.
Now take your ruler (or anything flat and sturdy with a straight edge) and line it up next to one of the dashed lines. Make a score mark by running the point of a bone folder, small dotting tool, or dull knife along the dashed line a few times, using the edge of the ruler or guide to keep the tool steady.
Carefully fold along the score mark you just made. Keep your guide tool pressed against the line and pull the cardstock sharply against its edge for a cleaner fold.
You may notice that your fold is still raised and somewhat unstable. Rub the flat edge of your bone folder, ruler, or other guide tool along the seam of the fold until the seam is flat.
Repeat this process on the remaining dashed lines.
Step Three: Form Your Box
Use your glue stick to make a line of adhesive along the outside of the tabs on the front panel.
Gently press one of the tabs against the inside edge of the side panel next to it. Make sure the edge of the side panel is flush with the seam of the tab, repositioning the pieces as necessary. When you are happy with their placement, hold the two pieces firmly together for about ten seconds so the glue can form a bond between them.
Do the same for the other front tab. Your box should now look something like this:
Turn the box around and glue the tabs on the back panel to the other edge of the side panels.
Check all the tabs to make sure the glue is setting properly. You may find some spots that are starting to come apart a little. Use your fingers to press them back together with medium pressure until they stay in place.
Finally, once the glue is fully dried, your box is ready to use!
How To Use Your Cricut Or Other Cutting Machine To Make A DIY Gift Box
If you own a Cricut or other brand of digital cutting machine, you can easily skip the first few steps of the tutorial and have your machine do most of the work for you!
Download our free cut file and load the SVG into Design Space, Silhouette Studio, or whatever software your machine uses.
In the layers panel, set the shape outline to cut. Set all remaining lines to score. The exact process for this will vary between different software programs, so if you don’t already know where to locate those settings, refer to your software’s user manual for more guidance.
Load your material into your cutting machine and follow the prompts to score and cut your box. If you plan to use a specific side of your material for the outside of your box, make sure you load it into your cutting machine with that side facing away from your blade and scoring wheel/stylus. Otherwise, your score lines will be in the wrong direction, and you won’t be able to fold your box properly.
From there, you can jump to step three of the main tutorial to glue and assemble your box.
Want to use the same floral pattern as the print method? We’ve included a full-color PDF of the design with the cut file. Print that onto a piece of cardstock first, then cut and score it on your cutting machine using the SVG template.
Tips And Tricks
- Take your time cutting and folding your box. While it doesn’t need to be perfect, each part of the box is designed and sized to fit together with all of the other parts. If you cut or fold one piece in the wrong place, the other parts of the box will have to accommodate the difference.
- If you don’t have a scoring tool, hold your ruler against your fold line and carefully fold the paper against the ruler’s edge. The ruler will make a crease in the cardstock similar to a regular scoring line, though it won’t be as crisp.
- If you want to use a piece of scrapbook paper or patterned cardboard instead of our printable design, just print the second page of our PDF file and cut out the box shape along the solid cut lines. Then you can use it as a template to draw the cut lines on the back of whatever paper you want to use.
- You can further decorate your finished box by adding jute, ribbons, bows, and other embellishments to the outside to make it even more personalized.
- If you don’t want to use glue to assemble your box, double-sided tape is an easy mess-free alternative to keep your box together.
- If your score lines in the cut file are ungrouping in Cricut Design Space when you preview your cutting mat, go back to the canvas, select all elements in the layers panel, and choose Attach from the actions menu.
What do you put in the bottom of the box, especially for jewelry?
You can put almost anything in the bottom of your finished box. It is meant to cushion your item, which is especially important for jewelry pieces that could break or tangle if left to rattle around.
You can use things like confetti or shredded paper (and add even more personality by making it yourself out of colorful or patterned paper), a folded up piece of fabric, or even a little cushion sewn and stuffed to the size of the box.
If you want something closer to the gauzy cotton sheets you’d find inside a store-bought jewelry box, buy some thin quilt batting online or from your local craft store and cut a piece to fit the bottom of your box. This will also allow you to tuck chains or strings underneath to keep the item in place and avoid tangles.
What can I put in my DIY gift box?
Jewelry, small toys, candies, mason jar gifts--anything you can think of, really! These boxes are great for breaking up larger bulk items like Hershey’s Kisses into individual servings.
They are also a unique way to package up your handmade creations if you sell them online or at craft fairs, and they make it easier for your customers to gift them to others after purchasing.
Can I make the box bigger?
If you are using our free cut file on your digital cutting machine, it is much easier to make your box larger or smaller to suit your project. Scale up the cut and score layers to the preferred size and cut as usual. Just make sure you scale both layers together. If you scale them separately, it will be much harder to ensure they are still proportional and lined up properly afterward.
Whether you’re looking for a cute and unique solution for a single gift or building custom favors for a special occasion, making your own printable boxes like this DIY Gift Box or this Easter Bunny Basket is a fun solution.
What little treasures would you put in these boxes? Let us know in the comments!