Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Make a unique decoupaged gift or storage box

Decoupage is a great way create unique pieces and use vintage papers and ephemera in crafting. And it's simple to do too! If you use old boxes and book pages, as I've done in this tutorial, it's also a thrifty way to make special gift boxes or storage boxes for your home.

Decoupage tutorial - Pink Flamingo Handcrafting

Obviously, the final use of the box depends on the size you choose to decoupage. Here I use a small box that was originally a gift box for a purse. It's a nice one to use as it's plain apart from the original logo on the front so I've just covered the lid. If you wanted to create a very fancy piece you could cover the whole thing!

You will need:

how to make a decoupaged gift box
decoupaged gift box tutorial

  • A cardboard box (whatever size you need or have)
  • PVA glue
  • a brush to glue with
  • scissors
  • water
  • a book to cut up or a pack of vintage paper embellishments

Step 1

If you're using an old book, cut out the pictures you want to use to decorate your box. If you're using a bought pack of embellishments, choose the pictures you'd like to use.

Take the lid off the box. Without gluing them - place the pictures over the box lid to see how many you'll need and the best way to arrange them.

paper ephemera tutorial

Step 2

When you're happy with where the pictures will go you can start to glue them down. Spread PVA glue over the back of the picture and press it in place where you'd like it to go on the lid. Don't worry about using too much glue as it's important they're stuck down well. If glue splurges from under the picture you can either cover it with another picture or brush it out as you'll be sealing the box later.

decoupage using paper ephemera

Let some of the pieces hang over the edges of the lid. These can be trimmed later. Fill in small gaps with smaller pictures or leave some of the original box lid showing through.

decoupaging with vintage paper tutorial

Keep going until you're happy that the box is completely covered.

how to make a decoupaged gift box

Step 3

Turn the lid over and use your scissors to trim away any overhanging papers.

paper ephemera craft project

Step 4

Now you'll need to seal the pictures. To do this mix some PVA glue with a little water (I use a mix of about 5 parts glue to 1 part water, but it's not an exact science!). Take a brush and spread this mixture over the lid of your box. Make the layer thick enough to create a glaze but thin enough to not soak the box.

sealing decoupage

Leave the box to dry. I like to then give it a second coat with the glue and water mixture. Leave this to dry completely before using your box.

And there you have your unique decoupaged box. Try them in different sizes and with different papers to use in a variety of ways.

Decoupaged gift box tutorial - Pink Flamingo Handcrafting


  1. great idea, I've got a lot of little boxes that would benefit from this!

  2. Beautiful box and love all the little birds, flowers and floral.... so fun. Thanks for sharing it on your #simplybebetsy gallery! Sharon and Denise