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12 Days of Christmas DIY Giveaway Day 9: Upcycled Gift Box!


***UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Lena! Thanks for entering everyone. Be sure you enter all the other giveaways that are live while you still can!***

Well it’s time to take a break from decorations and get in the gift giving mood. Last year’s Pillow Box gift card holder inspired this years “Upcycled Gift Box”. Don’t forget to enter to win your very own at the end of the post.

Growing up there was a long running joke (and still is) that you never believe the box your gift comes wrapped in. If our gift really was reflected on the label on the box, I would have gotten so many boxes of Cheerios and Shredded Wheat over the years that my pantry would STILL be stocked to over flowing. We always saved boxes and old habits die hard. Especially when they’re quality material.

We are avid recycle-ers in this house and our bins are always over full, but I just couldn’t toss out the “box” for today’s DIY Giveaway. So without further ado, Day 9’s craft.

Step 1: Grab your supplies (out of the recycling bin if you have to).

Step 2: Measure your carton’s circumference (all the way around the outside of your carton) , height and the diameter  of the inside of the lid. Mine measured about 12½” around, 7″ long and 4″ in diameter.

Now I chose to go neutral on this one. I considered wrapping my can in some festive scrapbook paper, but after measuring, I knew that a standard 12″ x 12″ piece of paper would leave me with a gap. That just wouldn’t do. I had plenty of Christmas wrap, but wanted the option of changing up the embellishments so that this “box” could be used throughout the year for a variety of occasions. So I went with brown craft paper. You can get this pretty cheap, like at the Dollar Store.

Step 3: Cut out a piece of your wrapping paper. Since my measurements were 12½” x 7″ I cut out a piece that was 13¼” x 7¼” so that there would be sufficient overlap to ensure full coverage.

I then took my compass and since I needed a 4″ circle I made sure that the points were 2″ apart and drew 2 circles; 1 for the top and 1 to cover the bottom. Don’t forget to, cut them out.

Now if you have a fancy adjustable circle cutter by all means bust it out. I do have 1 but I’ve never been very happy with it. It moves around too much and it can only cut a circle in the center of a piece of paper otherwise the paper underneath tends to shift around…very aggravating.

I like to use my compass because it reminds me of my early school years and it is fun to let the kids play with. They get so excited when they can use a devise and draw a perfect circle. At least it wows my 3 year old.

Before moving on to the next step, check your work and make sure your coverage piece will do the job.

Step 4: Next, we apply some spray adhesive to the outside of the carton. I like to use it because it gives you a clean and neat method of applying paper or ribbon to another object, but it can be messy. For this reason, I rigged up my own fancy spray booth or as I like to call it, an old cardboard box.

Back in my college days when I was pursuing a degree in Arizona State’s, college of Architecture I became intimately familiar with spray adhesive and was often utilizing the spray booths on campus. Now I do it at home.

Anywho, give the outside of your carton a good spray down and quickly apply your paper to the outside while the adhesive is still wet. If you wait too long it will still be tacky, but the connection will be more of a temporary application instead of something more permanent. If you hit a snag, just take the paper off and try again giving the can another good spray.

I found it best to line up the top edge of my paper with the top of the carton leaving an overlap at the bottom.

After you’ve cover the outside you’ll have a bit of overlap. Carefully spray the underside of the paper and press it down onto the carton finishing your outer wrapping. You could also use glue or double sided tape for this if you’re concerned about over-spray.

Step 5: with the paper hanging out past the bottom of your carton, give the bottom and inside edges of your paper a quick spray with the adhesive and begin tucking the paper down into the void at the bottom of your carton. While the glue is still wet, place 1 of the 4″ circles you cut out earlier into the center and press the outside edges into the curved edges of the carton. It should look something like this…

Repeat this process with the remaining 4″ circle and cover the top of the carton’s lid, like so. I put a little too much glue down and the paper looks a bit wet in the picture, but it’ll dry and return to it normal kraft paper color.

Step 6: The last step is to embellish the outside edge of your carton.

You could simply stretch an infant headband around it like this, where the decoration doubles as an additional gift.

Or you could glue on a felt flower with a little baker’s twine like so…

I went with the latter and added a hanging tag. I lined with tag with some red washi tape and wrote directly on the tape. By doing this, when the gift giving time is over, I can simply remove the tape and it’s ready to give again. Just add another strip of tape and relabel.

I love the way this turned out. I also love how frugal it was to give a gift in a package that is sure to wow it’ recipient. Now, if you want this under YOUR tree this Christmas, enter to win it!

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