Ah shipping boxes! There is no shortage of them here at my house. How about yours? With the increased popularity of online shopping these cardboard containers seem to accumulate like dust bunnies under a couch! Especially around the holidays. I always save shipping boxes and shipping supplies to reuse when I need to ship something. However, the times I actually need to ship something are few and far between. The stack of shipping boxes in my basement started to pile up, yet I was determined to figure out a way to reuse them. Turns out all I needed to do was think “Outside the box”…literally. By dressing up the outside of a plain old cardboard shipping box you can easily turn it into a lovely gift box!
I first got the idea for recycling shipping boxes into gift boxes when I started getting orders for paper flower arrangements. I needed something sturdier than a gift bag to transport them and I knew the shipping boxes would make great containers with a few tweaks.
By removing the flaps off the top of the box I was able to cover it with stamped brown paper and place the flowers inside without crushing the blooms. *Shipping boxes with the flaps removed are great for hard to wrap gifts…just add tissue paper and you’ve got the perfect gift box!
The Brown Paper is recycled packaging from another shipping box. I created a custom stamp using a large acrylic block and a variety of stamps from my collection. Simply stamp the brown paper with Archival Ink in Sepia and use a glue stick to adhere the paper to the box.
Another quick and easy way to alter a shipping box is to use a large block stamp. There are plenty of large block stamps available from craft retailers. This flower and text stamp from Hero Arts is a personal favorite of mine. It helps to flatten the box before stamping but you don’t have to. Just place your hand on the underside of the box as you stamp to get a clean image. Add a pop of color by hot gluing ribbon to the rim of the box and add a decorative brad to the center.
I don’t ship packages often but when I do I like to dress my packages up a bit.(I really didn’t mean to sound like the Dos Equis guy there) Everyone loves to get mail and a colorful package makes for some serious “Happy Mail”. Add color to a plain shipping box by dabbing on Distress Stains and stamping with Distress ink.
Small boxes from jewelry, candy or gift cards can also be recycled into unique gift boxes. For light-colored boxes simply stamp and edge the sides with Distress ink.
Cover up the logo with a paper flower. I’ve used paper flowers left over from this Pretty in Pink Flower arrangement and attached them to the box with a decorative brad. Don’t have a die cutting machine? No problem! You can easily make beautiful paper flowers with paper punches. Check out my tutorial to learn how.
Darker colored boxes can be updated with scrapbook paper and Mod Podge. I created this gift box by layering tissue paper and paper scraps from past projects.
Now is the perfect time to start turning shipping boxes into gift boxes (the holidays will be here before you know it). It also helps to have some on hand if you need to give a last-minute gift. I just received a package today and I can’t wait to turn it into a gift box. It’s a white one and just ripe for the altering!
Before I go I just wanted to wish a very Happy Birthday to LESSology! They are a wonderful challenge blog all about up-cycling and doing more with less. In honor of LESSology I have created a link collection of all the projects created for their monthly challenges.
Thanks for all the inspiration Lessology…Have a happy happy birthday!