DIY: Build a Box and Lid

I love putting my creative instincts to good use in a 3d world, and that means I get a kick out of building boxes. There’s something magical about turning a little chipboard or cardboard and a little tape into a functional container, and it seems like I have plenty of opportunities to do just that.

The basics of building a box with a lid (which I call a hatbox) are very basic indeed. I drew up a little sample sheet with the very simplest version. Use cardboard or chipboard, scissors or a craft knife, and your favorite tape.

My challenge today was building a gift box for a set of wine glasses. (Recognize the etching process?)

I measured the length, depth, and height of the set, and got my favorite materials out.IMG_0916_buildabox


  • Chipboard Pieces
  • Gummed Paper Tape – I like working with this kind of tape when I’m using chipboard or cardboard. It starts out un-tacky, and when you wet it with a sponge it is like you poured a whole bunch of glue on it. It can be kind of messy, but you can shift it around until it dries, making it very forgiving.
  • Craft Knife
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

First I cut the 5 pieces for the bottom of the box, and pieces of tape for each seam.

Since I knew some of the tape would show on the final box, I made sure to cut an angle on any piece of tape that overlapped another piece- especially on corners.

To place the tape correctly on the board, I first laid the board out perfectly on my mat. I left a board’s width between each piece to allow for them to fold.

I used a wet rag moisten each piece where I needed it, then attached the tape pieces to my boards.


I’ve outlined my tape pieces here. The first pieces I placed were the a’s, then I moved on to b, then c.

I flipped the whole thing over, and started folding up and taping the sides (applying more water to keep the tape sticky and smoothing out any bubbles.)


With the bottom portion of the box completed, I measured the outside of the completed box and added about 1/8 of an inch to allow the lid to close easily. I chose 5″ at the height of the lid, and built another box like the first, using those dimensions.

I’m a big fan of a simple kraft colored box, but since this was a gift, I wanted to add a little pizazz. I printed a design on card stock, and cut it down to fit each side of the box lid. I used spray mount to adhere it to the box.

Then added a little ribbon, a card…
< a href=””>IMG_0993_buildabox
and a divider inside to kept the glasses from clanking.

I’m super happy with the way this box turned out– a perfect fit for gifting and storing the glasses.

I hope you can build off the simple instruction sheet to create the perfect home for your treasures, and of course some treasures for your home.



  1. […] In the vacuum of cyberspace, I don’t get a chance to see too many examples of this, so while these little scenarios exist mainly in my brain, I thought I would share a simple display project inspired by my friend Tara (who LOVES spray paint), using the method from the box tutorial. […]