Introduction: Shipping Container Tissue Box

Picture of Shipping Container Tissue Box

Hello everyone! I started my craft hobby building papercraft models. The reason is that it uses the easiest to find, flexible, and cheap material – paper. Another reason is that most of papercraft’s blueprint or template can be obtain online for free. And with paper, you can replicate your model as many as you can; so you don’t have to worry about messing up your first build.

Today I’m going to share with you guys how to make a miniature shipping container model out of paper. Well, not the ordinary printing paper but I use mounting board, a sort of card stock with a thickness of 1mm. To make the model useful I turned it into a tissue box cover. Hence the name Shipping Container Tissue Box.

I have to say the design was based on Shipping Containers by lasercutcard. They sell tabletop wargames accessories using laser-cut card stock. You can check them out here.

I draw my own template to fit in the tissue box’s size where you can download it in the next few steps.

Step 1: ​Gather Your Materials and Tools

Picture of ​Gather Your Materials and Tools


  • Mounting Board/Display Board.

- It’s a great material to work with; not too thick nor too thin, easily cut and fold, and stick nicely with PVA glue. I pick a black-colored board with an inner white side for this project. The black side will be the inner side instead, so that I can paint onto the white surface.


  • Craft knife/X-acto knife/cutting mat.
  • White PVA Glue.
  • The usual tools – marker pen/ruler etc.
  • Paint and brushes – I use two types of paints for this project; a water based craft paint and acrylic paint tubes. Same goes with brushes, I use a mix of paint brush and sponge brush to do the job.
  • Leather Hole Punch (optional) – this is for punching the small holes. Not necessarily to have but it’ll make your life much easier.

Step 2: ​Draw the Template

Picture of ​Draw the Template

I made the template in its actual size in A4 paper, so you can print it out on paper and trace it onto the mounting board. Except for Part A1, since it’s too big for an A4 size. You’ll need to follow the dimension for Part A1 in the template to draw it on the board.

Step 3: Cut the Template

Picture of Cut the Template

Carefully cut out the template. The number of parts are as follows:

Part A1 – 1 piece.

Part B1 to B4 – 4 pieces.

Part C1 to C7 – 7 pieces.

Part D1 to D9 – 9 pieces.

Total number of parts: 21 pieces.

Step 4: Draw the Shipping Logo

Picture of Draw the Shipping Logo

I choose to make a shipping container bearing MAERSK logo on it. I found that it’s easier to draw the logo before assembling the parts.

Step 5: Assemble the Parts

Picture of Assemble the Parts

Follow the instruction steps from image above or refer to the animated gif to assemble the parts. Apply sufficient amount of glue to attach the layered parts. On one end of the container/box, the “door” can be open to place the tissue box inside.

Step 6: Paint the Box

Picture of Paint the Box

Paint the whole box white with a sponge brush (2 layers) and the logo details with smaller brush.

Step 7: Put in the Tissue Box…and Done!!

Picture of Put in the Tissue Box…and Done!!

I use a 170ply tissue box which fits perfectly in this shipping container. If your tissue box doesn’t fit just take out the tissue paper and place it inside the compartment.

Step 8: Add Rusty Effect (Optional)

Picture of Add Rusty Effect (Optional)

Okay we’re actually not done yet. If you’re happy with your tissue box as in Step 7 you can stop there. I’m stepping up the game by adding a rusty effect to my shipping container. The inspiration comes from a blog post by miniaturecreationsbymatt72 on his Guntruck Factory Shipping Container.

(Sorry I don’t have the photos for this steps) First, add a light grey color to the box, apply a darker tone on the edges and a thinner layer towards the center. Next, use the sponge brush to carefully dab a small amount of brown paint to the edges, around the holes and circles. Those are the places where rust usually formed. Finally add a watered-down orange paint over the brown spots to complete the rusty effect.

I’m not that good at painting but I’m glad that it turns out to be okay – considering that I only use paint brush. Therefore it’s up to you to finish the box either as a shining-brand-new or old-and-rusty shipping container.

Hope you like it! =)

- ardee


PardoByNight (author)2017-04-16

very cool

apapercraft (author)PardoByNight2017-04-17

Thank you! =)

ramzifar made it! (author)2017-04-08

thank you for this amazing project!!

attached an autocad 2D laser cutting file (.dwg) with a 3D of the container. If
you are not familiar with the software just take the file to any laser center
or library that has a laser machine and tell the operator to use 1 mm
white carboard 100*70cm (not much expensive, it cost me $7 to buy and cut the
board but it gives very clean results for a thick surface and ideal for
painting – like painting wood).

may find yourself not using all the cut elements especially those small
rectangles for the opening doors, instead I did duplicates for the doors but
the perimeter was offset to a 1mm distance so it would fit properly in the
frame. I used tape with glue to make them swing with the tape strip being
squeezed between the 2 duplicates. In any case you can use your own imagination
and method to attach the doors.

apapercraft (author)ramzifar2017-04-08

Wow. It's looks great! Thank you for the tips.

Cris DIY (author)2017-04-06

Nice work! Congrats on the Papercraft contest prize!

apapercraft (author)Cris DIY2017-04-06

Thanks Cris. Congrats to you too! =)

Cris DIY (author)apapercraft2017-04-07

Thank you :)

Eh Lie Us! (author)2017-04-03

Very, very cool!

apapercraft (author)Eh Lie Us!2017-04-03

Thank you! =)

shazni (author)2017-03-31

Congrats in making it to the finalists! Love the end realistic !

apapercraft (author)shazni2017-03-31

Congrats to you too for making it to the final round! =)

Folda Fett (author)2017-03-31

Cool looking tissue box!

apapercraft (author)Folda Fett2017-03-31

Thank you. =)

Rosa funibus (author)2017-03-31


apapercraft (author)Rosa funibus2017-03-31


Builders Shed (author)2017-03-28

What a great instructable! hope you win the contest! thanks for sharing by the way!

Thank you very much for your support! =)

WadCutter1 (author)2017-03-27

Thank you for your kind consideration. Most appreciated. This will blow my wife's mind not to mention all of those in Card Stock/Paper Modeling. I have several friends who will also enjoy this, after I make it for them. What a perfect way to camouflage a everyday item we all use. Thank you and looking forward to your post. wc

apapercraft (author)WadCutter12017-03-27

No problem at all. I do agree that the final rust effect might pose as a challenge to some. I can remodel the design so that anyone can print it on hard paper (180gsm/200gsm) and it comes printed with color, logo, rust and all. But I might make it smaller, perhaps suitable for pocket size tissue. And I would not update it on this page but I'll create a new Instructables on it instead. So, stay tune! =)

WadCutter1 (author)2017-03-26

I should be grateful but as I'm a artist and have a hard time drawing a straight line I will have to let this project go by. It's a good one but for us who can't draw it might have been nicer to allow us to down load the box parts all panted even with the rust. But thank you all the same. wc

apapercraft (author)WadCutter12017-03-26

Hi, thanks for your suggestion. That's one good idea. I'll see what I can do to make a template inclusive the logo, rust and all. =)

PURVAKD (author)2017-03-26

Will make it in weekend.

apapercraft (author)PURVAKD2017-03-26

Can't wait to see the finished product. =)

Darthorso (author)2017-03-24

This is brilliant! :D :D :D

apapercraft (author)Darthorso2017-03-24

Thank you. =)

misko13 (author)2017-03-23

This is such a great idea. I love miniatures and models but I hardly find the way to make them useful.

apapercraft (author)misko132017-03-23

Thanks! I like miniatures too. And yes it is hard to make them useful except for display.

Voted for you!

Thanks! =)

deluges (author)2017-03-23

Them tissues are huuuuge

apapercraft (author)deluges2017-03-23

Lol :D

rainingfiction (author)2017-03-22

I thought this was a real shipping crate (which is stupid because shipping crates are huge)! Love it!!

Haha..thanks! I've wanted to make it more realistic with lockrods, handle and everything but probably for the next project.

watchmeflyy (author)2017-03-22

Nice rust effect!

apapercraft (author)watchmeflyy2017-03-22

Thanks! =)

Pernickety Jon (author)2017-03-21

It looks really good. The rust effect makes it 'come to life'.
The tissue box idea is very clever - I often make things that get forgotten because they don't have any practical use.
Maybe you could sell it to the Maersk company as 'Corporate Art'?

Thank you! I do like making things that serves as dual-purpose. Because I only need to work on a single project instead of two. Lol

seamster (author)2017-03-20

These are great techniques, and the finished results are excellent! Very well done :)

apapercraft (author)seamster2017-03-20

Thank you Sam =)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi! You can call me Ardee. I'm a specialist (self claim) in paper and cardboard related DIY projects. You can see more of my ... More »
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