Picture of Sturdy randomly shaped paper mache box.
Hello there!

In this instructable I'll show you how to create a box made mainly out of cardboard and papier mache, in the shape of anything you like.

I originally made this as a present for my girlfriend, as a travel box for her ancient stuffed animal that by now is hanging together with nothing but spit and prayer, but she still insists to take it everywhere :-). So I needed something sturdy, and with a very specific shape (For  orginitality's sake, I didn't want to settle with just a rectangular box.)

This instructable is based on Bindlestiff's anatomical heart shaped box, so a lot of credit goes to him.

It took me about 10 hours to complete (but I went for the deluxe finish, with a felt sheet inside so the bunny is real comfy in there :-D)

So! Let's get started.

*cheers* Thanks a lot for the frontpage feature, guys!
This encourages me to post more of my random craftings to instructables.
My problem is that I usually just forget to take pictures along the way :-)
Thanks again for the recognition, I'm honored !

Step 1: Needed

Picture of Needed

- Cardboard.
I used a sheet of about 2mm. thick for the bottom and top of the box, and just cereal box carboard for the sides.
Just have a look at what you have laying around. The cardboard doesn't determine the sturdyness yet, the paper mache glue/varnish  will.

- Newspaper

- Paper mache glue / varnish / isolator.
I used this specialized product I found in the local hobby shop, it's a glue/varnish by a brand named "Artemio" (artemio.be). It can be used both to glue the strips of paper to the cardboard and each other, and to add a finishing coat of varnish. It becomes very hard when it dries.
But I'm pretty sure wallpaper paste (or any other paste normally used for paper mache) will also work, just make sure that it hardens when it dries.

- Glue
Preferably something that dries quickly, like superglue.

- Paint
I used acryllics.

- Tape

- (optional) Some sheets of felt (or any cloth at all) to decorate the inside.

- (optional) A filling paste of some sorts, to smooth out the inside edges.


Very basic; drawing tools, a cutter, a ruler, a brush, and a stapler if you want to decorate the inside with cloth.

pphaty1 year ago
Love it
Dyte (author)  pphaty1 year ago
*reads the part about wallpaper paste* Good, finally, I can finish the stupid thing off.
Cynicism aside, this looks awesome. I can't wait to try it!
Dyte (author)  KwartzKitten3 years ago
Hey, do show me when you make something of it !
You got it!
Sawowie XD3 years ago
I've seen felt with a sticky back on it that might work instead of stapling the felt, i've never used it before. just a suggestion. otherwise this is definitely something i'm going to try in the future, i always loved paper mache as a kid
Dyte (author)  Sawowie XD3 years ago
Ah, felt with a sticky back would've been very helpful and time saving :-).
Still, staples provide the strength for attaching the felt the way I did, folded over the top edges.
At first I was struggling to find a way to hide the staples on the inside, but then they turned out looking quite okay, because I put them regularly.
Please share pictures of what you'll be making with this !
scoochmaroo3 years ago
Fantastic. I think your last picture would make an even more compelling intro image. It's so sweet!
Dyte (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
Good idea!
I also uploaded a bunny-in-the-box picture to the last step :)
The bunny fits in so perfectly! Awesome! I thought it was the doughboy at first. A bunny is much better!