Well, if you have some schmancy jewellery, cut a box out of card stock (comic backing boards work very well, or repurpose a cereal box or something). Cover it with nice paper and glue sparingly to secure. The lid should be about 2mm larger than the bottom for a nice fit.
You can do a box at least two different ways. One is to cut a square or rectangle (or any shape) from card, measure the perimeter, and cut a strip of card that length. Tape the card to the shape then cover the whole thing with paper, wrapping it sort of like you would do gift wrapping on a present. Allow extra for covering the inside of the container, bringing the paper over the sides and tacking it down to the bottom with little dots of glue. Then you cut out a liner for the bottom to cover up the seams, winding up with a very smart box that you can customize with any kind of wrapping paper, magazine pages, photos you print, fabric, whatever.
The other way to do a box is to cut out what is basically a big plus sign from card or heavy paper and somehow join the edges together. You can handsew it with embroidery floss, lightweight wire, yarn, sinew, leather lace, whatever, or punch holes in the sides and install grommets if you're feeling really fancy and then tie those together with ribbon (a great look for a pyramid-shaped box, just punch holes at the top and put your gift in a big wad of tissue paper inside).
If you make a basic box you can then add something on top like seashells, feathers, pom poms, or what is that thing... oh yeah, a bow! Just to make it a little more special. Or you can attach a little flat plaque (look in the scrap book aisle for little metal plaques with sayings on) or just layer a couple of different kinds of paper. The point here is that the box becomes a second gift in itself, so your recipent can store little treasures in it for a long time.
Colorful electric or duct tape makes really sturdy and water resistant box covers. If you're after paper, you can get many different kinds on the scrapbook aisle at a craft store, or even at some walmarts.
Finally, there are numerous tutorials on origami box making.
I like to use weird containers for gifting. I gave my brother a really nice watch for his Navy graduation and wrapped it in a McDonald's big mac box and sack (clean, of course) just to be smarmy. (Here ya go, congratulations! have a big mac.) You can use the ever-moddable altoids container, a little fabric bag, a plastic easter egg, or anything really.
I saw a thing where someone had taken lightweight rope, like clothesline, and covered a round oatmeal box with it (paint the upper edge first where the lid will fit on). Then they glued on some sea shells and dried starfish so it was beach themed. It worked! I was impressed, the total cost on that was about a dollar if you have the container already.
I've used empty paint cans (you can buy them empty at a hardware store) and attached a paint key with a ribbon. Glass bottles or jars can be neat, as can tins (check the thrift shops!). If you want to give a small item like a ring, you can put it in a box of chocolates or candy, nicely wrapped in a bit of tissue with a little ribbon, in an empty spot (you'll have to empty the spot yourself nom nom). Recently I gifted someone a couple of chain maille necklaces and put them in a wooden craft box ($1 or so at the craft store) I had covered with paper and then coated with polyurethane. I mounted the necklaces on the above-mentioned comic backing boards.
Packaging is only as limited as your imagination. A little tape, glue, paint, and patterned paper can go a very long way, so just have fun!
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Out of what material?
Out of a heavy cardstock?