Fancy Rigid Gift Boxes




Introduction: Fancy Rigid Gift Boxes

About: I design and produce luxury packaging and presentation products for businesses and individuals in the UK and worldwide. I work mainly with paper, card and grey-board to create anything from mobile phone packag…

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Time to start wrapping those presents!

If you're aiming to impress someone special this season why not level up the presentation with a custom made, rigid gift box?

I use this technique to produce high quality mock ups for my customers. The result feels solid and substantial and oozes quality. Follow the simple instructions below and you can make a stunning, store bought quality, box that your loved one will want to keep hold of.

You can design your box to snugly fit a rectangular gift like a phone or, with some tissue paper, it can be the perfect solution to package an awkwardly shaped item or something comprising multiple parts. In the example I’ve used paper I had lying around to cover the box but you could use something more fancy like wrapping paper or perhaps something with a custom message printed onto it.

This is my first Instructable so if you like this post please vote for me in the "First Time Authors" contest :)

Step 1: Supplies

Board (ideally 2mm thick) lined or unlined
Lining Paper (if board is not lined)
Covering paper, 100gsm-150gsm (high quality wrapping paper will do).
Masking tape
Utility knife
Metal Ruler
Pen or Pencil
Glue (PVA or Spray)
Bone folder or something similar
Ribbons or other embellishments

Step 2: Preparing Your Materials

First measure the item you want to put in the box to determine it's inside dimensions.
Length (L), width (W) and height (L)

If you're looking for a snug fit I would recommend adding 4mm to the Length and Width. You can also add a small lip at the top of the box. My Redmi 3 phone box measures L=149mm, W=80mm, H=63mm so the internal dimensions I'm using are L=153mm, W=84mm, H=66mm.

To calculate the box dimensions you can use the formulas below or, if you don't have the time/patience, I've created a presentation box calculator that will do the leg work for you.

Base Board Length A = 2 x H + L
Base Board Width B = 2 x H + W
Lid Board Length C = 2 x H + L + 8
Lid Board Width D = 2 x H + W + 8

Spacer Length E = 2 x H + L + 40
Spacer Width F = H

Base Cover Length G = 2 x H + L + 40
Base Cover Width H = 2 x H + W + 40
Lid Cover Length I = 2 x H + L+ 8 + 40
Lid Cover Width J = 2 x H + W + 8 + 40

Use the resulting dimensions to cut some board for the base (A x B) and the lid (C x D)

Cut a piece of board to E x F. This will be used as a spacer to help make sure all of the sides are creased to an equal size.

Cut the cover paper for the base (G x H) and for the lid (I x J)

If you’re using unlined board you might want to cut some paper to the same dimensions and stick it to the inner side of the board at this point. Give the paper a good press down all over and allow to dry. I’ve skipped this process as I’m using board that is white lined on one side.

Step 3: Cutting the Board and Paper

Turn the boards over so the unlined side is facing upwards.

Take the lid board and align the the pacer along one edge. If you're concerned about accuracy you can butt them both up together against something flat to align them.

Use your knife to score along the opposite edge of the spacer. You are looking to cut half way through the board so that the side can be easily folded up.

This part can be tricky to start with so I’d recommend practicing on some scrap board until you feel confident. A good tip is to do a number of light scores until you reach the required depth. This will help to avoid accidentally cutting all the way through the board. Repeat this process for the other 3 sides.

Use your knife again to cut out the 4 corners, leaving a net of your box lid. Repeat this process with the base board.

At this stage it is a good idea add some positioning marks to the cover. Draw a line 20mm from two perpendicular sides on the reverse of the lid cover paper. Use these to align the lid board to the centre as shown. With a pen or pencil, lightly trace around the corners of the board as shown. Repeat with the base cover.

Following this next bit carefully will ensure your corners are neat and crisp:
Measure 2mm from the corner outwards towards along the length of the lid cover and make a small mark as shown.

Cut from this mark along the line all the way to the edge of the paper. Now cut a wedge out as shown as approximately 30 degrees from the first cut. It doesn’t matter if it’s not precise as it will be covered up anyway.

Next cut the corners out to create the tabs. I usually make the tabs 20mm wide but it is up to you and the size of box you are making.

Step 4: Taping the Corners

    Fold each side of the box over all the way so it touches the centre. This will break the fibres in the board and reduce bowing when finished.

    Fold two sides up 90 degrees so that the corners touch. To ensure a good fit make sure they are touching exactly on the corner as shown.

    Take a 3cm or 1” piece of masking tape and wrap around the corner as shown. Ensure that you pull it tight to that the corners are forced together. This will make the box nice and rigid. If you box is quite tall you might want to add another piece of tape half way down the side for extra rigidity.

    Repeat with all 7 of the other corners. It’s starting to look like a box now isn’t it?

    Check that the lid fits over the base as expected. There should be quite a bit of play at this stage but don't worry, this will reduce once the cover is applied.

    Step 5: Wrapping the Box

    Now the tricky part!

    Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of the lid cover. You can use PVA but I like to use 3M Display Mount as it’s quicker, less messy and gives a really strong bond.

    Place the box lid on to the paper as shown using the traced lines as a guide. You want to align the right angles of the guide marks with the corner profile of the corners. Turn over and rub the paper down on the surface.

    Fold the sides up and tabs round in the sequence shown. Make sure you pull the sides tight as you fold them round to prevent unsightly air pockets from developing.

    There is a bit of a knack to folding the corners round over the rim of the box. If you get it right it should result in a neat, flat corner. I've added some more photos in the next step to help illustrate what I mean.

      Step 6: Finishing Touches

      Use your bone folder or something flat like the back of a comb to smooth down all the edges and prevent air bubbles from occurring.

      All that is left to do is add any decorations such as ribbons, glitter or anything else you like.

      That's it, you're finished!

      I've added some bonus images to this step to highlight how the edges should look.

      If you have any success with these instructions or if you think anything is missing I'd love to hear from you in the comments or visit my site

      Merry Christmas and good luck!

      Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

      Participated in the
      Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

      First Time Authors Contest 2016

      Participated in the
      First Time Authors Contest 2016

      2 People Made This Project!


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      Question 2 years ago on Introduction

      Thanks for sharing! Could you please tell me what kind of board did you use? What is the weight and/or thickness? And where did you purchase it?

      Showcase Creative
      Showcase Creative

      Reply 3 years ago

      Thanks for getting in touch. It looks like our blog has gone down. I'll contact our web guys and hopefully have it back up and running asap. Thanks for the heads up and best of luck with your box making!


      Reply 3 years ago

      No worries! 4 other things -- 3 corrections and 1 helpful hint on adhesive, for readers in the USA and elsewhere ex-Europe:
      A) There's an error in the calculator, for line E - the spacer board length calculation is wrong by 8mm too much. OR there's an error in the formula in the article - you forgot to add the extra 8mm (i.e. should be 2 x H + L + 40 + 8) to match the lid cover length, rather than the base cover length.
      B) The PDF attached has the wrong formulas for cover dimensions - I'm glad I noticed the discrepancy as I was cutting the pieces from my printout! It's missing the add'l 40mm in all 4 cover dimensions.
      C) Minor spelling correction - in Step 3 you've got "pacer" for "spacer".
      D) 3M Display Mount is apparently a European branding. In the USA 3M markets its consumer sprays mostly under the Scotch brand*, and commercials sprays have a different 3M-branded lineup that has numbers: 45, 77, 90, etc. There doesn't seem to be an equivalent in the US market; looks like the closest is the Scotch Spray Mount, which says "for layouts, posters, presentations...", and is repositionable but permanent, which sounds like a plus to me. There's also Scotch Super 77, which looks stronger, and says - "fast aggressive tack and low soak-in" and good for paper & cardboard + many other mat'ls, also repositionable/permanent. Other major brands - Krylon, Gorilla, Elmers, etc. - all make what look like very similar equivalents.

      Again, thanks!

      *(I can see why it might not be branded "Scotch" in the UK - that being whisky (not
      whiskey!), and not Scottish, or Scots either.... Scotch tape is our
      equivalent of Sellotape - they're both brand names but we both
      apparently use them generically.)


      5 years ago

      Great instructable for this time of year! Thanks for making it easy enough for me to do! (Great instructions, great photos!) I'm going to use Christmas wrapping paper for some boxes, and highway maps for other boxes!
      Thanks for creating such a great instructable!

      Showcase Creative
      Showcase Creative

      Reply 5 years ago

      Thanks Paula!

      I love the highway maps idea. It would be great to see some pics when you're done.


      5 years ago

      I love the DIY boxes I've seen done with washi paper, I can never get it to lay smoothly though. This looks great!

      Showcase Creative
      Showcase Creative

      Reply 5 years ago

      Thank you!

      It's my first Instructable. I was worried about how the images would come out.