Introduction: Tissue Box Decorative Cover

In this instructable I will be taking you through the steps involved in making a decorative and forever reusable tissue box cover, from a piece of 2 x 4! I use a piece of black walnut that I have trimmed down to about the size of a 2x4, but you definitely can use any old 2x4 to make this project and could stain it any color to give it your desired look.

This tissue box cover will be for a 'Pams' (NZ) branded tissue box, but with some small adjustments can be made for any brand tissue box out there. Please note, the cover is placed over the tissue box and has no base, so a 'precise' fit is required to keep it in place.


Materials Needed

A piece of timber about the size of a 2x4, that is at least 400mm long


No1. Band saw/ or table saw.

No2. Miter-saw/ or table saw.

No3. Thicknesser.

No4. Scroll-saw.

No5. Clamps.

No6. Ruler.

No7. A pen.

Miscellaneous things

No1. A tissue box of your choice

No2. Sandpaper- 120 and 240 grit.

No3. PVA wood glue- or some other similar wood glue.

No4. Medium sized rubber bands.

No5. Clear coat varnish or another wood finish.

No6. A glue stick

Step 1: Cutting Flitches

For the sides of the tissue box and cover, you will be cutting your wood down into 4 flitches of wood each 4mm thick, (a flitch refers to a piece of wood, that is one in a sequence of matching pieces). To do this first measure it into fourths along the length and then take it over to the band saw and cut one flitch off the block of wood. Then take the main block over to the thicknesser and plane it, then take it back to the band-saw, and repeat this until you have four flitches. The reason behind taking the block of wood through the thicknesser after cutting each flitch, is so that you have one flat side to each, which makes getting the other side flat a whole lot easier. Next take two of the flitches and send them through the thicknesser until they are 4mm thick, then send the next two through the thicknesser until they are about 6mm thick (NB Step 4).

Step 2: Cutting Sides to Size

With your two 4mm flitches you will be making the four sides of your tissue box, you will get one short side and one long side to each flitch.

Cutting the short sides

Make the two short sides 124mm long (because the tissue box is 116mm wide, plus twice 4mm of wood on each side) Make all the sides 89mm high (because the tissue box is 85mm and you need to add 4mm for the lid of the box).

Cutting the long sides

For the long sides cut them to 217mm long (because the tissue box is 209mm long plus twice 4mm of wood for each end) and 89mm high (because the tissue box is 85mm and the lid you will be adding is 4mm thick).

Mitering sides and top edge of sides

To join the sides of this box together will first need to miter the edges before gluing them together with PVA. Set your miter saw to 45 degrees and run it down the sides and top edges of all four sides. Mitering the edges will give your box a really clean-looking finish.

Step 3: Gluing the Sides Together

Now is the time to glue the sides together. To do this put them face down and tape them together, the reason for this being that when you stand it up the tape will act like a hinge and make the whole gluing process less stressful. Now flip the four pieces that have been taped together over, apply PVA to the joints, fold the the four sides into the shape of a box and put tape on the last join. To make sure the box dries square place it over an old tissue box and add a few rubber bands to make sure everything stays together while it dries.

Step 4: Making the Lid Part 1

To make the lid, you need to glue the two flitches that you didn't take down to 4mm, together, if this wasn't a 2x4 challenge you could have made it out of something wider, but since it is you are going to glue these two flitches together to create one larger piece. Simply apply glue to the long edge of one piece and clamp the second piece to it, then let it dry for about a day.

After the glue has dried send it through the thicknesser and take it down until it is 4mm thick.

Step 5: Making the Lid Part 2

Now that the lid has been taken down to thickness, glue the template for the top to the wood (using a glue stick) to make cutting the hole, through which the tissues come out, easier. Make sure you cut the template to the size of your box then you can use the outside of the paper as a guide for your miter saw. Cut all four sides of the lid at 45degrees so that it meshes nicely into the top of the box.

(I have added a PDF of the template I used to fit my tissue box, that you can print off, cut out, and stick onto your lid, but you may need to adjust this if you have a different size box)

Next, drill a hole in the middle of the lid so that you can insert a scroll-saw blade, then insert the blade and cut out the center, as seen in the photos above. To remove the paper, soak the lid in water for a few minutes and it will come right off.

Step 6: Gluing the Lid to the Sides

Now you are going to glue the lid to the sides. To do this use PVA as the glue and secure with several rubber bands, until it is dry. Using rubber bands keeps the lid centered and prevents too much weight being applied vertically which can cause the joins in the corners to split. You can use weights if you wish but just be very careful not to apply too much weight to the lid while its drying or you might find your box in a bit of a predicament.

Step 7: Sanding and Finishing the Box

Now that you have left it for a day to dry you can remove all the rubber bands and tape. Sand it smooth, starting with 120grit sand paper and finish with 240grit sandpaper. Sand in the direction of the wood grain so that you don't get any deep scratches, but instead have a beautifully smooth box.

As a finish use a high gloss clear coat spray varnish, which brings out any beautiful grains in the wood. If you didn't make your box out of flash wood, a nice wood stain applied before the varnish would work very well and add character to your standard pine 2x4.

Step 8: Finishing Thoughts

I was really chuffed with the final product! I would love to see you make your own, use a different type of wood, use different stains, make a few as gifts, the options are many.

I have also made a short time lapse of this build so that you can see the machines and tools I used and how exactly I went about some things. Nothing like a demo to make things clear!

Hope you have fun making your own!

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