Easy Paper Boxes

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About: Instructables Community Manager - I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!

It's really easy to make basic paper boxes made up of a lid and base. I will show you how to cut out the boxes using a Silhouette Cameo 3, but it can be done with just paper, ruler, and scissors. I'll talk about both ways.

I've been making these up to pack up some items I sell on my Etsy store and thought others might like to learn how to make them since they are so easy :)

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Step 1: Supplies

Supplies:

  • Paper
    • I recommend using paper that is thicker than printer paper which is 20#
    • basic cardstock is 65# but a nice thick 110# paper will give you a very durable box
  • Ruler - for help folding
  • Scissors
  • Silhouette Paper Cutter - optional, I have one so I'm using it
  • Scoring Board - optional, just makes it easier to fold the box up, I already have one so I used it
  • Glue or Double Sided Tape - also little spring clamps can help hold the box together while glue dries

If you want a very durable box, you could also use chipboard (hard to fold) or cereal box.

Step 2: Designing the Box

Designing the box can be pretty simple as long as you know how big you want it to be. For this example, we will be making a box is meant to have the internal dimensions of 3"x3"x.5".

To make sure what you want to fit in the box fits, we will start with the bottom of the box.

You will need a square for the top and the bottom of the box. To decide the size of the Bottom Box, fill in this equation:

  • L = length of box + (H of box * 4) = 3 + (.5*4) = 5"
  • W= width of box + (H of box * 2) = 3 + (.5*2) = 4"

To make the Top Box, I actually just scaled up the box until it looked like it would fit over the bottom.

One way to figure this out, is to figure out what square size will fit over the inside square and then put that in the equations above for your length of box and width of box. Mine is about 3.143" by 3.143".

Above is just a collection of pictures from the designing process. I'll add notes on top of them to help you follow along.

Step 3: Print Template - Not Silhouette Version

If you don't have a silhouette, I recommend drawing out your own box (or printing this template) and using that to cut out your box pieces.

Step 4: Cut Out Box

Once you have the box size you want, it's time to cut it out on the Silhouette.

Pretty straightforward, but make sure you use the right settings. 110# paper is thick to cut through.

Also, if you are doing dashed lines for bending, you might want to try lighter cut settings so they don't stand out so much. They don't have to cut through. Also, also, if you are going to do lighter cut settings, you might want to cut your paper upside down (if you are using patterned paper) so the scores are on the inside of the box.

Step 5: Fold Box

I'm putting this as its own step because I think it's important to do before any gluing or taping.

If you have crease lines, fold them now.

If you don't have crease lines, you need to either fold along a ruler to keep the line straight or use a scoring board to create crease lines before folding.

Step 6: Assemble Box

Time to tape or glue up the box.

If you use glue, I find just regular gluestick works fine, but I did use little clamps to hold the edges together while the glue dried.

I found that double-sided tape worked just fine and was much easier than glue.

Start by taping the flaps to the longer edges.

Then, tape the longer edges and fold them down over the flaps.

That's it! Do this for both top and bottom.

Step 7: Finished Box

Here is a look at the finished top and bottom pieces of the box. They should fit together pretty nicely. You don't want them too tight that you can't close it, or too lose that the top slides around on top of the bottom.

Step 8: Fancy Top

Just a look at the fancy top box I did. If you have a cutout design, make sure you are careful folding the box so you don't mess up the design or tear it.

You could also cut out an additional design and glue that to the top of a box.

Step 9: More Box Pictures

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    Thank you :) I had this colorful variety pack that I hadn't used and thought this would be a good time to open it up!