It’s DIY Friday here at A Little Blue Book, so if you’re feeling creative, you might just want to keep reading!
Today I’ll show you how to turn some simple brown boxes into decorative bookish treasure chests! These boxes are perfect for all the small knickknacks that don’t have a proper home, or you can use them as jewellery boxes – just lump everything into them, and you’re all sorted!
What you need:
- Book pages
- Glue (PVA or Mod Podge)
- Pair of scissors
- Pencil/black permanent marker (optional)
- Printed portraits (optional)
- Coffee/tea (optional but highly recommended)
To make the beautiful boxes, there are a few things you’ll need to have. Luckily, most of this stuff can be bought at your local craft shop/hardware store, or you can find it all online on something like Amazon.
My dandy little boxes were bought at Paperchase in London, but you should be able to find them in your local craft shop or online. The three boxes came in at a total of £6 which I think is a decent price. The small boxes are 9cm by 9cm with the lid, and the big one is 14cm by 14cm with the lid. However, feel free to use different sizes and shapes! You might have an old shoe box which you can beautify – the sky is the limit with these things!
The glue is just plain old PVA glue, but if you’ve got any fancy Mod Podge that’ll work too. Either can usually be found in craft shops and shouldn’t break the bank. I bought my massive bottle of glue for £3.95 in a fancy craft shop in London, but you can probably find an even better price for it online.
If you don’t have a brush for this, then you can easily get one from your local craft shop or hardware store. I bought my brush for £5.45 in a craft shop which made it a bit pricier than if I had gone to a hardware store. However, if you take good care of your brush – cleaning it with lukewarm water after you’ve used it – then you’ll have it for many more DIY crafts to come!
Depending on the box you’re decorating, I would recommend a square brush (probably not the correct term!) that’s fairly small. This will give you more control when you’re slapping on the glue.
How to do it:
These bookish boxes are pretty easy to make; you just need a bit of patience – and a lot of glue! Just follow the simple steps below, and you’ll end up with some beautiful and personal boxes with a bookish twist!
Please note that I haven’t mentioned the size of the paper which I used for this as I believe it will be more confusing than helpful to you if you have a box with a different size than mine. Just use the images to gauge how much extra space you should add to your own box – it’s doable, I promise!
The first step is to start coating the lid and sides of the box with glue. I started with the lid and then put it aside so it could dry with the paper whilst I worked on the sides of the box. Just cut out a square piece of paper big enough to fit the top and sides of your lid, leaving a bit of extra space to fold the paper up on the inside of the lid.
Then you start to coat one side of the box with glue and again cover it with a square piece of paper – make sure the sentences are more or less straight! It’s also important that you fold and glue the paper onto the other sides of the box as this will make the edges look nicer once you glue the final sides on.
Smear some glue inside the top bit of the box and then gently fold the rest of the paper down over the edge.
Then you fold the bottom bit of the paper as shown in picture 2 below, and stick it in place with glue.
If you’re working on more boxes repeat step 1 and 2 with the next one(s).
Then you flip the box around and glue a square piece of paper on the opposite side of your box, repeating the same steps as described in step 2.
Then you fold a square piece of paper and glue the folded side onto the side of the box. Again, make sure that the sentences line up!
Then you glue the rest of the side and fold the paper edge underneath itself – so you get a nice, smooth edge once you press it to the glued side of the box.
Like the step above, you then fold the top and bottom of the paper and glue it onto the box.
Repeat this step on the last side of the box.
TIP: to make the edges look even nicer, just coat a finger with glue and then run it over the seams – gently pressing down to fuse the two edges together
Then you cut out a square piece of paper for the bottom of the box, making sure that it covers the entire space. Smear the box with glue and stick the paper on.
Leave it to dry for a bit (10-20 minutes or more).
The final step for the main bit of the box is to make the edges inside the box look nice. This is done by cutting out a strip of paper and then glueing it to the inside of the box. I used the margin of the book page to create a nice clean border.
Moving back to the lid, it’s time to fold the excess paper. This is done by gently folding each corner of the paper to one side and glueing it in place. If you have any excess paper, just fold it over the edge of the side and secure it with glue.
Then the only thing left to do is decorate the lid. I’ve chosen to use some silhouette portraits which I found online, but you can also just draw your own beautiful design! Again, the sky is the limit!
As my book pages weren’t big enough to cover the big box in a pretty way, I chose to glue a whole page onto the lid and then decorate it with some portraits and black doodles.
I then tore off one side of my book pages and glued the pages onto the side of the box, using the uneven edge as a border.
And that was it!
If you decide to give these bookish boxes a go, I would love to see your finished result! Please share your box(es) with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.