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Recycle cardboard into trinket boxes

These pretty trinket or keepsake boxes are made using recycled cardboard, some glue and paint. You can make them as gifts or for storing treasured or special items. They make wonderful gift boxes and would be perfect for DIY wedding gifts and favours. You can use shoe boxes, appliance boxes, or any reasonably stiff cardboard to make these boxes.


Cardboard - recycle boxes
Bostik Wood n Paper glue
Craft knife and cutting mat
Bostik Decor Glass paint, white
White acrylic craft paint
Clear acrylic sealer or ModPodge
Masking tape
Pen and ruler



1. For the box, use a pen and ruler to mark two sides 5cm wide. The centre box shape should be 7cm square, so mark this and complete the last two sides of 5cm wide. Use a craft knife to cut away any excess. For the lid, repeat the marking process with sides 2.5cm wide, the centre box 7.5cm wide and finish the remaining two sides at 2.5cm wide.

2. Use scissors to cut away the corner sections as shown below.

3. Lightly score along the inside lines for folding. Be careful not to press too hard.

4. Fold the shape along the scored lines to create the box shape for both the base and the lid.

5. Place a small strip of masking tape on the corners of both the box and lid. Check that they fit together nicely before you continue.

6. Use a paintbrush to apply glue to the inner and outside folds and joins and leave this to dry.

7. Carefully peel off the masking tape and repeat this process.

8. Apply two more coats of glue, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next coat.

9. Paint the entire box and lid with one coat of acrylic paint and let this dry. Use a stencil to transfer your design onto the box lid and sides.

10. You can also draw freehand or trace a design.

11. Use puffy paint or decor glass paint to apply a relief design to the top of the lid and sides. You can use any paint for this as long as it doesn't slump - it needs to leave a raised design when dry.

12. Paint the box with two coats of acrylic paint, letting each coat dry, and finish off with two coats of clear acrylic sealer or ModPodge.

This is also a nice project for applying a glaze to create an antique effect. After applying the sealer coats, use a small amount of raw umber or dark brown oil paint and apply with a small paintbrush. Have a soft cloth handy to immediately wipe off the paint, leave only a small amount in the detailing.


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