Repurposing plain boxes into pretty gift boxes.

This one gives the planet a break, it’s earth friendly. Instead of throwing away boxes, turn them into pretty packaging for gifts. These boxes can be used over and over, saves on paper too.

You will need:

Paper or fabric scraps.


Decoupage or watered down school glue.

Embellishments like buttons and felt hearts.

Plain empty boxes.


Make sure to remove labels and stickers from your boxes before decorating them.

Use your boxes as the templates. Trace all sides onto pretty paper or fabric. Then cut out those patterns out.

Glue fabric or paper patterns onto plain boxes using decoupage glue. Make sure to add decoupage glue to tops and bottoms. Let it dry then add embellishments or other decorations like ribbons and personal touches.

That’s it, pretty simple. With paper shortages we have to get creative with packaging now. Also prices are increasing. So don’t throw away those nice boxes.

You can also get nice empty boxes sometimes from the retail shops.

I had to re-glue this little button,

I am filling my boxes with a whole variety of hand made ornaments that include little gnomes holding wreaths, wooden snowflakes, some tiny snowmen and mini bottle top trees in seed pods. One of my friends is doing all gift items made from local artists to give out to friends this year instead of buying them mass produced items. The items I am making for this order are some of my little ornaments, lavender goats milk soap, Rosemary/ Lavender bath salts from my garden plants, some of my baskets I make by hand and variety of coloring pages with some coloring pencil sets. There are also orders for succulent sets from my garden.

Here are some other gift ideas to buy this year from your local areas…

Wooden toys, safer, no paint or toxic materials on them.


A whole basket of locally grown fruits and veggies wrapped up with a big red bow and a pretty little ornament and card.

A pretty basket of seeds with bags of dirt and pretty pots from local artists.

A hand made mug from ceramic artists in your area, just add bags of coffee or cocoa that you package and mix yourself.

A soft toy you sew yourself

This is a tiny teddy I made from a kit. You can also design your own using old coats for fabric. The sweater vest I made from an old sweater my daughter wore as a little girl.

Scarfs and open mittens to keep hands warm.

Home made baked items or hot meals.

For babies- hand made quilts, blankets, or mobiles.

Fudge and home made candies

jams and jellies in a pretty basket with some freshly baked bread.

If you are an artists, then you can buy a used frame at most second hand shops and fix it up, add poetry, or a drawing/painting that you make yourself. Even pretty quotes in a nice frame look nice on a wall.

Used books with pretty hand made book marks. Can you guys think of anymore gifts to buy locally or from small businesses? Sometimes you have to be very careful with small businesses online that say they are small business but in reality they are not. Also careful with the reviews online because those also can be very misleading. There are so many amazing artists out there who create the most beautiful gifts. Support local business as much as possible, it is better for the planet too. Happy recycling, creating and shopping everyone.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Betty says:

    I love these boxes. I have taken shoe boxes, opened them up, and then reassembled them so all the print is in the inside. These would be great to dress up as you have done. I also have lots of buttons from my grandmother and my mother. These would be great to use. I like the idea of gifting local items, especially from local crafters or artists. Every year, I think I will be better organized next year. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Betty, we try as much as we can to support local artists during the holidays. It is a slow process but each year a we get better too. I remember being a kid and using shoe boxes for little doll houses or pinatas that we would fill with candy and prizes then paper mache over them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love Love this idea for old boxes! (Which I have a crazy surplus of much to my husband’s dismay lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laura, I have such a problem with throwing away really nice boxes. I always want to use them for sewing kits and little craft boxes. I started noticing that they are selling fabric wraps now instead of using wrapping paper, so the wraps get used over and over. Anyone who grew up being frugal (poor as they used to call it) was wrapping gifts that way years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s just a brilliant idea too. I truly hate buying beautiful yet increasingly expensive wrapping paper only to see it all crumpled and torn in the garbage in quick fashion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is so true, Christmas morning is always a mess, especially when you have lots of kids gifts to open.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz says:

    Shared this lovely post on Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…thank you Liz, that is so sweet. I hope you are having a great holiday and enjoying this time of year. We all need a little cheer this time of year, it has been a hard year.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Mrs. N in Japan says:

    I love this post. Recycling and repurposing is my “thing” as well. I often give homemade gifts. I just completed a crochet shawl for my pastor. Also a fan of recycling boxes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and that is so sweet of you making things by hand. I bet that shawl is so nice too. I love hand made gifts and I also collect pretty boxes to recycle for my hand made gifts.

      Liked by 1 person

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