This year my son requested his box for Valentine’s Day Cards not be “so girly”. His first grade teacher just sent home that note that says the kids will need their box soon for the card exchange, so I decided to get to work a little early this year (not procrastinating again). Right now his favorite color is red, perfect for the holiday, so we whipped up a pirate chest for his cards out of an old Julep box.
- Box with a hinged lid (Subscription boxes like Julep Maven and Loot Crate are great for this.)
- Enough construction paper to cover your box
- Glue Stick
- Black Marker
- Super Glue
- Shiny Tissue Paper
To Prepare The Box
Cut the front flap from the lid if yours has one. This is going to make it easier for the kids and provide a clean edge. Using your scissors or an x-acto blade, you can cut a square into the center of the lid. This helps with assembling the rounded section later one, provides more space, and gives you the option of putting a slot in the top if you want rather than opening the box.
(Optional) Decorate The Bottom
If you’re using a shiny or decorative paper to line the inside, do this first (totally optional). I had a leftover sheet of tissue paper with gold flecks in it from my Maven subscription, so I used it. Glue the tissue paper to the bottom of the box first, then push in the corners and glue it to the sides. Fold the excess over the outside of the box and secure with glue.
Cover the outside of the bottom section of your box with construction paper, using the glue stick to secure each piece in place. I suggest starting on the bottom and leaving a little bit to fold over to the inside and bottom as you do the sides. That way there’s not seams showing at the edges.
The Top Of The Box
Make a paper half-circle template the width of the side of the box’s lid. Using this, mark two half-circles on a sheet of construction paper and draw a second line about a half inch above it (think like a one colored rainbow). Cut the shape out using the larger line. Between the two lines of the half circle, begin to cut in to the smaller line. The spaces don’t have to be exact, but make sure you end up with an odd number of parts. There are going to act as attachment points for the top. Cut out two sections from the outside of each half-circle, then every other section in between until you have something like the picture below. Fold the remaining tabs inward. Repeat this with the other half-circle.
I didn’t think to do this at the time, but I’m happy I did it for the second one. Put your lines on the side pieces now, before you secure them onto the lid. Draw black lines across to separate the “wooden boards” of the chest. Glue your half-circles to the sides of the lid with the tabs bent toward the center.
Cut another piece of construction paper. This should be a long strip the width of your box lid that goes at least from 1/2 inch beyond the front edge of your lid, over your rounded sides, and down to the bottom. For ours, a full length of standard construction paper was perfect and folded about an inch under the box. Do your black lines on this piece as well before trying to secure it.
Start at the front of the lid and glue one edge of your paper strip underneath. Let this dry before trying to continue. If it’s having trouble staying adhered to the surface of the box, you can substitute super glue for the glue stick. Just be careful not to get stuck yourself. After this has dried, put a strip of glue down each outside edge and begin sticking it to each tab on the sides. If you cut out the square from the first step, you can work both sides of the paper by putting one hand through it and make sure it’s sticking correctly. Gently close the box and continue working the paper down the back of the box with a good amount of glue on the back surface and finally, secure it to the bottom after folding it under.
Help It To Open
Another optional step that I’m happy we did was to add a folded ribbon to the underside of the lid. This should help it with opening without the kids needing to push on the paper top. By having the flaps on the side of the lid still attached, you should be able to have it sitting open just from the friction on its own, but in case it closes, it’s good to have the ribbon to open it back up. For this, I just super glued a ribbon’s ends to form a loop. Super glue soaks through ribbon, so be careful of your fingers. Then I super glued it to the bottom of the lid at the center.
Decorate this any way you like! As much as I envisioned foam hearts on here, the little guy just wanted his treasure map with “Captain Vincent’s Treasure” on it. Who am I to argue?
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Make sure to send me a photo if you try it yourself and feel free to check me out on my Personal Youtube Channel if you want to get to know me better.