How to Make Decorative Storage Boxes

If you like the idea of gift wrapping and the idea of storage boxes, and especially if you like creating something special out of plain ordinary items, you will enjoy this arts and crafts project. Here you will learn how to make decorative storage boxes to use yourself or to give as gifts to others.

For this DIY project we will be using the art form of decoupage. You will see that you can take just a few simple items and make some extraordinary storage boxes that are decorative and stylish. Consider it, gift wrapping with a sticky twist!


Things You will Need include:

Justin Boot Boxes of various sizes if you want to make more than one in graduated sizes

Other types of cardboard boxes of various sizes, if you like

Photos and images from magazines or graphics and clip art you have downloaded and printed from the internet

Labeled file folders for storing your images

Theme wrapping paper such as Christmas wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift wrapping paper, when you want to continue any special or occasional theme

Scissors for cutting and trimming your images to fit along the box or boxes, you may even choose to use scrapbook scissors

Decoupage Glue, I prefer to use Plaid’s Mod Podge brand decoupage glue

Sponge Paint Brush

A fine grain of sandpaper or a steel wool pad

Paper towel or old clean rag for cleaning up purposes

A work area, whether you are more comfortable at a table or sitting on the floor

Some time to sit and relax while making these decorative storage boxes

imageMod Podge – Gloss – 16 oz


1 – Gather all your necessary supplies or the things you need, (listed above) together, this way you have everything you need at your fingertips. You may be able to collect everything you need by yourself or you may wish to talk to family and friends and ask them to save any good reusable boxes that you can use to make these storage boxes. I prefer working with Justin Boot boxes since they have a removable lid and you can find them in various sizes that are compatible and complimentary for stacking and storing. When you have graduated sizes, you can store them by placing the smaller ones in the next size up and so on.

2 – Cut your graphics. Take some time to search out and then cut out, the most appealing graphics, clip art and magazine photos to fit the theme of your box. I knew I wanted to do this and began collecting pictures and theme wrapping paper years before I actually made my own, and when I did make them, I made them all at the same time, by using my own assembly line procedures. It is much easier if you label some file folders for organizing and storing the images you wish to use.

3 – Choose whether you are more comfortable working at a table or sitting on the floor. Most often, I would rather work sitting on the floor with all my supplies arranged and ready to work with. This way, I could spread out my theme colors and images and then pick and choose the images and colors that were complimentary for each box I decorated.

4 – Wipe the boxes inside and out with a slightly damp cloth (you do not want to actually ‘wet’ your boxes) to remove any dust particles, since dust may not allow your glue and paper to adhere to the boxes properly. While your box or boxes are drying you can choose the different types of images you plan to useon your storage boxes.



5 – Lay each image piece you have chosen on the box before you actually begin gluing them to your box. On the other hand, you may simply want to randomly glue your images to your box. Once you are ready to begin gluing your images to your box, use your sponge paintbrush and dip it in your decoupage glue, do not overly saturate the paint brush. You will then apply a light coating on the area that you plan to decoupage your images too. At this time, do your best not to leave dollops of glue, since doing so will cause your paper images to appear unsightly or even make bubbles underneath your pictures.

6 – Use a slightly damp rag to smooth out any bubble or lines, after applying, gluing and allowing to dry. However, creases are sometimes unavoidable or add another dimension to your decoupage items. Some individuals are like them and some individuals do not. Next, using the slightly damp yet clean cloth you will gently work towards the outside edges to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles. Working gently will help you not to tear your images since they are still wet with glue. Do your best to not cause your images to move about, while you are smoothing out the wrinkles and bubbles. Keep in mind while you decoupage any item that creases and lines are sometimes unavoidable. They can also add an enhanced dimension to the items you decoupage. Some crafty folks like the looks of them yet there are others who do not. Take your time doing this and keep in mind, that it does take a while for you decoupage glue to dry fully.

imageGlitter Paint Kit


7 – Apply another light coat of decoupage glue. Once you have completely covered your box with your images, you will then apply another light layer of decoupage glue over the entire outside of your boxes. You will then allow the project to sit and dry completely. (Be sure to follow the decoupage glue manufactures directions for gluing and drying time.)

8 – Sand the boxes lightly. Once your boxes are completely dry, you can then use a fine grain sandpaper or even a fine steel wool pad to gently buff and or polish the outer layer of the decoupage glue you recently applied and allowed to dry completely. When you do this properly, you can make the outside finish shiny. Alternately, you may choose to leave the boxes with a matte finish by not buffing or polishing the finished project, depending on your preferences of appearance. Now your homemade DIY decorative gift wrap storage boxes are ready to use or give as gifts! gift-wrapped-box

Tips & Warnings

Birthdays, Weddings, Anniversaries and Christmas time are the best times to ask your family and friends to save you any good reusable boxes for making your decorative storage boxes

Rather than cutting your images, you may wish to tear the images to fit or even burn the edges. Either of these can produce some primitive and rustic appearing storage boxes

Read and follow the directions on the decoupage glue to find out the drying time, while keeping in mind that it may take a while for your boxes to dry

You can use these finished boxes to store just about anything in, you can even use them as a gift wrap for a present you have for someone, making this a two for one occasion of gift giving

While working with decoupage glue you will only want to cover the area that you have time to glue images on, therefore the glue does not dry before you are ready to place your images or get all over you while you are working with your decoupage gift wrapped storage boxes