diy project: reusable wrapped boxes

Every year we save the best shoe, shirt and jewelry boxes from the holidays and recycle them to hold craft supplies, store photos or use as gift boxes for the next giving season. Our stockpiles were getting unruly, as were our drawers full of scrap ribbon and wrapping paper, so we came up with a recycled-wrapping project that can be reused itself. We used the prettiest boxes we had, and many of them needed little more than a ribbon adornment. Good-sized, sturdy boxes with surfaces we didn’t love were covered with scraps of wrapping or kraft paper. Our mom has always kept tags, ribbons, wrapping paper and boxes to be reused the next year, and in keeping with her recycled gift wrap, these boxes can be used again and again. We might keep a few of these on hand for those last-minute gifts that need wrapping in a hurry. — bbbcraft sisters

Read the full how-to after the jump!


  • a variety of boxes with lids
  • scissors
  • glue
  • scrap wrapping paper and ribbon
  • labels, stickers and/or rubber stamps



1. Select which boxes will be left uncovered and which will need covering. Cut a piece of paper for the lid and/or bottom of the box as though you were wrapping the individual pieces of the box.

2. Fold the paper over the edges and trim just along the inside of the box. Glue the paper down along the inside edge.

3. To wrap boxes with ribbon, cut the ribbon so that it folds just over edge of the lid, and glue the inside pieces of ribbon to the box.

4. Use cut-out images or photos and glue them to the boxes, or try rubber stamps. The decorating possibilities with these boxes are endless, and we were inclined to spend more time on each, knowing that it would be used and appreciated longer than a gift wrapped and unwrapped only once.

  1. Catherine says:

    Totally dig this….

  2. Paula says:

    how do you do that gorgeous bow that’s in the very last picture ?

  3. MaryAnn says:

    I’ve always wanted to do this…. thanks!

  4. Rachel Tatem says:

    Pretty sure you are an amazingly creative person that makes me super jealous…

  5. Laura Trevey says:

    I love doing this, and I feel good about recycling too!!

  6. danielle says:

    omg, i love this. what a fantastic (and eco-friendly) idea! especially like the box in the second-to-last picture, it’s adorable!

  7. Alyssa says:

    I second you, Paula! Could we have a follow-up tutorial on the bow in the last picture? It’s lovely!

  8. Mel says:

    very nice way to recycle old boxes..

  9. Love it love it! So simple and so good. My head’s just gone a bit crazy thinking ribbon combos now…. ;D

  10. kimberly says:

    my mom has done this for years – i think she may still have a box or two from when i was a kid! it certainly saves a lot of time on gift wrapping each year and is equally beautiful as traditional wrapping. i must say too that seeing those same boxes year after year is pretty charming.

  11. Katie says:

    These are absolutely beautiful! I might do this with the boxes I use before I give them away!

  12. Bobbi says:

    I have these plain boxes that I’ve been saving for years just waiting for the right craft idea. Now I have it. Thanks!

  13. Lynn Forey says:

    I love this idea. I am always looking for a box to organize something in. Plain boxes can make your storage so blah and these can be all color-coordinated.

  14. CASSIE says:

    love love love this idea! <3 <3

  15. I love the idea of using random boxes as packing boxes for presents! It’s been a long time since I’ve bothered to be creative with wrapping presents because I can just remove the tag and leave them in the plastic bags they came in from the store. This will really help me get back to my roots. And securing paper weaving on the covers is really quite ingenious. SO many different patterns and designs that we can get ourselves into!


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