Decoupage tin containers: Using recycled materials to make gift boxes
Save money and go green this holiday by making your own gift boxes using recycled materials. With this easy project, tin containers and scraps of wrapping paper are transformed into beautiful Christmas gift boxes your friends will love to receive and reuse. It's a fun project the entire family will enjoy.
Materials and Equipment
Using recycled materials for crafts is a great way to save money and reduce waste. Here's what you'll need to make decoupage gift boxes:
Tin containers: Recycle tin containers used to package tea, cookies, and popcorn. (Anyone related to a Boy Scout should be familiar with popcorn tins from the Boy Scouts' annual fundraiser.)
Scraps of wrapping paper: This is a good use for used wrapping paper and all those small scraps that are left over after you wrap your presents.
- Decoupage medium (Mod Podge or other)
- Foam brush
- Spray acrylic
- Ribbon or bow (optional)
- Recycled holiday card (optional)
- Gold cord (optional)
- Make sure the tin container is clean and free from dust. If necessary, wipe with a damp cloth and allow to dry completely before you begin to decoupage.
- Remove the lid from the tin container and set aside.
- Cut or tear small pieces of wrapping paper. Torn edges tend to blend better, while cutting is best if you want particular shapes or images. Try a combination of cut and torn pieces.
- Working in small sections, apply a generous coat of decoupage medium to the tin container with the foam brush.
- Apply a piece wrapping paper to the decoupage medium. Use your finger to smooth out the paper and remove any air bubbles or wrinkles, starting from the center of the paper and working your way out to the edges. It's helpful to keep a damp cloth nearby to clean your fingers from time to time and to wipe up any extra decoupage medium.
- Continue applying pieces of wrapping paper, overlapping the pieces, until the entire section is covered. Continue with another section of the container until the container is completely covered with paper.
- Let the decoupage medium dry. When the first coat of decoupage medium has dried, apply a second coat over the entire container and allow to dry overnight.
- Apply a coat of acrylic spray to the container and allow to dry completely before replacing the lid.
- If desired, add a bow to the lid. Make a gift tag by cutting a small piece from an old Christmas card (make sure to use a part of the card that has no text or writing on the back so you can add to/from information). Use a paper punch to make a hole in a corner of the gift tag and attach to the lid of the container with gold cord.
Ideas for Using Decoupage Gift Boxes
- Use a decoupage gift box to package homemade treats like cookies or fudge.
- Use decoupage gift boxes for handmade gifts like Christmas tree ornaments. Here are some ideas: Three Easy Christmas Ornaments to Make with Clear Glass Balls.
- If you are giving cash or a gift card, put it in a small decoupage gift box filled with candy to give the box some weight.
- Fill a recycled popcorn tin with a cozy hat, scarf, and gloves.
- Make a box using scraps of a child's-themed wrapping paper and fill it with a plush stuffed animal.
- They're not just for Christmas. Use different styles of wrapping paper to create gift boxes for birthdays, wedding gifts, Mother's Day, and other gift-giving occasions.
More ideas on how to reduce your environmental impact this holiday season: Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Eco-Friendly Gifts and Tips for the Holidays