Making a Homemade Box From Christmas Cards {Upcycle}

Are those Christmas cards piling up around your house? Here is a fun and easy tutorial on how to make a homemade box and upcycle those lovely designs!

How to Make a Homemade Box

In an effort to be green (I swear, I’m not a hoarder!) I save the cute Christmas cards I receive during the holiday season. I just hate throwing away those sweet sentiments from loved ones, but what am I going to do? Open a card museum? No. Every year I make boxes from last year’s cards! They’re perfect for small gifts, they add or further that handmade touch, and best of all, they’re free!

Give your old Christmas cards new life by using them to make these homemade gift boxes. They will add an extra touch of fancy to your presents this year.

It’s quick and easy and your kids can help…my kind of craft!

As long as you have a card (Christmas, birthday, whatever) to work with (or take the upcycle out of it and just use cardstock), you’ll have all of the supplies around the house. You’ll need a card, ruler, scissors, glue or tape, and a ball-point pen (with or without ink – inkless ball-points are my go-to scoring tool.)

homemade box
Now you’ve got your supplies ready. Let’s get started!

First, cut the card in half, right down the crease.

homemade box
Now you have two halves, equally-sized. We want to change that just slightly because we want the lid to slide right onto the box. Take the back half of the card and trim about ⅛” off of one of the long sides and off one of the short sides.

homemade box
Now we need to make some marks on the inside of both halves. I chose to make my box ½” deep, but you can really choose any depth from about ¼” to 1”. Remember, the deeper you make the box, the smaller the box will be length/width-wise, unless you start with a larger-than-normal greeting card.

With the ruler along the short side, make a mark ½” in from each corner. Do the same for the other short side.

Onto the long sides! Make a mark ½” in from each corner on the long side. Make an additional mark ½” from the first mark.

homemade box
Do the same for the other long side. Repeat these steps for the other half of the card.

Take the pen and ruler and connect the markings, drawing lines down both long sides. Press firmly with your pen so you’re also scoring the card for easy folding. For the short sides, you’ll want to connect the second set of marks, edge to edge. The first set of marks will be your guide to draw a line between the two long lines, staying away from the edges. (Please reference the picture for clarification.)

homemade box
Repeat these steps for the other half of the card.

Using your scissors, snip the corners down to the short side’s second line. Fold these tabs along the line you’ve already scored.

homemade box
Crease all of your scored lines.

homemade box
Fold the long sides up and fold the corner tabs over. Glue the tabs to the short side. Fold the short side flap over the tabs and glue it down. Do the same on the other side and then repeat the steps on the other half of the card.

homemade box
Let the box and lid dry, and your homemade box is ready to be filled with trinkets and goodies!

homemade box
homemade box

About Francesca

One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I'd love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.
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  1. says

    Love that so many of us love Christmas cards!! Super clever, cute and my fav, easy idea to upcycle. Thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    Cute idea. I can’t bare to part with any cards I recieve for any occasion although hardly anyone I know does cards these days so not many to store anymore at least 😉

  3. says

    These are just wonderful! What a great idea and a nice way to keep the memories in a useful way. Thanks! Pinning this!

  4. says

    Just today I was thinking…”I don’t want to buy boxes to wrap gifts in, what can I do instead? I know they are not so pretty, but I think I will follow the same basic principal but with cereal boxes for clothing, etc. LOVE this idea!!

  5. says

    Yeah! I like your idea Fran! I’ve been saving up all the Christmas Cards for more than a decade. They are too beautiful to be thrown away. Now I can convert them into boxes to keep my crafts. :)

  6. Leslie The Cleaning Coach says

    This is perfect. I just received the perfect card yesterday. This will be fun to try.

  7. says

    What a oool idea. I just save the cards and end up adding to the growing pile in a big box every year. I guess I’m the hoarder when it comes to cards. What a clever idea to upcycle and find the perfect size gift box for those hard to wrap presents!