Thursday, February 9, 2012

Free Tutorial: DIY Small Upcycled Recycled Gift Boxes

Upcycled From Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Roll Cores, a quick project for those who enjoy Do it yourself projects...

I'm always looking for ways in which I can: 1. Reuse something that would normally find its way to the trash, and 2. Save money.  I used to purchase jewelry boxes from one of my jewelry supply catalogs, but my supply has dwindled to less than 10 and I just didn't want to spend the money again.  So, I decided to make my own using reclaimed materials.  I love the look of pillow shaped boxes and this is so easy to do, uses something most of us have in our homes that typically winds up in the trash, and takes only a seconds to make. 
These are great for crafters who make small items, as it's quick, somewhat customizable (size and decoration) and you can pre-make at home, then flatten and store in a much smaller space than it takes to store pre-fab boxes.... easier to lug around to craft shows too!

Toilet Paper roll core and/or Paper Towel roll core
Optional materials: paint, markers, glue, decorative paper, newspaper, ribbon, etc.

A round template (I use the outside band from a Ball jar)

1.  Take the cardboard core and flatten it, use the side of a pen or marker to make your creased edges sharp.

2.  Take your round template (you want the diameter of your circle to be larger than the width of your cardboard to ensure that you don't have any overhang of the flaps when you close the box), center the circle over the end of your cardboard with the edge of the arc meeting the edge of the cardboard, as seen in photo below.  Mark this edge with a pen, this will be your cutting line. Again, I use the band from a Ball jar as my template, but I should think something like a coaster sized round object should work if you don't have any ball jars in the house.

3.  Repeat with other side of cardboard.

4. Cut off ends on both sides of the flattened tube, using the pen marks you just made as your guide.

5. Now you are ready to form the box.  Using your fingers, push one of the flaps on each end (the arcs you just cut) into the tube to create the opening sides of your box.  Just push the first flap to meet the other side of the cardboard, you don't want to push it all the way against it's own side...

6.  Pinch the edges of the crease you just made with your fingers to make the edge crisp, do this to both ends.

7.   Now fold the second flaps over to cover the first flaps you just pushed in... this will create a sort of arc football shaped side.

8. Pinch these edges just as you did in step 6, to make a crisp edge.  And you're done!  Now, if you like, you can unfold the sides and re-flatten to decorate the box with markers, paper, paint, etc.  Or, if you're like me, you may just prefer the naked TP roll box with a ribbon or piece of jute tied around it.

Enjoy!  And feel free to share the link to this post with your friends!

Create My World Designs
©2012 text and photos

Do you have any favorite Tutorials using reclaimed or repurposed materials?  If so, Please share them by leaving a comment with the web link!  I love to see new ideas for reusing materials that otherwise would be destined for the landfill!


  1. What a very cute, economical, sustainable and original idea! I wonder if you could cover them in polymer and still bend the ends?

  2. This is so wonderful! Darn it, my husband just threw the paper towel tube away! I'll have to wait a while..... but I'll be back to this for sure.

  3. Wow, I just realized I had comments I didn't know about on this post... Thanks Janice, not sure about how it would work to cover with polymer, if you try it, let me know!
    Thanks Jackie! LOL... I think I drove my hubby crazy for a while, saving every single tube, but now that I have a box full of these tube pillow boxes, he's gotten a repreive from having to remember to save them... though I did recently stumble upon a cool idea for making a decorative mirror using them as well... perhaps it's time to start saving them again! ;)

  4. Nice gift boxes details. I like it very much.


Thank you for choosing to add a comment! I have added the word verification and registered user requirement to prevent bots from targeting my blog. Thank you for your understanding and patience while processing these simple steps to add your comment on the blog.