How To Make A Paper Box – Photo Tutorial

paper box diy tutorial, with lid, simple

Gorgeous Gifting

Hey there! In this post we’re going to learn how to make a paper box with a decorative lid. I’ll show you step-by-step how easy it is to make these boxes and customize them to your taste.

I have sizing information for a 4 inch, 3 inch, 2 inch, and 1 inch square box. They’re all made the exact same way, so you can make the size you need each time. For our photo tutorial , we’re making the 2 inch. You need one piece of paper cut to the size you need for the box, and one piece of paper cut to the size you need for the lid. Then follow the step-by-step directions.

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paper box diy tutorial, with lid, simple


How To Make A Paper Box

Ready to learn how to make a paper box? As I mentioned before, these boxes are all square. With the lid on you could almost think of it like a cube. The steps to make the boxes are all the same. The size of the paper you start with and the measurements for scoring are the only things that change. With that in mind, let’s walk through the steps.

how to make a paper box grid


These directions all specifically address the 2″ box. If you’re making a different size, change the measurements as noted on the grid above.

Step 1 – Cut Your Sqaure

Cut your square for the box. This really needs to be straight and even. For our demonstration with the 2″ box, you’ll see that we need to start with a piece of cardstock that is 6″ x 6″.

Step 2 – Make Your Score Lines

Make your score lines. First, place the corner of your paper all the way up to the top left corner of your scoring board. Next, run your scoring tool all the way down your paper at the 2″ mark, and the 4″ mark. Note that too much pressure will actually slice through your paper. So, press firm but not too hard.

how to make a paper box score line 1
(Exposure is a little off)

Next, you’ll rotate your paper 90 degrees and score on those same marks, 2″ and 4″.

How to make a paper box - score lines 2
(Exposure a little off)

Since my photo exposures are a little off, I’ll show you a diagram example. Your paper should now look like this with your score lines:

Step 3- Crease Your Folds

The next thing you’ll need to do before moving on is take your bone folder and run it over all the folds. Basically just fold your lines at the score marks you just made, and run your bone folder over it. This will make nice creases that are easier to work with.

How To Make A Paper Box - creasing
Do this step for all sides, all folds.

Step 4 -Make Your Cuts

The next thing we’ll learn in how to make a paper box is our cuts. We’ll cut the same square on each side of the paper in two ways. Once to separate the lines, and once to make tabs. I’ll show you what I mean.

First you can take a look at this diagram of the cuts we’ll make and then I’ll explain further.

how to make a paper box cut lines
The red lines are the cut lines.

You can see on the diagram that you start with the square on the far right side of your paper that is on the bottom third section. First, cut the line that adjoins to the middle square all the way up to the score line above it.

how to make a paper box first cut

Next, rotate your paper 90 degrees and you’ll be looking at the exact same set up. So, cut the line between the far right square and the middle square up to the score line. Rotate and cut this same way two more times until all four lines shown on the diagram are cut.

how to make a paper bix all sides cut

Now, we’re going to make tabs on those squares that we just separated from the rest. If you want your box to be completely square, don’t do this step. I find it makes it easier to fold and secure with the tabs.

Here’s our diagram of the cut lines we’ll use to make tabs.

how to make a paper box tab cut lines
The green lines represent the cut lines.

Okay we’re going to start with the same far right square that is on the bottom third of our paper. You can see the green cut lines on the diagram. These don’t have to be perfect in any way. Just cut a notch diagonally upward on both sides of your square.

As before, you’ll rotate 90 degrees and make those same cuts three more times.

how to make a paper box tabs

Step 5- Folding Your Box

Our tutorial on how to make a paper box is coming together nicely! For this next step, we’ll flip our paper over and add adhesive to our tabs. I use the Tear & Tape. It gives a strong hold, and you expose the sticky part right when you need it.

Note: For the tiny box I found it easier to use the multi-liquid glue for all parts that needed adhesive.

If you put the roll of tape over your left hand with the roll running off to the right, it gives a little more control with tape placement. Simply place a piece of tape at the top and bottom of each tab. Don’t remove the top layer of the double sided tape just yet.

how to make a paper box taping the tabs

Okay, now we’re rolling! First, flip your paper back over. Now, you’ll remove the top layer of tape from your first tab.

how to make a paper box tab 1 fold

Next, you’ll fold in the tab so that the outer right edge (of the side of the tab with tape on it) lines up with the outer right edge of the middle square (on what will be the inside of the box). Picture below:

how to make a paper box first fold

Have you figured out how to make a paper box with this yet? You guessed it. Rotate 90 degrees and follow these steps three more times. Each time removing the top layer of your tape, lining up the edges of the tab and middle square, and pressing them together.

When you’ve completed all of that…you’ll have a box!

how to make a paper box - complete


It is possible to make different designs inside your box. You see how after you’ve cut the tabs is almost makes a design inside? You could add designer series paper to the inside like this:

how to make a paper box - varied inside

Cut your inside squares slightly smaller than the area it will go onto. In this case, for the 2″ box, I cut my 4 squares at 1 & 15/16.

Now when you fold your box, the inside will look like this:

how to make a paper box deco inside

This is also helpful if you would like a stronger box. If for some reason you do not like the look after the tabs have been cut, just don’t cut tabs. Your box will line up straight, but be a little more challenging to tape closed.

Step 6- Making the Lid

Now that we’ve learned how to make a paper box, we need to make a lid for it. As you can see in all of my sample boxes, I made the lid out of a coordinating color, added a square of the base cardstock on top, and then a flower or other embellishment.

For my 1″ lid and 2″ lid, I made custom DSP by stamping or embossing.  Since our demonstration box is the 2″ box, we’ll walk through how we made the custom DSP lid.

how to make a paper box custom dsp

To make your custom designer series paper (DSP), simply choose a stamp you like and a coordinating color. In this example, I first cut my paper to the size I needed.

Next, laying it on top of grid paper, I stamped out flowers from the “flower shop” stamp set. Notice how I let the ink run off of the paper to make sure I got the right look.

When stamping out your own DSP, try to think of a checker board. Pick a random spot for your first stamp (not in the center) and then imagine stamping in checkerboard spaces around it.

I never get this perfect, but it does feel like I’ve spaced it well when I use this approach.

To emboss, you’ll use this same strategy, except that you’ll use the Versamark pad to stamp, add your embossing powder, and then use the heat tool to set it.

Step 7- Finishing Your Lid

Learning how to make a paper box lid is easy now. You’ll find that your lid is made the exact same way you made your box.

First you’ll score, then cut the tabs you’re going to fold, then fold and secure. Let’s walk through it quickly. Check the lid diagram below as a reference.

You’ll see on our size chart above, that for the 2″ box we’re making. We need our paper size to be 3 & 5/8 square. Then, you’ll score it at 6/8 of an inch on all sides. (Score and rotate until all sides are scored.)

Then, you’ll run your bone folder over all sides just as we did for the box. You’ll cut your lines in the exact same spots as you did for your box, as seen on the diagram. Then you’ll cut tabs in these spaces.

If you need another reference, scroll up to the tab diagram for the box portion. You’ll cut the tabs in the same direction.

how to make a paper box - lid

Now, you’ll notice that I actually cut my paper on the decorated side. This is not a problem, I’ll just need to fold my tabs under rather than over like I did for the box.

With these smaller lids, I secured the tabs with small dabs of the multi-liquid glue. Hold each tab together for a good 30 seconds before moving on to the next.

how to make a paper box lid folding

Once you’ve tucked in all sides, you’ll have your basic lid:

A Little Extra Wow

At this point, you’ve learned everything you need to know about how to make a paper box with a lid. If you would like to use it for a gift, you could stop here and/or  just add a present bow.

I gave my boxes a little extra decoration to make them really stand out. First, I added a square (in a coordinating color). The size for this square is noted in the sizing graph I provided.

To give this square stand out, I pierced it with the paper piercing tool. To get even piercings, I started at the corners, and then simply looked between those marks to pierce the middle.

how to make a paper box - paper pierce top

Next, I used the same stamp from the “flower shop” set that I had used to make my custom DSP. I stamped it out on a piece of whisper white cardstock, and then punched it out with my pansy punch.

how to make a paper box embellishment

When you get these done, attach the flower to the square with multi-liquid glue, and then attach both to the top of your box. Now your project is complete!

As you can see, I put my square the opposite direction of the square box top (meaning I put it in a diamond shape on top of the square if that makes sense).

What Do You Think?

How’d it go with our “how to make a paper box” tutorial? Was it easy to follow, or do you have questions? You are welcome to use the comment box below to give your input.


Get your paper craft supplies to make your own gorgeous paper boxes at my Stampin Up demonstrator website.

Items Used in the Photo Tutorial:

About Laura

Laura enjoys a variety of crafts including paper crafting, crocheting, sewing, making vinyl tee shirts, and cross-stitching. She tries to balance her time and enjoy the simpler things in life.

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