Wooden Gift Box Decor

A pair of boxes decorated as presents.
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15-50
What You'll Need
Wood or cardboard boxes
Acrylic paint
Foam paint brush
Wide ribbon or scrap fabric
Hot glue gun
What You'll Need
Wood or cardboard boxes
Acrylic paint
Foam paint brush
Wide ribbon or scrap fabric
Hot glue gun

When it comes to holiday decor, spending a pretty penny isn't necessary. After all, there is a good chance you're already dropping big bucks on gifts, plane tickets, and festive clothing. Keep home decor off of the list by making your own holiday centerpieces and decorations. It's all about clever use of simple techniques and basic supplies.

Looking for inspiration? Start with these DIY wooden "gift" boxes. They call for nothing more than a wood or a cardboard box, acrylic paint, and ribbon. Careful placement of the ribbon creates the look of a present, resulting in a cheery piece that is sure to brighten up any home. An assortment of these boxes will look especially charming under the tree, on the porch, or on the mantel. Smaller versions can even double as centerpieces on the dinner table.

Thanks to the simplicity of this project, there is ample room for customization. Each box can be further spruced up with embellishments and painted patterns. You can even glue photos of family members onto the surface. Add paper name tags to mimic real gifts. Miscellaneous ornaments can also be tied to the ribbon, while extra tinsel can adorn the top. The possibilities are truly endless!

Step 1 - Gather the Materials

The supplies needed for the project.

Before starting this project, collect the necessary supplies. You can use any wooden or cardboard box for this project; the size and thickness is up to you. They don't have to be uniform in size. Instead, mix it up to create the illusion of randomly-sized gifts under the tree. Many craft stores sell simple wooden boxes and rectangles that are sanded down and ready to go. You can even use old boxes from the thrift store or recycled cardboard boxes. This idea is especially appropriate for bigger spaces and rooms—but make sure you have enough ribbon to wrap around the item that you choose. A wide ribbon made out of sturdy material works best. However, fabric remnants cut into wide strips also work just as well.

Step 2 - Paint the Wooden Box

A box being painted with green paint.

Using the foam brush, apply an even layer of acrylic paint. You may need to wait a few minutes between layers before applying another coat. As always, protect your work surface with newspaper or old magazines. Spray paint can also be used in place of acrylics.

Step 3 - Wrap and Glue the Ribbon

A green painted box with ribbon on it.

Wrap the ribbon completely around the box and trim the excess. The ends should overlap. Hot glue the ribbon in place, making sure that it does not slide off.

Step 4 - Repeat in the Opposite Direction

A green box with ribbon on it.

Add another strand of ribbon by wrapping it around the box and applying glue. The two strips of ribbon should be perpendicular to each other, forming a right angle in the center.

Step 5 - Cut Two Strands of Ribbon

Two pieces of cut ribbon.

Now, it's time to make the bow. Cut two strips of ribbon measuring 13 and 6 inches, respectively. You may need to adjust these measurements based on the size and thickness of your box. For reference, the wooden box used in this project is about the same size as a piece of paper and measured 3 inches thick.

Step 6 - Glue the Base of the Bow

A ribbon with a glue gun.

Take the longer strip of ribbon and fold the ends inward, meeting in the middle. Hot glue in place.

Step 7 - Position the Ribbon

A ribbon cross.

Hot glue the shorter strip to the center, creating a plus sign.

Step 8 - Glue the Center of the Bow

A glue gun with ribbon bow.

Fold both ends underneath and glue. This will create the illusion of a tied bow. Emphasize the bow's shape by scrunching the center. Add dots of hot glue to help the bow holds its place.

Step 9 - Adhere to Box

A bow being attached to a green box.

Attach the bow to the top of the "gift box" with hot glue.

Step 10 - Make More Gifts

A red box with a denim bow.

Repeat Steps 1-10 with boxes of different sizes. Switch up the colors and fabric to create an assortment of presents. Remember, you can easily add designs and patterns by painting the box or using different ribbons.