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Cover An Ugly Box

By Amanda Chittenden on December 5, 2020
From Snack Box to Gift Box! Do you need to cover up an ugly box so you can make it a beautiful gift box?  I know you know what I'm talking about, right?  You got a lovely tower of treats from someone for the holidays and the little boxes are SO cute, and super-sturdy, and […]

From Snack Box to Gift Box!

Do you need to cover up an ugly box so you can make it a beautiful gift box?  I know you know what I'm talking about, right?  You got a lovely tower of treats from someone for the holidays and the little boxes are SO cute, and super-sturdy, and you think to yourself "I wish I could reuse these boxes without everyone knowing they used to be full of chocolate drizzled popcorn". šŸ™‚ 


I Need Gift Boxes, STAT.

The holidays are coming, and I need gift boxes.  

Each year, I painstakingly fold up the boxes from Christmas morning and sometimes I even tape the tops and bottoms together so I don't have to play a matching game the next year...but most of the time, I'm just wondering where the heck all of the boxes are! 

I think I constantly underestimate how many boxes go bye-bye as gifts to other people each while I think I buy boxes All. The. Time., I really never have boxes.

I have learned to be creative at times with gifting things like money (see the post about dollar bill origami...or $20/$50/$100 bill origami, depending on your budget!), and I've made my own boxes just for the sake of cuteness (see the post about making your own gift box).  But in this case, we can save a TON of steps, which is super-helpful this time of year when time is at a premium for everyone.

Also, reduce, reuse, recycle, right?  An ugly-duckling of a snack tower box can be the most lovely embellished gift box.

I Save the Snack Tower Boxes...and Then What?

I enjoy getting a tower of treats for the holidays, I truly do.  If you are reading this and thinking I no longer want my containers of bon-bons, popcorn, cashew nuts, and chocolate raisins, you are wrong. 

Just to be clear.

It's not the treats that I object to, it's the styling of the boxes.  They scream "gift tower", or "I ate all of this chocolate"...but they're so sturdy and seem so useful, I just get sucked into keeping them.  I know i'll use them for something.  Right?

Or worse...what if you reuse the box and have to withstand the horror of giving it to someone who thinks its tasty treats and ends up with socks.

(also, please don't read this blog post and think I also don't want socks for Christmas) šŸ™‚ I love me some socks.

My point is, I want to reuse those boxes, but I don't want anyone to KNOW that I've done it.  Or if they figure it out, I at least want them to realize that I put some effort into disguising the box.

Snack tower box
Underside of snack tower box

Get Some Wrapping Paper and Double-Sided Tape

Some wrapping paper, some double-sided tape, and a pair of scissors.  That's all you will need.

If you pick wrapping paper that is kind of on the thick side, you might struggle to wrap the top AND the bottom and still be able to get the box pieces together.   If you need to wrap the top and bottom, you may want to use a thinner paper.

In my case, I was fine with the contrasting red box bottom, and I just wanted a fun new patterned lid!

Snack box lid to be covered

Cut Wrapping Paper Slightly Larger than Your Box

I didn't measure it, I just eyeballed it.  You want the paper to be long enough that the sides will wrap down the side of the box lid, but not too long.  I was aiming for about a half an inch on the inside, just a little lower than where the green and gold pattern is on the ugly box.

Grab Your Double-Sided Tape

Use the double-sided tape to create a sticky frame around the top of your lid.  Be sure to also put a piece in the middle to keep it tacked down.  If your box is small, you may not need that middle piece.  But it's helpful for an large ugly box. šŸ™‚

Applying double sided tape to box lid
Add tape to center of lid

Center Box Lid on Wrapping Paper

You want to eyeball it again, but be careful when you put down your box lid on your wrapping paper. 

You get ONE SHOT at this.  Your lid is super-sticky, so you will not likely be able to peel it off and reposition it.

Center sticky box lid onto wrapping paper

Cut Corners, Literally

It's okay to cut corners sometimes. šŸ™‚  In this case, cut each corner from the end of the paper to the corner of the box lid.

Like this...

Cut wrapping paper corners

Add Sticky Tape to the Paper Border and Fold!

You want to just make a nice border of sticky tape along each of the 4 sides.  I like to work with 1 or 2 sides at a time and work my way around.

Apply double sided tape to borders of paper

Folding in the sides is where the magic happens.  Start by folding in the center of the paper, and then fold the corners over the edge on each side.

There's a video link below if you need to watch instead.  It's easier for me to follow that way, so I made you a video. šŸ™‚

Fold over edges

Pull gently up to bring the triangle toward the inside of the box.

Fold corner in

Fold the remainder piece down into the inside of the box lid.

Fully folded in flap

It looks so clean and crisp, like it's never had a former life hauling dried apricots!

Ugly Box Covering Video Tutorial

Here's a short 10 min video walking you through this process.  It's not hard, but I think it helps to be able to see it live...

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.


Reuse your boxes, and grab some scraps of wrapping paper.  The only thing you might need is some double sided tape.  I have an assortment, but I like these:


Article written by Amanda Chittenden

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Iā€™m Amanda, and I put the AMANDA in A MANDAtory Activity (and I like a good bad pun). I run a blog, A Mandatory Activity, focused on baking and crafting for gatherings and gifts.

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