So you have your gift box that you made in this easy tutorial, now it’s time to decorate! (That gift box took less than 10 minutes to make, right?! So you should have a few minutes spare to decorate it…)
Or maybe you have a plain Jane gift box you want to jazz up or even a cardboard box you want to decorate. Either way, this post should have you covered – lots of gift box decoration ideas with stunning results!
Like the construction of this DIY gift box, these decoration ideas are all incredibly simple and don’t require expensive materials or tools, complicated techniques or a lot of time. I have none of those things! Most of the materials I had at home or ‘borrowed’ from my mother-in-law. (I say borrowed – she will get them back attached to the box in all likelihood).
I’ve divided these gift box decoration ideas into ones for any occasion, ones you can do with kids (even toddlers, just add a little time, especially for clean up!) and more festive decoration ideas for Christmas.
But these ideas are easy enough to mix and match so make sure you look through all of them.
For example, some of the Christmas ones involve tree shapes – you could use the same decorating technique but do hearts for Valentines Day.
I will be adding to this post for many years to come as I keep experimenting with more decorating ideas! For now, these are 15 of the best so far.
Materials for decorating your cardboard box or DIY gift box
The possibilities are endless here and by the end of this post you will probably have thought of other materials or decoration ideas of your own.
If you’ve made your own gift box, as in this tutorial, then the material you use to tie the box together will have a huge impact on the overall look of the finished box. Some decorative thread and your gift box is good to go. But you can then use the same thread or a contrasting material or color to decorate further.
Ideas of materials to use for decorating:
- fabric or satin ribbons – I’m always saving ribbons from gift bags and wrapping as I can’t bear to thrown them away! But otherwise there’s a huge selection available in craft and material shops
- embroidery threads/piping threads
- stick on gift tags
- stick on craft supplies
- tissue paper
- potpourri/dried flowers etc
- scrap book paper
- old wrapping paper
- fabric scraps
- beads – either bought or from old necklaces
Supplies you may need
- glue – stick glue, wood glue, glue gun
- craft knife
Gift box decoration ideas for any occasion (Mothers Day perhaps?)
1. Oversized tissue flower
We decided on no real flowers at our wedding (we live in the north of Botswana where it’s insanely hot and dry and cut flowers have to be flown in from thousands of miles away…) so had tissue paper flowers lining the aisle!
So using a tissue paper flower to decorate one of my cardboard gift boxes just had to be done! They are dead easy to make – here’s a video showing you how. Once you have your flower, punch two holes in the lid and thread the pipe cleaner from the flower through and secure the other side (the underside of the lid).
2. Fabric Bow
Take some decorative fabric, wrap it around the lid and tie on the top. Another super easy gift box decoration idea, no glue involved!
3. Paper beads
I had these paper heart beads left over from when I used to make earrings. Paper heart beads are sooo simple to make and require no glue which also feels very satisfying. I can’t remember how I first learnt to make them but here’s a video tutorial – you don’t need to varnish them and depending on the paper you’re using and the look you’re going for, you might prefer them matt (I do).
4. Cut-out paper flowers
Another one using scrap book paper… I simply cut out some of the flowers from this pattern and stuck them on the lid. I love the colors of these flowers with the cardboard as a background.
I’ve had some old popourri in need of new life lying around for ages. I arranged some on the lid and glued them on with a hot glue gun. It just so happened that I found some pale, purply ribbon which works so well as the colur and texture is similar to the dried purply leaf. I love this rustic gift box decoration idea!
6. Oversized embroidered star
Draw some star shapes onto the lid in pencil, then pierce holes at each point of the star. Use some decorative thread (I used piping cord but embroidery thread would also work well) to stitch a star on. Here’s a tutorial showing you how.
Try and use the smallest needle possible, otherwise the holes can get a bit big – think I just got away with it here. Also if your gift box is made with poor quality cardboard the holes can get big and ugly quite easily (I learnt this the hard way).
Gift box decoration ideas easy enough for toddlers
A little assistance may be necessary, of course!
1. 3D stickers
I found these 3D stickers buried in my craft box and had some lovely sparkly pink ribbon to match. Tied the box together with the ribbon, stuck the stickers on, done! The quickest gift box decoration idea yet.
This box would be so perfect for a little girl, as a little jewelry box perhaps.
2. Potato stamps
Here I decorated the cardboard before I started the box making process in a fun-filled activity with my two toddlers.
This is a good idea when you’re doing a large print or pattern, plus if you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out then you can throw it away and start again – you haven’t wasted time making the box first. You can also then cut the best bit of the pattern and avoid the dodgy bits.
3 – Foot and hand prints
As with the potato stamping, get your toddlers to ‘decorate’ the cardboard before making the boxes. My two loved this! There was a bit of cleaning up to be done after but it was so worth it. This box turned out to be my favorite!
Look how cute it boxes turned out! By carefully choosing the best part of the hand and foot print pattern you don’t notice the smudgy bits. These will make lovely keepsakes and so this gift box decoration idea will be perfect for your kids to give to their grandparents.
4. Glitter spots
Dab spots of glue onto the box lid and sprinkle the glitter on the top. As you can see I decided on two colors, so this was a two step process:
- Do half the glue spots, sprinkle the first glitter color and allow to dry. Then shake the excess glitter off
- Intersperse the first glue and glitter spots with more glue, sprinkle the second color, allow to dry and shake the excess off
My two toddlers ‘helped’ decorate this cardboard gift box, hence they’re not quite as tidy as they could be…
Gift box decoration ideas for Christmas
1. Stick on gift tags
I was amazed to find some wooden Christmas gift tags in town (we live in a very small town in Northern Botswana). I wanted to use the star gift tag for the tiny square gift box in this tutorial so instead of using the tie I decided to glue the tag onto the gift box. The large star in the picture came with a tiny star so I glued the small star on top of the big one at the top point.
Having stuck the gift tag on it felt like something was missing. I’d tied this box with some lovely silver sparkly ribbon I found so I thought it needed a bit more sparkle on the lid. Glitter was the obvious answer! I dabbed a bit of glue around the star and sprinkled some gold glitter over it. Left it to dry and then shook the excess glitter off.
Decorating this tiny gift box like this was super quick and easy and of all these gift box decoration ideas this is one of my favorites! A stunning little gift box.
2. Scrap paper Christmas trees
I love pretty paper and have collected a number of scrap paper books which are useful for all sorts of crafting projects. So here I just cut some triangles out of the paper and stuck some gold stars at the top of each. I could have cut proper Christmas tree shapes out but I like the simplicity of the triangles, plus it was heaps quicker. (If I’m honest the time factor was my number one reason.)
3. Fancy beaded Christmas tree
When I raided my mother-in-laws bead box I came across these beauties! Hot glue gun and a few burnt fingers later and the results speak for themselves! A stunning and simple gift box decoration idea.
4. Repurposed beaded necklace
If you have an old beaded necklace that’s stretched, faded or broken then the beads can easily be used to decorate your cardboard box or gift box. The necklace I used was made from pretty brown seeds so I thought they’d work well on these Christmas trees I’d cut out from some red card. I then stuck some silver beads on the top of the trees, tied a bow with some silver ribbon and glued it on. Done!
I love this box because it has a rustic Christmas feel to it, with just a touch of glitz! Give your gift box an easy Christmas makeover.
5. Decorative sticky tape
I lined the edges of the lid and sides of this gift box with some sparkly tape. Then I used (yet more) scrap book paper and cut out a tree shape, glued on some silver beads. I then cut out a star shape from some gold patterned fabric and glued it on the top! Silver and red with a touch of gold – a classic Christmas gift box decoration idea.
6. Stick on craft shapes
These white stick on snow flakes looked a bit bland so I dabbed a bit of glue on the top and sprinkled some glitter! What makes this gift box is the ribbon I used to tie the box – piping ribbon with the cord taken out. The fraying ribbon makes it look fluffy and Christmassy.
Another stunning gift box decoration idea!
If you enjoyed these ideas or want to save for later, please pin this! As my 3 year old has just learnt, sharing is caring (learned to say, not learnt to do :))