1:48 shoebox

Idea and instructions by Anna-Carin Betzén

A non-opening shoebox made by covering piece of wood with paper. Virtually no measuring required. Use the same method to make boxes in any size.

Supplies and tools

When trimming off excess paper along the edge of the wood, for best results rest the inside of the scissors' topmost blade against flat against the side of the wood. That way, the cut will be perfectly aligned with the edge. When trimming paper that extends in a "tube" around the wood, I usually go around it twice - the first time I remove the bulk of the paper, and the second time I trim off any little bits that remain, for a smooth shape.

Apply the glue in a thin layer; when you press the paper in place, there should only be a few little beads of excess glue oozing out somewhere around the edge. Wipe them away with a clean toothpick, otherwise they'll dry into bumps.

If you make three or more boxes, assembly-line style, you won't have to wait for the glue to set!


Trim off any fuzzies on the wood with scissors.

Optional: for a neat underside, glue the piece of wood to a piece of heavy white paper.

When the glue has set for a few minutes, trim off the excess.

(I wouldn't bother to cover the bottom if the box will be glued into a setting straight away, but it's a nice touch if you e.g make boxes for a gift or swap.)

Cut a strip of wallpaper that is a bit wider than the thickness of the wood, and long enough to go around it with a bit to spare. Glue one end of the strip to the wood.

When the glue has set, trim the end.

Fold the paper towards the next side, pressing your finger against the corner edge to crease the paper. Now that you have a crisp crease at the corner, glue the paper to the wood.

Let the glue set, then repeat for the next side, until the box is covered on all four sides.

Trim at the last corner.

Cut down gradually towards the surface of the wood, to get the scissors in position against the wood. Trim off the excess paper.

Trim excess paper from the other side too.

Cut a bit of wallpaper, at least 5 mm (3/16") larger than the box, and glue it to the top of the box.

Hint: if you want to center a design on the top of the box, cut the wallpaper with the design centered on it. Then glue the box centered on the back of the paper.

Trim the extending paper to about 1 mm (a little over 1/32"). These edges will form the edge of the lid. (I use to eyeball the width, but you could mark it with a pencil and ruler for accuracy.)

(Alternatively, you could cut a separate strip of wallpaper and glue around the box to form the edge; e.g. if paper has a stripe or border you want to use. In that case, trim the paper right along the edge instead.)

Press your finger against the top edges on two opposite sides, to crease the paper.

Apply a thin layer of glue on the back of the paper on these two sides, and press in place.

Snip off the paper along the corners.

Apply glue to the paper on the remaining sides (though not on the little flaps on the ends), and press in place.

Snip off the flaps, and you're done.

© Copyright Anna-Carin Betzén. You're welcome to print the instructions or link to them, but do not copy them to repost elsewhere. This is a free project, not to be taught for profit.
www.btz.se/minis/ web site by Anna-Carin Betzén. All rights reserved.