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Shoe Boxes + Pretty Paper = Mod Podge Party

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Pardon my mess!

My mother fell in love with these boxes at first sight when she spotted them in my apartment a few years ago. When we began redecorating her home office last winter, she told me she wanted a set in black and white stripes like mine.

Unfortunately, I bought these boxes back in college, and Ikea had ceased production of stripes by the time I went to purchase them this time around. The devastation on her face was too much for me to handle. I made the boxes my office warming gift.

I was planning on building pretty wall shelves for my CDs and knick knacks anyway. But I never did. Which is how this particular project was born.

The Shoe Box Makeover
(aka the Let’s Face It, Those Shelves Aren’t Getting Made project)

Shoe box
Mod Podge (I used Satin finish)
Sponge brush (or your 1″ brush of choice)
Measuring tool
Paper towels
Binder clips
photo corners (optional)
cardstock (optional)

Step 1:
Measure your shoe box, adding .5″ to each side to account for flaps. Here is a terrible sketch of what I mean since I forgot to take a picture of the box pre-project. You’ll need the measurements of A, B & C to make your cuts.

Step 2:
Measure your giftwrap and cut out these 3 pieces.

1 big piece that will cover the long sides and bottom of the box plus allow for .5″ flaps on all 4 sides. (A + .5″ + .5″) inches wide by (B + C + B + .5″ + .5″) inches long

2 small pieces that will cover the short sides and only need flaps at the top and bottom.
C inches wide by (B + .5″ + .5″) inches long.

Example: my box’s measurements were 11.5″ wide (A) by 4.75″ tall (B) by 4.75″ deep (C).

So my large piece was 12.5 inches wide by 15.25 inches long & my small pieces were 4.75 inches wide and 5.75 inches long.

Step 3:
I wanted the short pieces to be secured to the bottom underneath the larger piece, so I adhered the .5″ bottom flap on both short pieces first.

[Note: There are several kinds of Mod Podge available. Be sure to follow the instructions on your bottle. Mine said to let dry for 10 to 15 minutes.]

Use a very thing layer of Mod Podge. You don’t need very much, and you don’t want to make the paper too wet.

Smooth out any wrinkles that form immediately using your fingers or a bone folder.

To keep the paper taunt while these strips dried, I clipped it into place on the edge with a binder clip. Protect the paper from scratches and tearing by placing a piece of paper towel between the giftwrap and the binder clip’s edges.

Step 4:
On the large piece of giftwrap, the flaps will be used to secure the paper to the inside of the box and to the shorter sides. So we’ll need to trim the big piece a bit.

First, determine where the bottom of the box will be glued to the paper. Sketch the outline of the box with a pencil. Then cut a rectangle out of each side.

Next, lay the box on its side (lining the bottom edge to the previously drawn outline) and mark where the corner of the box hits. Cut out a square .5″ x .5″ on each side like so.

Repeat process on the other side. You should wind up with a piece that looks somewhat like this.

Step 5:
Spread Mod Podge on the bottom of the box and carefully place it within the previously marked outline on the giftwrap. Smooth out any wrinkles that form immediately. Let dry.

Step 6:
Turn the box so one long side is face up. Spread Mod Podge over this side and smooth paper into place, making sure to watch for bubbles around the edge that meets the bottom of the box. Do not glue the flaps down to the side panels yet.

Continue to Mod Podge the giftwrap into place, following this order and letting each piece dry completely:

Long Side 1 (but not the flaps)

Long Side 2 (but not the flaps)

Side flaps for long side 1

Here, it’s easiest to fold back the flaps so you don’t accidentally glue the wrong part down.

Side flaps for long side 2

Short Side 1 (but not the flaps)

Short Side 2 (but not the flaps)

Inner flaps for all 4 sides

(If you’d like to do the lid as well, follow the same steps as above.)

Step 7:
Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the entire box and let dry. This will protect the paper from ripping.

And you’re done!

I added a cardstock label with photo corners to give it a finished look.

Tip: Don’t have photo corners? Cut 4 small triangles out of black paper. Done.


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