Illustrations by Adam Krueger

Ever notice how toddlers don't get past the unwrapping of the present because they're too fascinated with the packaging itself? Well, there's something to that. This handmade box leaves room for all kinds of possibilities—whether you fill it with something of your choosing or you let the recipient decide what goes inside.

Gather ye art supplies: bookboard, $2.85 for a 19-by-26-inch piece; art paper, $2.25 and up per sheet; PVA glue, $10 for 16 ounces; paste brush (for spreading glue evenly), $4 and up; bone folder (for smoothing and folding the paper to cover the box), $3.95 and up.

The box in our example is 6 inches square. Measure, cut and score the book board, making flaps for later assembly.

Measure and cut paper to cover both the inside and outside of the box. To cover the outside, cut the paper an inch bigger than the box all around. For the inside cover, cut the paper one-eighth of an inch smaller all around.

Assemble the box by gluing flaps to insides.

Apply glue to paper with paste brush and carefully glue to the sides of the box, folding extra paper over edges on the outside as shown.

Repeat steps to make the box top, but measure the book board one-eighth of an inch bigger than the box so the lid will fit over the top. Assemble.

Art supplies available at:
Paper Source, 638 NW 23rd Ave., 226-8000,
Art Media, 902 SW Yamhill St., 223-3724,
Utrecht, 1122 NW Everett St., 417-8024,