In terms of ease of crafting, recycling of numerous materials, and usefulness of the final products, these gift boxes are an all-round winner! Everything used in the creation of these boxes is recycled except the glue and two Velcro dot sets, so supplies are cheap. The skills required are cutting and gluing so it is a recycling craft which most children could do. I started with an empty, lidded box: a shoe box, a box for jewelry, greeting cards, or a puzzle or game box. I tore small pieces of tissue paper (used!) and glued them to the box to cover the writing and then cut the picture portion from a greeting card and glued it to the top for decoration. Some of the boxes are already painted nicely and only need the careful removal of a sticker or some creative trim placement, but painting the box is an alternative to covering it with the tissue paper. Leftover ribbons, magazine pictures, comic strips, silk greenery, or even canceled postage stamps can be added to dress up the boxes. I put a self-adhesive Velcro dot under the lip of the lid on two opposite sides to keeping the lid from “accidentally”coming off and revealing the gift inside. I especially like using these boxes for gifts that have to be able to travel with me. Because of their decoration and trim, they don’t require bows (which crush easily) and they stack nicely. Because I re-use some of the more special ones for our family, they have the ease of using a gift bag without the problem of trying to keep the bag and tissue paper neat. The boxes pictured here are for Christmas, but they can be made for any occasion.

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