I have long looked at the hard plastic lids that come on so many products and wished I could find a good use for them. Very few areas have the facilities to recycle these, so they generally go directly into the trash. Though I had used a couple to make a peanut feeder for the birds, I continued to think about how to use these lids to greater purpose and tried out this idea for making gift boxes. I started with two matching lids of the same size and color. These can be whatever size you like; even milk caps will work for this project. The trick to turning them into small “boxes” is to make a cardboard ring that fits snugly inside the base cap and extends high enough to hold the lid in place. For this, I searched through my stash of scrap cardboard until I found a thin piece that was white on both sides. (I think this was part of the packaging on some shirts.) Using a paper cutter, I cut a strip of cardboard that was just slightly shorter than the height of the stacked lids. Then I slipped this strip inside the lid that would be the base of my box and formed it into a circle that was very snug against the sides. Holding tightly to the place where it overlapped, I carefully removed the ring and taped it securely with cellophane tape. Since the ring needed to stay in the bottom of the box and not come out when the top was removed, I glued this into the bottom lid with a household cement designed for plastics. In order to make the inside more like that of a gift box, I needed to have something nice to put the gift on, like the batting that comes in jewelry boxes. A number of things came to mind for this: a portion of a white felted sweater, regular craft felt, a scrap of quilt batting, or even a bit of white sweatshirt or fleece jacket material that was still in good condition. I finally cut circles from a piece of fake “snow” which craft stores sell at Christmas time and put on excellent clearance sales after the season is over. Decorating is always the fun part for me! I had a scrap of wrapping paper that I glued to the sides and top of one set of lids with household cement. Then I made a small curly bow and added that to the top. I also tried a simple illustration from an old calendar on a different box, some shells and twine on another, and even some scraps of lace on another. Every box is different depending on what is on hand for decorating and the different ideas that come to mind. These are wonderful boxes for a host of small surprises such as candy, small toys, coins, and jewelry. They would be great last-minute gift ideas for Valentine’s Day!

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