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How to Make a Gorgeous 3D Paper Gift Box

How to Make a Gorgeous 3D Paper Gift Box main article image
Posted on April 11, 2022 by Carrie Christenson

Springtime is finally here so I’m inspired to bring flowers in any form into our lives.  It’s still too cold where I live in Michigan to have real outdoor flowers so I figured it would be fun to try my hand at making some paper flowers.

Have you ever tried making your own paper flowers?  I’m not a big paper crafter but who can resist turning flat paper into gorgeous colorful works of art?  With Mother’s Day approaching I wanted to test out making a unique gift box idea that can be filled with candy, jewelry, or many small items.

Supplies Needed:

Design the 3D Box

Start by opening up the 3D box file you want to use.  I really liked the size and shape of the box linked because it can be used for so many different types of items. First I uploaded the file to Silhouette Studio.

Screenshot of paper box design

I noticed that the score lines for the large rectangular base weren’t grouped together so I selected all of the elements for that portion of the box and then right-clicked to bring up the shortcut menu and grouped them together.

Screenshot of grouping design together

This allows me to be able to resize that portion and move it around without accidentally moving a portion out of place.

Next, I wanted to resize the box to be as large as possible for the paper size I’m using which is 12” x 12”.  Make sure that you select ALL of the design elements at the same time so you don’t accidentally resize them to different sizes.  You’ll need all of the parts to be the same scale so they fit together properly when you assemble the box.  I can’t fit the entire box design onto one sheet so I kept the lid portion of the 3D box design off to the side for now.

Screenshot of the first page to cut out

Head to the “Send” tab in the Silhouette Studio software and change the cut settings to match your material.  Add your paper to your cutting mat and load it into your machine.

Screenshot of the Cut Settings

Once you’re ready to cut the material out, hit the send button in the bottom right-hand corner.

photo showing the silhouette cameo cutting the paper

Now you will go back to the “Design” tab in the software and slide the portion you just cut off to the side and will place the top of the box onto the cutting mat.  Be careful not to resize it as you move it.  Follow the same steps as above to cut out that portion of the design.

Screenshot of the box lid to be cut

Cut the Floral Elements

Let’s start cutting out the various floral elements for your project.  I really like the leaves from this design file for my project.  I resized each leaf to be smaller and spread them out on the mat so I could cut them out of different colors of paper all at the same time.

screenshot of the paper leaves

I took my shades of green paper and cut them down into 4” wide strips and then attached them to the cutting mat making sure that my leaves would be positioned to cut out on the center of each color.

screenshot of the leaf cut settings

Once you have the cutting mat prepared go ahead and send the designs to be cut by the machine.

Finally, let’s cut out the flower petals to make the flowers themselves.  You’ll want to open the design file and scale it to the size you want.  Since I plan on adding them to the top of the small 3D box, I didn’t want to make really large flowers that will overpower the project.

I’m using 8.5” x 11” paper for this portion so I changed my media size to match to ensure that I was scaling the design to fit on the paper.

screenshot of the flower design

You can cut it out when you have everything the way you want it to be.  I repeated this same cut on a few different shades of pink paper so I could mix and match flower layers to help give the flower design more dimension.

screenshot of the flower cut settings

Here is a trick for how to remove the cut flower elements off the cutting mat without ripping or bending them.  You lay your cutting mat face down on the table and pull the mat away while gently holding onto the flower cuts.  This works anytime you don’t want to bend your paper while removing it from the sticky cutting mat.  

photo showing pulling the mat away from the cut flowers

Assemble the 3D Box

Now that you have all of the design elements cut out it’s time for the fun part, putting it all together!

You’ll want to use a scraper tool, or even just a credit card, to make sure you get nice crisp edges on all of your folds.  Follow the score lines and press each line firmly on each portion of the box.

photo showing using a scraper tool to fold paper

Next, take your tape roller and run it along the top and bottom of the rectangular portion of the box.

photo showing the tape being rolled onto the paper

photo of the 2 areas of where to add the tape

Fold along the score lines that you have pre-pressed and push down to adhere the tape line to the bottom of the box.  I used a small sewing ruler to help press down on the inside portion of the box without accidentally smooshing the outside edges.

photo showing how to assemble the box

Now fold the small ends of the box together and add tape to the edge of the inside triangle.

photo showing the small portion of the 3d box

You’ll basically slide those end caps onto the long rectangular portion of the box and try to attach them with the taped edges as best as possible.  You might be better off using hot glue for this portion with a little dab in the corners where it slides over the main long rectangular portion.

photo showing the box base assembled

Assemble the top of the box next.  Start by folding all of the edges and pressing with the scraper to get the crisp folds and then attach the tape to the edges where they will fold together.  I found adding tape to both sides that fold in together gave me a better grip.

photo showing the box top assembled

Assemble the Flowers

Of course, there are a million tutorials that already exist for how to assemble paper flowers.  I did look up the video for this particular flower set but I decided I didn’t really care that it resembled a real flower.  I just wanted it to represent a floral design for my project.

I did add a little color to some of the inside sections of the flowers by coloring them with my kid’s colored pencils.  I also balled up a scrap piece of paper so I could wrap the inside flower layer around it to give it more dimension.

photo showing coloring the paper flower petals

Use a lot of the tape and then fold/curl the inside petals around the paper ball.  Just keep adding layers with more tape until you like the final result.

photo showing how to tape the flower together

I also curled the petals using my nails to scrape against the paper as I pulled back to give it a little curl.  For some of the petals, I folded the petal leaves in half to give them dimension in a different way so once assembled they looked a little more life-like instead of being flat paper taped together.

I made 3 different flowers in varying sizes so I could create a small arrangement on the corner of the 3D box.

photo showing the 3 assembled flowers

I’m an interior designer for my “real” job so here’s your free design lesson for today:

Your eye prefers seeing odd numbers of objects grouped together, specifically threes.  It’s called the rule of thirds and I’m sure you’ve heard of it before.  

If you ever look at professionally staged shelves or tabletops I promise you that it will be an odd number of items grouped together, such as a book, a plant, and a candle.  You’ll notice this design detail everywhere now that I’ve pointed it out to you!  Odd numbers just look better!

Back to the 3D box!  Let’s attach all of those pretty flowers and leaves to the lid of the box.  You’ll want to use hot glue for this, the tape isn’t quite strong enough to hold the heavy paper flowers on.  

photo showing the 3d flowers on box lid

I layered the green palm style leaves down first across from each other and then I added the cluster of the three flowers tightly together on top.  I took the smaller leaves and filled those in the gaps to finish off the design.  

Here’s the final look.  This is such a pretty way to present a small present to someone!  I took some scraps of the colored paper and ran them through my paper shredder to make some padding for the bottom of the box.  

Next, I added some beautiful chocolates inside to give as a small treat to my mom.  I mean, you can never go wrong with chocolate, am I right?

3d box with flowers on top and chocolates inside the base

I really love the simple patterned paper as the box mixed with the paper flowers.  Isn’t this a much more exciting presentation for candy versus the regular cardboard box they come in?

I hope you enjoyed following along with this project today and I can’t wait to see how you decide to make yours.  

Happy Crafting Everyone!

-Carrie Christenson

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