What are the Best Tips for Putting Decoupage on Boxes?

Sheri Cyprus

When putting decoupage on boxes, it's usually best to plan the project and estimate where the cutout pieces will go first. If the box isn't going to be entirely covered with paper cutouts, then preparing it first by adding paint or another finish may be necessary or desired. One of the best tips for putting decoupage on boxes is to first consider the design for the corners as well as those for the center top and sides, as those areas tend to stand out.

Brightly colored papers are often used for decoupage.
Brightly colored papers are often used for decoupage.

Having the center parts of the box lid and four sides be more prominent can give interest to the piece. These decoupage cutouts shouldn't go on until after the rest of the box is done. For the corners, choose cutouts that fit especially well on them, as this can look stunning. For example, a sun cut out with its rays pointing up and on either side of the corner can be eye-catching.

If the decoupaged box is to have a whimsical appeal, cutouts of hinges—such as those cut from a home improvement store catalog—can be placed in the box's four corners for a fun approach. Even if a decoupaged box is to have a fun look, having the cutouts prepared ahead of time is a good idea. If the cutouts' arrangement on the project is planned out, even in just a very basic way, it can help create a pleasing result for the crafter.

A great tip for decoupaging boxes for gifts is to personalize them. For instance, using children's drawings and artwork when putting decoupage on boxes can make an ideal gift for grandparents or for Mother's Day or Father's Day. It's a good idea to include a small piece of paper on the bottom of the box with the child's name and date for future reference. Decoupaging a keepsake box with maps of a person's hometown or favorite place can also make a personal and thoughtful gift. Children can make decoupaged boxes themselves using the inexpensive folding boxes that typically are sold in closet organizing sections of department stores.

Jigsaw puzzle pieces, such as those purchased inexpensively from a second hand store, can be painted and decoupaged onto a large box as well. Crackle paint used as a background and different colors of it placed on the puzzle pieces can create an interesting look. The large, decoupaged box might be used to store television remote controls and other clutter in a family room. When putting decoupage on boxes for a more elegant space, such as a formal living room, beautifully colored paper cutouts that coordinate with the room's colors can be used.

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