Home #Makerspace: Decoupage #makered Treasure Boxes

My sons love treasure boxes.  It doesn’t matter if the boxes are big, small or medium-sized.  Nor do they care to actually keep track of their little treasures or can they be bothered placing stuff in them.  They have far more fun collecting, designing and imagining treasure boxes.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve explored making three types of treasure boxes.  First, a decoupage cigar box using a sealer, a scrap plywood breadbox, and lastly, nets of various prisms, cubes and cones.

Decoupage Box

A super simple project – we just took craft boxes and glued up the paper to it.  We used construction paper, old newspapers, magazines and scrapbooking prints.


I use two products for decoupage.  Mod Podge is a wondrous mix of white glue and polyurethane.  It tries clear and comes in a variety of glosses.  It’s expensive, so I like to water it down and make it last longer.

White glue also works well, but I find it can dry yellowy if too thick.



Craft Box – most craft stores sell small boxes, or you can use old cigar boxes.  Cardboard absorbs the moisture in the glue, so I avoid those boxes for my decoupage projects.

Glue – Either white glue or Mod Podge.

Paper scraps – From any source.  I’ve used old posters, newspapers, magazines, etc.


Paint brush – cheap chip brushes or the wide sable hair brush

Scissors – small, blunted points for younger students, longer scissors as soon as appropriate.

Utility Knife – Generally, adult use only, but may be appropriate for older kids with supervision.


 Developmental Level

Adaptable for all levels.  This project lends itself to extensions and repetitions.  Children can hunt down thematic pictures from magazines (trucks, blue things, cartoons, money, etc), children can use photographs of themselves.  Children begin building their own craft boxes (next week’s project post!) or mix and match media.



1.  Tear up your paper scraps with scissors or hands.


2. Dip a piece in the glue, squeeze off the excess, then place it on your craft box.  You can also paint glue onto a side, then place the paper, then paint over the paper with glue once a side is completed.  The second technique is much cleaner.


3.  Repeat for each side until all sides are done.


4. If you glue the lid down, jimmy the utility or craft knife into the crack between the lid and base.  Then slice around the box to crack it open.

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