How to Make Small Crafts Boxes

Craft boxes come in all kinds of sizes and shapes, and they're simple to make. In fact, you don't need any nails or screws to hold them together; for they can be glued together with carpenter’s glue. After the box is finished and decorated, your new creation can be used to hold cigars, jewelry or odds and ends.


Step 1

Very thin wood is required for this task. A 1/4 or 3/8 thickness is ideal, but a 1/2-inch board can also be used. The type of wood varies widely. I have found 1/4 inch poplar wood available in craft stores, and I have also gone directly to a wood supplier and had the wood cut and planed to my specifications. A board that is 3 to 5 inches wide works best. Length can vary.

Step 2

Make your basic box. First, cut your width. If you want your box to be 6 inches wide, cut two pieces at exactly 6 inches in length. Then cut the length of the box. If you want your box to be 8 inches long, you will have to make the cuts at 7 1/2 inches (that allows for 1/4 inch thickness at each end). This should give you a box that has an outside dimension of 6 X 8 inches.

Step 3

Put the box together. Set all four pieces on a flat surface. Stand all four pieces on their side, apply the glue and push the pieces together. Let the glue dry.

Step 4

Make four corner braces for the box. Cut four triangular pieces from your wood stock. The two sides of the triangle should be the same measurement as the width of your wood. All your wood stock that you have used so far needs to be of the same width. This same width will also be the height of your craft box. Once your four pieces are cut, you can glue one of the pieces to each corner. They should go on the outside length of the box. One side of the triangular piece should line up with the corner and the other side should line up with the bottom of your box. The long diagonal side of the corner brace will make a line across the outside surface of the box. Let the box dry, and now your box will start to feel strong.

Step 5

Make the bottom of the box. This includes two parts--the actual bottom, which goes inside the box, and the foot, which goes underneath the box. The wood for this part of the project can be of a different width. In fact, sometimes the variation in width makes for a more attractive product. First, cut two pieces of perfect length to fit between the two sides. In a 6-by-8 box, you could cut two pieces at exactly 5 1/2 inches. (I would cut and fit instead of making an actual measurement. To do this, cut one end square and place the cut end underneath the box so the end of the piece butts up against the side of the box. Now take a pencil and score a line where the other edge of the box crosses the piece that rests underneath it.) Cut two pieces in this manner and fit them inside the box as if they were part of the bottom. Note that they go between the sides and not actually underneath. Cut a third piece to fill the remaining space in the bottom of the box. First cut to length and then cut to width. Now all three pieces should fit into the bottom without any gaps showing. Pull out one piece at a time, add some glue to all four edges and reinsert it in the bottom. Do this to all three pieces and now you have your bottom. You can now add one piece of wood to the bottom to act like a small foot. It will only raise the box 1/4 inch off the surface, but it makes for a more interesting finished product. The foot piece should be an inch shorter than the overall length of the box and it can simply glued to the bottom, dead center.

Step 6

Make the top of the box. The top piece will sit on top of the original square frame that you made in Step 3. It will most likely look better if you cut the boards lengthwise. First, cut two pieces of equal length and place them on top of the box. Mark the underside edge with a pencil and then cut each piece along the length of the board so that you have an exact fit. Now your two boards should cover the top of the box perfectly. (If you need three boards to cover the top, cut the middle board last.) Now cut two boards to the exact length of 5 3/8 inches. (This would be for a box that is 6 inches wide.) Attach each board to the back of the top piece, leaving a 3/16-inch margin on three sides. Clamp and glue these boards to the underside of the top piece so that the 3/16-inch margin doesn’t change once the glue is dry. Now run a board right down the middle of the underside of the top piece, so that it fills the gap between the two pieces that have been clamped and glued. Insert a small cabinet door knob (they can be purchased at the hardware store and installed by simply drilling a hole in the center of the top piece) and the construction phase of making the box is complete.

Step 7

Lightly sand the box.

Step 8

Decorate your box. You can paint or apply a finish to the outside and perhaps line the inside with a fancy material.

Tips and Warnings

Cut the boards with a miter box. You can use a power miter or a hand-saw miter to do this. The four corner braces are structural, but you can keep adding square or triangular pieces to the outside surface to create a unique design or pattern. You can make dovetail joints for putting the initial four-sided box together and eliminate the need for the four triangular corner braces. A craft box made with cedar wood is a good place to keep cigars. These boxes are not designed to be locked up.

Things You'll Need

Thin wood ( 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick), Carpenter's glue, Pencil, Cabinet knob, Miter box (electric or hand), Sandpaper, Craft paint or finish

About this Author

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications, and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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