Decoupaged Seed File Box

Decoupaged Seed File Box

decorated boxAnyone who gardens from seed knows how important it is to keep seeds organized. I keep a box, sorted by plant type, that is invaluable all spring, summer, and fall, and it serves as a storage file in winter.

This box, designed to fit standard-sized seed packets, is decorated with herb motifs from catalogs and saved seed packets.


  • Stiff cardboard, mat board, or illustration board, 18" x 24"
  • Masking tape
  • Seed packets, pictures of herbs from catalogs or gardening magazines
  • Decoupage medium (Mod-Podge, acrylic medium, or thinned white glue)
  • 1 yard grosgrain ribbon, 1" wide
  • 6" length of carpet thread or yarn
  • 4" x 6" piece of felt for bottom (optional)
  • 1 paper fastener


  • Cutting surface, such as cork, wood or rubber
  • X-acto or mat knife, sharp blades
  • Metal ruler, 18" if available
  • Scissors
  • 1" flat brush


1) In pencil, draw the pattern for the box and lid onto the board. The dotted lines are fold lines; the solid lines are cutting lines.

2) Using the metal ruler and sharp knife, cut out the shapes. Score lightly along the dotted lines, cutting only halfway through the board, to allow you to fold these lines.

3) Fold along the scored lines and run masking tape along each seam line to fasten the corners. The upper edges of the box, if cut accurately, should line up perfectly. If they don’t, trim them before you tape the box together.

4) Cut out images from the seed packets and catalogs.

5) To decoupage the box and lid, coat an area of the board with acrylic medium or glue, stick on the paper cutout, and brush over it to hold it in place and seal it. Decorate around the upper edges of the box and down at least 1" inside the box.

6) The box lid edges will be trimmed with the grosgrain ribbon. You can decoupage the top only, or the entire lid, both inside and out.

7) When your design is complete, paint a final coat of acrylic medium onto the box and lid. If you have been using white glue for the decoupage, use acrylic gloss medium for the final coat (glue may leave a cloudy film).

8) Paint a 1" stripe of glue or medium around the lid front and side edges and along the top of the lid back. Cut three 3" lengths of ribbon for the hinges. Glue the grosgrain ribbon hinges onto the lid back, 1/4" in from each edge and 1/4" apart. Glue the yarn or carpet thread to the center front of the lid. Glue the rest of the ribbon around the entire lid edge, covering the hinge and yarn ends.

9) To finish the ribbon hinges, glue the three ribbon ends to the inside of the box, spaced 1/2" from each edge and from each other.

10) Measure 3" down the front of the box. Pierce a hole in the box and insert the paper fastener. Wrapping the yarn or carpet thread around this “button” fastens the file box closed.

11) Glue the felt to the bottom of the box.

12) If you want to include index dividers for the file box, mark them on the leftover board and cut them with the sharp knife. Leave them blank, or make indexes for the different types of herbs, such as Edible, Aromatic, Medicinal, Mints, Culinary, Insect Repellent, and Healing.

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