How to Decorate a Shoebox

Decorate old shoeboxes to make unique storage containers.
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Instead of tossing your next shoebox in the trash after removing the shoes or using it to store the footwear in your closet, repurpose the shoebox. Use it to store photographs, to hold gift cards at a graduation party or organize your favorite recipe cards. Whatever you choose to use a shoebox for, decorate it first to turn it into an attractive storage piece. Using products from around your home or local craft store, decorate your shoebox to fit your needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Giftwrap
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock
  • Pen
  • Magazine (Optional)
  • Decorative Paper
  • Printer
  • Acrylic Sealer
  • Liquid Starch
  • Tape
  • Utility Knife (Optional)

Giftwrap Box

Remove the lid from the shoebox and place it aside. Cut a piece of giftwrap large enough to cover the bottom of the box. Use giftwrap with a theme to match your shoebox use. For example, for a birthday party, use paper with balloons, or for a photo storage box, use giftwrap with cameras on it. Wrap the bottom of the box in the giftwrap, tucking the ends of the giftwrap into the inside edge of the box. Tape the giftwrap in place.

Cut a second piece of giftwrap large enough to wrap the lid of the box. Wrap the paper around the lid of the box. Tuck the ends of the paper on the inside of the lid, as you did the bottom of the box. Use tape to secure the giftwrap to the box lid.

Add finishing touches. Use a utility knife to cut a 7-by-1-inch rectangle in the top center of the box lid if you want to use it for gift cards. Create a label for the box when storing recipes or photos by cutting out a 3-by-5-inch piece of cardstock. Write the boxes contents on the card and attach it to the top of the box using tape.

Paper Mache

Type up 20 to 25 of your recipes for a recipe box or print out photographs onto plain printer paper. Print the recipes onto decorative paper using your home printer. Use any paper with a color or design you find appealing. Alternatively, choose recipes or photographs from a magazine and tear the pages out.

Cut the recipes or photographs out of the paper. Cut away as much of the margins, as possible.

Dip the cutouts into liquid starch. Let them soak for 30 seconds. Pass the soaked pages through your fingers.

Cover the box using the recipes or photographs, overlapping them as you go. Smooth the recipes against the box. Let the liquid starch dry overnight.

Spray the paper mache box with acrylic sealer. Let it dry for 3 to 5 hours before using.


  • Find liquid starch at the grocery store in the cleaning supplies aisle.