How To Wrap A Box With A Lid


A couple years ago, I wrote about our family’s easy gift wrapping system. A key component of this system is wrapping sturdy boxes and the lids that come with them separately so that they can be opened without tearing the paper and then be reused from year to year.

While the finished box looks complicated, it’s really fairly simple to do.

Here are the materials you’ll need:

  • A box that is very sturdy and has a lid. I prefer the boxes where the lids only go halfway down the side of the box, as I’ve found the lids that go all the way to the bottom of the inner box are harder to wrap and they tend to cause the paper to rip when being used. So those cheap shirt boxes are really not the best ones for this- look for thicker boxes that will last for years.
  • Thick, beautiful wrapping paper that coordinates with your holiday decor and that you love. You’ll be seeing if for a long time, so this is the time to splurge on the expensive paper (or find it at the after-Christmas sales)
  • Scissors
  • Invisible gift wrapping tape

Step 1: Lay the lid on the paper and cut the paper to allow it to cover the long sides and with about an inch extra to fold over. Leave the short ends long enough to fold first and then and reach over the sides (here it’s about 3-4 inches). This is actually a square box, making all the sides even, but the idea is the same- two sides are just folded over, the other two need to be longer because they are folded twice.

Step 2: Fold the long sides up and over the lid, using a piece of tape to attach the paper on both of the inside edges of the lid as pictured.

Step 3: Take the short sides and fold just like wrapping a regular box, bringing the edges in and folding as pictured. Make nice creases and fold any edges sticking up over the box as shown.

Step 4: Tape the first folds to the inside lip of the lid. This is the only tricky part- where the side and end papers meet in the corners- but just tuck and fold until flattened and then place a piece of tape to hold. Continue to fold and wrap the ends just like a regular box, but taking extra time with the folding and creasing.

Step 5: When finished folding the end, wrap it over the lid edge and secure it with tape.

Step 6: Repeat with the other end.

Step 7: Go back over the edges and fully tape them. This makes the wrapping job last longer through many years of kids ripping the lids off on Christmas morning.

Step 8: Repeat all the steps with the bottom of the box.

That’s it- pretty simple, huh?

However, if you’re thinking you couldn’t do a “perfect job” of this, here’s my full reveal:

This is the obviously imperfect edge on the inside of the bottom of the box. I’m here to tell you that on Christmas morning, NO ONE cares about this, so I don’t either. I’m just happy to get them covered and cannot be bothered with making all the edges even.

See? It looks great from the outside, and that’s what matters.

Well, only for boxes- it’s just the opposite with people, isn’t it?

So go forth and wrap…permanently and with confidence!



  1. Selfrun says

    Sweet…..let me add to this; for those of us with artistic measures, one can also
    paint a box with wonderful designs and or themes. Makes much more personal and
    most of all the box becomes a cache all for all those wonderful things in life. I love
    giving this type of box with a gift inside…..thank you, ‘selfrun’

  2. TyKes Mom says

    Thank you for this! I am the worst at wrapping gifts and this makes it seem doable. And the box would be great as a decoration too! I would love it if you would link up to my Frugal Christmas Week so my readers can check this out as well! Thanks!

  3. says

    Thanks for the instructions! I thought I knew how to do this, but the way you do the ends is great! I also like to make reusable drawstring gift bags with fabric of various sorts–cotton, felt, and my newest favorite, plush fleece. Of course the problem is the bag sometimes being better than the gift!

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