How to Turn a Tea Box into a Care Package


Need a gift box?  Sometimes you only need to look as far as your trash!  Ok, maybe before it goes into the trash!  Today I’m going to show you how I turned a tea box into a care package.  I always look at containers headed for the trash to see if they have other uses.  Most gifts bags and boxes wind up in the trash eventually.  If I can re-purpose something headed for the trash anyway, it saves me money and there’s less trash in the landfill.  This is also a great project to work on with the kids!

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Preparing Old Tea Box

This tea box was just the right candidate for re-purposing, especially since it had little trays inside!  I flattened out the lid and removed any pieces/glue to leave a flat surface.  I also cleaned out the trays by tapping them on the side of my table.  It’s just tea!

tea boxtea box apart

That’s all you need to do to get the old box ready.  I like to flatten out the lid because it’s easier to cover with paper.

Covering the Outside of the Box

This is what I used to cover the box:

  • scrapbook paper – you could use old magazines, gift wrap, or newspaper as well.  I know everyone doesn’t have, basically, a craft store in their house, like I do!
  • glue stick –  I’m using Elmer’s CraftBond Extra Strength Glue Sticks.  While you can use regular Elmer’s glue sticks, when you bend the box top back in shape, it will come apart easier.  Modge Podge is another solution, but the glue stick is a little less mess, especially if you’re doing this with kids!
  • washi tape – if you’re into Pinterest at all, I know you’ve seen this stuff!  I only have a couple rolls right now, but they are being used up quite quickly!  It comes it a literal plethora of colors and patterns and can be used for all kinds of things.
  • scissors – Make sure you’re not using someone’s fabric scissors if you have a sewer in the house!  I have scissors for paper, fabric, and heavy duty.  Trust me, it does make a difference!

Lay the box out on the paper.  I like to cover the back along with the lid first.  Trace the outline of the box and lid onto the paper.

adding paper

Make sure to leave about 1/4″ to 1/2″ of paper around all the edges for wrapping.

trim paper

Clip all the inside corners to the corner and cut the outside corners at a diagonal to make folding easier.  Fold the box lid on all the creases before gluing down the edges.  This will put creases in the paper and make sure things don’t try to pull away once the edges are glued down.

clip corners

This is the box after applying the first sheet of paper.

first piece done

Now it’s time to cover the sides.  I like to leave a small gap between the corner and next piece of paper, so there’s not an edge of paper at the corner.  Again, leave a 1/4″ to 1/2″ for wrapping and cut corners diagonally.  I covered each side this way then used another piece of paper to cover the front.  I made a sort of tab at each end of the paper and folded them over the sides.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture of that!  You can see it a little in the finished pics further down.

corner corner glued down

Covering the Inside of the Box

I used the wasabi tape and another sheet of paper to cover the interior lid.

wasabi tape lid interior

Try to leave the folds in the lid uncovered to prevent anything from coming off when it’s folded back into place.

interior finish

I opted to not cover the interior of the box because it was a nice sunshiny yellow!  I used the washi tape along the interior edges to help hold down the paper.  Next, I added this flower bead off of a broken bracelet.  It already had a head pin through the center, which I used to poke a hole in the box.  After inserting it into the box, I bent the end to hold it in place.

added button

I used ribbon adhered with glue to hold the sides of the lid together.  I wrapped the ribbon ends around the flower bead to hold the ribbon in place.

finished2 finished front

Finally I filled it with some more tea (hehe), cough drops, lip balm, bath salts, and a homemade rice therapy bag.

interior filled2

This is the perfect gift to help brighten someone’s day when they are feeling under the weather!  I hope this inspires all of you to think “outside the box” (pun intended) when you’re looking for gift packaging.

What have you re-purposed recently?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!




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