How to Emboss a Gift Box

How to powder #emboss ~ great for creating cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper and more! | Tutorial at I Gotta Create!
Make a unique gift presentation by bringing fabulous pattern and texture to a recycled box. No wrapping paper required! Here's how to emboss a chipboard box and transform it into a gift box...



How to powder #emboss ~ great for creating cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper and more! | Tutorial at I Gotta Create!



The image and color combinations for your embossing designs are practically endless! Your design can match a range of occasions. 


How to powder #emboss ~ great for creating cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper and more! | Tutorial at I Gotta Create!
The supplies you'll need are: 

  • A favorite rubber stamp, 
  • a pad of clear embossing ink, 
  • embossing powder, 
  • a heat gun, and 
  • your trusty ol' glue gun. 

I use these supplies repeatedly for a range of projects. You'll quickly recover costs from what you save in buying gift wrap alone.


The embossing powder determines how smooth and slick, or bumpy, or thick the result will be. In this post, I've used a "distressed" powder product to give the woodgrain a rough texture. If you have a fine pattern, be sure to use fine embossing powder.


Recycle any food box {cereal, frozen meals, pasta, etc.} in two minutes by following the easy directions in my Last-Minute No-Paper Gift Wrap tutorial. You'll see more beautiful ideas there. 


Emboss before you re-glue the box --while it's still flat. Ink up your stamp with the clear embossing ink. Since it is difficult to see in photos, I'm showing you how I stamped out the pattern with the finished version. 


You can be haphazard or precise with your stamping. Don't worry about imperfections, it's part of the charm. {Plus, you'll be embellishing with bows, etc.} Just be sure not to dawdle: you don't want the ink to dry.


How to powder #emboss ~ great for creating cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper and more! | Tutorial at I Gotta Create!
After stamping on the ink, sprinkle it with liberally with embossing powder. The powder sticks to the clear embossing ink. Here I use a fine metallic embossing powder. 


Work over a newspaper so that when you tap off the excess powder, you can gather it up and pour it back into the container for the next project.


Now it's time to "bake on" that powder to make it permanent. Use your heat gun and work in patches, keeping the tool moving so you don't 'burn' the paper. 


How to powder #emboss ~ great for creating cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper and more! | Tutorial at I Gotta Create!
The powder changes color and raises up slightly as it heats up.  Don't touch it right away; it will burn you. Once it cools slightly, spot check all over the box to be sure the powder heated sufficiently. If it crumbles off at your touch, apply more heat. You'll become expert at knowing when it's done baking with just a bit of practice.


It works like magic and goes quickly. You'll have fun embossing!  With the embossing complete, simply follow the easy directions in my Last-Minute No-Paper Gift Wrap tutorial to turn the old cereal box into a gift box!



Once accustomed to the process, you will spend the same time embossing a gift box as wrapping one.  AND you save paper going into the landfill, repurpose a used box, and offer a unique presentation all at the same time! Make matching cards and other goodies to complete an ensemble.



Remember to R3!
Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose With Love





Here's another great gift packaging idea: use beautiful paper scraps to mod podge oatmeal, powdered drink mix, or raisin canisters. Click the photo for details.






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