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.

{I host a weekly linky party. Come find out more here!  I'm sharing This Gift Box Embossing Tutorial with...Monday:  CraftomaniacMaking The World CuterProject QueenThe Girl CreativeThe Gunny SackAlderberry HillA Round TuitSkip to My LouCherished BlissTuesday:  Not Just a Housewife, The DIY Dreamer, Tip JunkieToday's Creative Blog Oopsey DaisyGingersnap CraftsThe NY Melrose Family; Wednesday:  The 36th Avenue, It's OverflowingNest of PosiesSavvy Southern StyleSomeday Crafts, The Trendy TreehouseVery Merry Vintage StyleWhat We Wore & MadeThursday:  Shabby NestFriday:  Finding FabulousMy Simple Home LifeRomantic HomeFrench Country CottageTatertots and JelloThe Shady PorchThirty Handmade DaysFaith Trust & Pixie DustNaptime Crafters, Too Much Time on my Hands, Stuff & NonsenseCraft Junkie TooSaturday:  Be Different Act NormalFunky Junk Interiors,  Sisters of the Wild West, Sew Country ChickSunday: Nifty Thrifty Things, DIY Project Parade, Under The Table and DreamingMy 1929 CharmerSew Darned Crafty}


Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

Your boxes turned out beautiful! I've never embossed before, but have been interested in giving it a try. Do you know if you could use a blow dryer instead of a heat gun?

I might have to give this a try, thanks for sharing!

Christina at I Gotta Create! said...

Thanks, Bethany! I think there could be difficulties with a hair dryer. The heat gun has a small nozzle so you have greater precision and control, and it blows at just the right strength so it doesn't knock the powder right off. That said, I've not tried a hair dryer so...if you do, I'd be curious to know how it turns out! It might be ok with big patterns (???)

Janny said...

I just pinned this! I want to try this one out!

Stephanie said...

Love this-especially the'writing' one!

Amy said...

What a great idea! I love that you are reusing boxes. They turned out beautifully. I can't wait to try embossing. My creative juices are going.

Wendy said...

What a great idea, it turns an ordinary box into something the recipient won't want to throw away

Donene said...

This is so beautiful, I think I need to try embossing! Thanks for your visit and nice comments!

Brittany Stewart said...

This is so beautiful and you have given me so many ideas that i could use with embossing!!
Thanks for sharing! :)

Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

What beautiful packages Christina! You really have a flair for beautiful presentation! Angie xo

Jelli said...

These boxes look great, Christina. I am always overwhelmed by embossing powder, but love the results. Have a lovely week! visiting from the blog hop.

Jen Lossing, Artistic Abode Designs said...

These are wonderful. The box is a gift in itself! I love it!

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Wow, you have inspired me! I have never embossed anything before. Now I will be heading out to get the goods and get started. I do so love to make wrapped gifts and cards myself and make them special. Thanks so much. Found you at Savvy Southern Style.

Jill said...

Wow - you make that look easy - and it looks fabulous!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Lori said...

Oh my goodness! I would love to get a gift from you...such a beautiful idea. So much prettier than store bought and so personal. Thanks for sharing, Lori

very merry vintage style said...

Such gorgeous detail in this! Thanks for linking up to STL Wednesday!

Honey I'm Home Blog said...

Great idea to write a post about embossing! I love the "words" stamp.

Warmly, Michelle