Turn a nasty Amazon box into ingenious decor that will light up your room

Looking for creative ways to reuse cardboard boxes? Online marketplaces like Amazon can deliver just about anything to your front door, but it usually comes with a lot of excess packaging. This DIY project takes an old Amazon box and transforms it into a lantern full of shabby-chic charm. Use it to highlight a shelf or end table, or create a little ambiance in the corner of your reading nook.
There are several ways to customize this lantern to suit the style of your room, from the stencil you select to the colors of the frosted paper. For a classic look, stick to neutral shades on the outside and ones that match your home’s accent colors on the inside. If you want more of a bohemian vibe, choose chalk paint with a rich, deep hue, and tie a few tassels to the handle. Then the next time you get a delivery, save the box and create a second lantern to complement the first!
- Amazon box
- White masking tape
- Cutting mat
- Box cutter
- Decorative stencil
- Painter’s tape
- Pencil
- X-Acto knife
- Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint in “White Adirondack”
- Paintbrush
- Frosted paper in light blue
- Frosted paper in pink
- Scissors
- High-temperature glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- Small hole punch
- Copper wire
- Wire cutters
- Needle-nose pliers
- LED fairy string lights
DIY Everywhere
1. Remove the clear duct tape from the outside of the box. Retape the bottom of the box with masking tape.
2. Place the box upside down on a cutting mat. Remove the flaps with a box cutter.
3. Tape the stencil to one side of the box. Draw the design with a pencil. Remove the stencil, then cut out the design with an X-Acto knife. Repeat on the adjacent side of the box.
4. Paint the outside of the box with chalk paint. Allow the box to dry completely.
5. Place a piece of light blue frosted paper on top of the cutout design. Line up the corner of the paper with the top corner of the box. Draw a rectangle on the paper that is ¼ the size of the cutout design.
6. Fold the paper in fourths, so that when you cut out the rectangle from the previous step, you cut out four pieces of identical paper.
7. Take one of the pieces you made in step 6, and use it as a template to draw a rectangle on the top corner of a piece of pink frosted paper. Fold the pink paper in fourths as you did with the light blue paper, then cut out four rectangles.
8. You may find that some of your rectangles are too big and cover more than ¼ of the cutout design. Arrange them on top of the design, then mark where to cut them and trim as needed.
9. Glue four pieces of frosted paper to the inside of the design: two blue pieces and two pink ones. The pieces should be in a checkerboard pattern, so that the same colored pieces are across from each other instead of next to each other. Glue them in place by putting a dot of hot glue in each corner of the paper. Repeat with the second cutout design.
10. Cut a piece of pink paper to fit a side of the box without a design. Hot glue the paper inside the box. Repeat with a piece of blue paper on the last side of the box.
11. Use a small hole punch above one of the cutout designs along the top edge of the box. Repeat on the opposite side of the box. This will be where you connect your lantern’s handle.
12. Cut out a long piece of copper wire. Feed one end of the wire through the outside of one of the holes, then bend the end in place with the pliers. Repeat with the other end of the wire on the other side of the box, shaping the wire to form a handle.
13. Turn on some LED fairy string lights, then place them inside the box. Your lantern is ready to display and enjoy!

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