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

Looking for creative ways to reuse cardboard boxes? Online marketplaces such as 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 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 a reading nook.
Several ways exist 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. The next time you get a delivery, save the box and create a second lantern to complement the first!
- Amazon box
- Masking tape
- Cutting mat
- Utility knife
- Decorative stencil
- Painter’s tape
- Pencil
- Precision 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
- Small strand LED fairy string lights
DIY Everywhere
1. Remove any 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 utility knife.
3. Tape the stencil to one side of the box. Draw the design with a pencil. Remove the stencil, and cut out the design with a precision knife. Repeat on the adjoining 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. Line up the corner of the paper with the top corner of the box. Draw a rectangle on the paper that is one-fourth the size of the cutout.
6. Fold the paper in fourths, so when you cut out the rectangle you end up with four pieces of identically sized paper.
7. Take one of the pieces, 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, and cut out four rectangles.
8. You may find that some of the rectangles are too big and cover more than one-fourth of the cutout. Arrange them on top of the design, and 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 colors are diagonal to 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.
10. Cut a piece of pink paper to fit a side of the box without the cutout, and 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 cutouts along the top edge of the box. Repeat on the opposite side of the box.
12. Cut a long piece of copper wire. Feed one end of the wire through the outside of one of the holes, and 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 LED fairy string lights, and place them inside the box so the design shines through.

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