Last Christmas I found the perfect box for my two-foot tall artificial tree. Unfortunately, it was too short and had no lid. I decided to remedy the situation, as I hated storing the tree in plastic bags and then going through the ritual of straightening the branches.
Using these instructions, a lid can be made to fit any cardboard box.
If using a commercially made box and the top flaps aren’t wanted, simply cut them off. Keep the cardboard for other projects or if it isn’t coated or painted, add to the compost pile.
If the flaps are going to be used, they can be raised and taped together at the corners. It is important to remember to look at the sides and corners of the box. The flaps won’t stand up and align perfectly. If space isn’t given at the corners with the tape, the resulting top won’t be square. The lid that is made for such a box will be a custom fit, like the box for my Christmas tree.
You will need:
Utility knife or heavy duty scissors
1. Stand the flaps up and tape the corners to make a taller box. The open side is the top side.
2. Mark each side of the box with a different mark. I used I, II, III, and IV.
3. Turn the box upside down on a sheet of cardboard.
4. Trace the outline of the box using the marker. The line will make a top that will be a good fit.
5. Copy the marks on the box next to the line drawn. This will make putting the lid on easy, not a chore.
6. Remove the box and decide how much overhang the box top will have. I chose 2 inches.
7. Measure 2 inches away from each line, and draw a second box. If it isn’t square, don’t worry. It matches the top of the box.
8. Extend the inside box line to the outside box line, making four small squares at the corners.
9. Cut out the outside box only.
10. Cut out the four squares at the corners. This will allow the sides to fold down and become the lid.
11. Using the utility knife, cut through the top layer of cardboard only, following the first box line.
12. Fold the lid away from the cut and match the corners together. Tape with a small piece of tape.
13. With the marker, copy the marks made at each side of the box to the corresponding side on the top of the lid. Place on the box to check the fit. Adjust any side if necessary.
14. Tape the cut edges around the top of the box. If using opaque tape (can’t see through it), remember to repeat the marks so the lid will close easily.
15. Tape the corners inside and on the outside of the lid for strength.
16. Use a layer of tape to cover the bottom cut edge of the cardboard to prevent wear and tear.
17. Place the lid on the box.
Any box can be used for storage with a custom lid, even an octagonal one. With a lid, many boxes can then be stacked to maximize storage space. No expensive containers needed.