How to Make a Cardboard Treasure Chest

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A cardboard treasure chest is a fun project for kids and adults. You can make a realistic looking cardboard treasure chest with a simple box, some decorations, and a few tools. They are great for parties, presents, scavenger hunt games, and surprises. Allow yourself about one hour to complete your cardboard treasure chest.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Contact paper
  • Pens or crayons
  • Colored tape
  • Packing tape or duct tape

Select the right box. It can be anything from a tissue paper box to a refrigerator box depending on the size you need. Boxes designed to hold reams of paper are perfect as they have pull off lids. If you don’t have a box with a pull off lid, you must cut your box in two or get two boxes of the same size so you will have a bottom and a top for your cardboard treasure chest.

Cut the box. For a pull off lid, cut the lid rim from the bottom edge to the top on two corners on a long side to make a hinge. If you are cutting a box in two or have two identical boxes, cut them so you have a long box for the base and a short box for the lid. Do not cut the rim of the lid.

Reenforce your cardboard treasure chest. Apply packing tape or duct tape to all the corners and edges. Also, connect the lid to the base of the cardboard treasure chest. Apply several layers of tape to both the inside and outside of the hinge area in a crossing pattern. If you have a pull off lid, this is done on the flap. If you don’t, the tape is the flap.

Design your cardboard treasure chest. Buy contact paper in a wood grain pattern from an art store. This makes it easy to have a realistic treasure chest look. If you don’t have contact paper you can draw on a wood pattern with crayons or marking pens. Be sure to decorate both the inside and outside of the box.

Create a metal edge look with a different color contact paper. Place a half inch strip along the edges and draw small studs along the strip. This makes it look like there are metal rivets in your treasure chest. If you don’t have contact paper, you can use a masking tape.

Decorate your cardboard treasure chest. You can draw or glue on a skull and cross bones, jewels, or your name. A key hole and lock on the outside is a nice touch. Let your imagination run wild.

Fill the cardboard treasure chest with treasure. This can be gifts, candy, toys, or anything else that fits inside. Chocolate coins and toy jewelry fit well with the pirate theme.

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