What a Wonderful World Altered Gift Box

Last time I shared my struggles with (and a new commitment to) creating handmade gifts that were simple, yet elegant. I’m happy to say I’ve been doing pretty good creating handmade gifts for friends this Christmas and today I would like to show you my latest, the “What a Wonderful World Gift Box”. Let’s get started!


On a recent foraging excursion to my local craft store, I picked up a small balsa wood box. It has a window insert in the lid and that intrigued me. I knew there was the perfect vinyl sentiment just waiting to be part of this box. Enter the “what a WONDERFUL world” sentiment and 7 Dots Studio’s Cold Country paper and embellishments line. I really like the 7 Dots Studio papers. They are rich and luscious and have some interesting visuals, very different than what you see from US companies.

This little trinket box currently holds a set of handmade cards and matching washi tape (a stationery kit of sorts) but it could easily hold other small gifts: tea for two (tea bags and honey straws) or a gift tag kit (tags, washi tape, to/from stamps, and ink pad). The options are truly infinite and can easily be tailored to your intended recipient. That is what I love about this project.

I started by taking the box apart so the lid and base were separate. This allowed me to protect the metal findings (hinges and clasp) and paint quickly. Once apart, I lightly sanded the box, particularly any rough spots and wiped it off with a damp cloth. I also measured the surfaces that I planned to cover with paper (interior lid and base, and all four outer sides). Looking over the Cold Country papers, I chose two paint colors, (a light and a dark) that complimented the line. To get the shade I wanted I mixed the colors together using a 4 to 1 ratio, 4 parts Weathered Wood (light) to 1 part Blueprint Sketch (dark).

Wonderful3 Wonderful2

While I waited for that to dry I cut my papers and inked their edges using Weathered Wood ink. TIP: I always ink the edges of any items (paper, stickers, embellishments) that have white edges; doing so gives your project a finished look. Once painted and dry I went back over the box with Weathered Wood and Blueprint Sketch inks using the round blending tool. I heat set the ink and applied the papers to the various surfaces on the outside and inside of the box using matte Mod Podge. I sealed the entire box using Mod Podge.

Wonderful-CloseUp Wonderful-Ribbon

Next, I created 4 cards using some grey and white mini cards that fit inside the box and the embellishments from the Cold Country kit. I also custom dyed ribbon to bind the cards together using white seam binding and Distress stains and sprays in Brushed Pewter, Blueprint Sketch, Hickory Smoke & Tumbled Glass.

Wonderful-Card1 Wonderful-Interior

For the insert in the lid I chose a piece of cardstock from the Cold Country papers and applied the “what a wonderful world” vinyl sentiment to the cardstock. TIP: To ensure that your sentiment is centered in the window, insert the paper in place and lightly trace the edge of the insert. Once you’re done you can easily erase the guide. Vinyl is very easy to adhere to porous surfaces, a good burnishing before you start and a slow peeling of the backing at a sharp angle are my secrets to success. I also glued the cardstock to the wooden insert and cut a piece of acetate to go on top. For the inside of the insert (the lid) I glued another piece of paper that is the perfect place to write a note to the recipient.

Wonderful-Insert Wonderful-Interior2

Cold Country is a lovely collection of vintage images and sentiments focused on family and love designed by Anna Dąbrowska aka Finnabair. It is based on a cool palette and goes well with other cool colors (blues, greens, and grays).

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it inspires you to make and give handmade gifts. Remember, creativity and imperfection live together in all we do. “Grace is the face love wears when it meets imperfection.”


Supplies Used

7 Dots Studio Cold Country Collection Kit
Distress Inks (Weathered Wood, Blueprint Sketch, & Hickory Smoke)
Distress Paints (Weathered Wood & Blueprint Sketch)
Distress Stains/Sprays (Brushed Pewter, Blueprint Sketch, Hickory Smoke & Tumbled Glass)
Mod Podge, Hug Snug Binding (winter white), ruler, paper trimmer, sanding block, round distress tool