How to Make a Treasure Chest Out of a Shoe Box

    by Ann Johnson

    About the Author

    Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.


    Transform an old shoe box into a brand new treasure chest for your child to use as a prop when playing pirates or for stashing her own treasures. Keep the activity simple or pull out the craft box and let your child show off her artistic creativity. When you're entertaining a large group at a birthday party, turn the treasure chest into a crafty party activity and fill the chests later with the youngsters' party goodies.

    Things You'll Need

    • Shoe box with lid
    • Utility knife
    • Clear shipping tape
    • Colored tissue paper
    • White glue
    • Paper cup
    • Paint brush

    show more

    Use the utility knife (this should be done by an adult only) to cut through 2 corners on 1 side of the box lid, creating a flap that will become the treasure chest's lid hinge.

    Place the lid on the shoebox, and tape the flap, or hinge side of the lid, to the outside of the shoe box with clear shipping tape.

    Open the shoe box lid and tape along the inner edge of the hinge. The lid will now open and close like the top of a treasure chest.

    Decorate the outside of the treasure chest with tissue paper. Pour white glue into a paper cup and stir in a little water to thin. Lay pieces of colored tissue paper over the outside of the box; using paint brush, apply a layer of the glue solution over the tissue to affix the paper to the box. Cover the entire treasure chest and allow it to dry thoroughly.

    • Help your child get creative and use additional embellishments, such as glue-on imitation gemstones, a ribbon trim or craft foam shapes.
    • The utility knife should only be used by an adult.


    • Recycled Crafts Box; Laura C. Martin


    • The Cardboard Box Book: 25 Things to Make and Do with and Empty Box; Jake Danny, et al.