Hand decorated jewellery boxes

I mentioned back in November last year that I had a new jewellery box design. Well, since I was making up a new batch of boxes recently, I thought I’d share how I do it! It’s very satisfying to turn a plain box into something nice and pretty :)

paint stamped and ribbon gift box

If you want to decorate a box to look like this, you will need:

  • Plain box
  • Pencil with an eraser on the end (to stamp round dots with)
  • Craft knife
  • Acrylic paint
  • Felt
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Lighter (optional)
  • Sewing needle and thread in a similar colour to your ribbon
  • Glue

I order my boxes from this Etsy shop. They come flat packed and you have to fold them up yourself, which isn’t hard. Plus, it’s actually easier to decorate them flat!

I’ve got a thing about polka dots at the moment, so the first step is to put dots all over the lid! I wanted to stamp white dots but I haven’t found a good opaque white ink pad, so instead I use acrylic paint.

First, you need to slice the end off the pencil eraser. I used a craft knife to do this but any sharp knife will work fine. If you don’t do this, the edges of your dots will be less well defined because there is a slight curved edge at the end of the eraser.

slice off the end of a pencil eraser to stamp round dots

Next, you want to stamp your dots. A great way to avoid getting too much paint on your eraser is to place a piece of felt over your paint and press on it until it has soaked up the paint. Then simply press your eraser onto the felt, like you would an inkpad, and stamp your dots onto your box! (I saw this tip on Pinterest, from this tutorial, so handy!)

stamping with paint using a felt pad

I found I needed to re-paint my eraser every 2-3 dots to get nice even dots each time.

stamping polka dots with acrylic paint

Keep going until you have covered the whole external surface of your lid (you might need to work which bits to paint if you’re decorating your lid while it’s flat).

stamped polka dots

When the paint has dried (which shouldn’t take long, since you will have a nice thin layer of paint on each dot), make up your box into its final 3D shape.

paint stamped polka dot gift box

Now it is time to make the bow. You will need 3 pieces of ribbon: one to attach to the box, one to make the loops of the bow, and one to wrap around the middle.

To find out how long your first piece of ribbon needs to be, place one end of your ribbon on one of the inside edges of the lid.

ribbon placement

Keep it in place with one finger and run the ribbon around the outside of the box and under the opposite inside edge.

ribbon round the centre of the lid

Mark where the end of the ribbon meets the inside edge, and cut the ribbon here. My lid measures 3.5″ square and 1 1/8″ high, and my ribbon length is 7 7/8″. It doesn’t matter too much if the length is not very accurate since it can be trimmed at the end if it is too long, and if it is a little bit short, it will be inside the box so it won’t be seen.

measuring the length of the ribbon

For the second piece of ribbon, make a ribbon loop so that there is a small overlap at the end.

making a ribbon box loop

Then pinch the middle together. This will show you how big the bow will be. I wanted my bow to cover most of the box, and I found that a 6¼” length of ribbon worked quite well for this.

pinch ribbon loop to make a bow

Your final piece of ribbon needs to be a little over 3 times the width of your ribbon. My ribbon is 10mm wide, and my final piece is 1¼” long.

Optional step: you can seal the ends of your ribbon pieces using a lighter. This stops the ribbon fraying, which I don’t think should be an issue, but it does cut out the possibility.

To make up your bow, you need to first find the centre of your longest piece of ribbon. You can either measure and make a mark, or just fold it and put your finger on it. Now loop your second piece of ribbon and pinch like you did before, and place the pinched part over the centre of your first piece of ribbon. Then wrap the shortest piece of ribbon round the place that you are pinching so that the ends are underneath. Sew a few tiny stitches on the same spot to secure the three pieces of ribbon together.

simple ribbon bow

Now you want to attach your bow to your box. To do this, make a line of glue running along the middle of the box where you want your ribbon to be (in the same place that you wrapped your first ribbon round to see how long it needed to be). I prefer to use tape glue (no mess, no drying time!) but you could use any glue for this, such as white glue.

Now stick your ribbon on. I usually start with the bow, to make sure it’s central and then smooth the ribbon down either side and under the edges of the lid. And there, you are done!

hand decorated jewellery box

Have I inspired you to have a go at decorating some boxes yourself? They would make great gift boxes for other things as well as jewellery boxes. And there are so many ways you to decorate, such as painting patterns, sticking on sequins or using washi tape! Do let me know if you have a go!

Thanks for reading!


newsletter signup banner


Hand decorated initial letter babygros

I’ve been meaning to decorate some babygros (also known as onsies, for our American readers) for some time now – since before the babies were born! Finally, I’ve got round to it :)

Puff paint initial letter babygro DIY

I think they would make a great new baby gift, or just something nice to make for your own children (as I’ve done).

I was inspired by this tutorial from Alisa Burke to use puff paint (also known as 3D paint) to decorate my babygro. Isn’t her design amazing?!


Unfortunately, as I realised when I used the puff paint I bought on this tutorial, it’s very hard to draw designs with these paint tubes, so sticking to dots is best. I recently saw this embroidery design on pinterest and thought I could do something similar with my babygro!


For this tutorial you will need:

  • A plain babygro (onsie)
  • Puff paint (I used 3 colours per design)
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Double-sided sticky tape (or normal sellotape)

1. Cut your paper down to a size that will fit inside your babygro. Draw the initial that you want to use in the design in dark pen (as you can see, I’m not very good at drawing letters freehand so I have to measure it all out!). To give an idea of scale, my babygros are size 9-12 months, and my letter is 5cm high.

Draw out your initial

2. Use the double-sided sticky tape (or sellotape) to stick the letter in position inside the babygro so that you can see the letter through the fabric.

Place initial inside babygro

3. Start going round the letter with dots in your first colour. Space your dots 2-3 dot widths apart and space your dots out more as you get further away from the letter. Try to finish so that your dots end up covering an oval shape around the letter.

First colour puff paint dots

4. Repeat step 3 for the two other colours, spacing your dots as evenly as possible.

Puff paint monogram onsie

Dotted handmade onsie initial letter

And that’s it! Simple :)

So simple, I made two!

Hand decorated initial letter babygros

Monogram puff paint onsie

Initial letter dotted babygro design

I was gutted that I made a smudge with the paint on the ‘J’ babygro and I wish my dots were a little more evenly sized, but overall I’m really pleased with how they came out!

Here are my glamorous assistants to model the finished products (very difficult to get good shots of them, they kept trying to grab the camera!)



Thanks for reading!


newsletter signup banner

Featured Etsy shop – CraftUnikat

Every Monday I’m featuring other great Etsy sellers and blogs that I love. This week it’s Sanja and her Etsy shop CraftUnikat!

Here’s Sanja to tell you a little about her shop which is full of beautiful hand painted ceramics…

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

I always loved pottery. Tea pots, cups, cute mugs…I’m such an addict in collecting them. The day when I discovered that I could paint on them was the most fulfilling day of my life. Then the magic began. So my shop is little art shop of paintings on ceramic.


What has been your most popular product to date? What is your favourite?

It’s this little happy floral teapot: www.etsy.com/listing/98860263/teapot-floral-tea-party-in-spring-garden. It was inspired by garden tea parties. Looking at this teapot I can see ladies in spring garden, all dressed up in their lovely floral dresses, with cute little hats on their heads.


My favorite is..hmmm…this plate has been made by deep emotions of motherhood.
I’m a mum and have 3 kids. Before I had them I wasn’t “mother” type. But now I’m knowing this deep emotion which I thought I could never had in me. My kids, all kids are the little stars that bright up our hearts and remind us of true values. You know that sparkle in child’s eye, which we have lost on the way of growing up?
This plate is about that :)


Where do you get your inspiration?

In my kids, every day life, nature, season changes


What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?

I was always painting. But that activity was sometimes intense, but sometimes faded in everyday errands. When I discovered Etsy, I knew I had to open shop there. I didn’t have plans, just knew that I had to do it. Now I know it was such amazing impulse and I’m so glad that I go for it. My Etsy shop has brought my creative part to the surface. Painting has become powerful part of me and now everyday errands are fading in front of it.


What is your favourite part of the creative process?

Painting :) My creative process lasts for 24 hours, every day. I dream of ideas, think of what I could paint while I walk, talk..always. But when I sit and paint. Everything disappears. There is just a piece of ceramic with something magical unfolding in front of my eyes.


What has been the highlight of your business so far?

When I realized that creative process had become such important part of my life.


What do you like to do when not working on your business?

I love to be as much as I can in nature. Just being in the forest surrounded by trees, gives me such energy burst. Kids love it too. They love the game of exploring the nature.


What are you currently working on? Anything new coming up?

I am working on little salt and pepper shakers with some simple Japanese motives. They are very small..little zen beauties :) Also I’m working very hard on my other shop with raw crystal jewelry:

What are your top three favourite Etsy shops?


List is too long. Etsy is such amazing community of creative people..I could talk of shops that inspire me for days :)


Thanks Sanja! Aren’t those intricate paintings great! Please head on over to CraftUnikat and take a look for yourself.

Thanks for reading!