How to Paint and Decorate a Paper Mache Box

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Do you ever wonder what to do with those brown paper mache boxes that you see in craft stores? Well, wonder no more because I’m sharing how to paint and decorate a paper mache box with you!

The options for decorating paper mache boxes are endless, such as, mod podging them with paper or fabric, or using stencils or craft paint. I’ve chosen to give my round box a spring transformation by covering it with colorful painted stripes and topping it with a pretty spring flower!

HOW TO PAINT AND DECORATE A PAPER MACHE BOX

painted and decorated paper mache box in bright colors

The box I’ve decorated can be displayed for spring decorations or used as storage for small items. Or… fill it with candy like I plan to do for a Mother’s Day gift. My mama loves her sweets, so I’ll fill it with a variety of her favorite candies!

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SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR THE PAPER MACHE CRAFT:

supplies needed to paint and decorate the paper mache box

You may have seen me using painter’s tape for how to paint stripes on a picture frame mat, but for this craft project I chose a different approach since the tape may rip some of the paper from the box.

HOW TO PAINT A PAPER MACHE BOX

STEP 1: MARK OFF THE STRIPES

  • For my 8″ round box, I made the stripes 1.5 inches wide.
  • One stripe will be slightly wider, but it’s so slight that you won’t notice when everything is all painted.
  • Use the ruler and pencil to lightly mark lines every 1.5 inches. Make sure your lines are aligned correctly and that they aren’t “leaning” before painting.
example of marking off stripes to be painted

STEP 2: PAINT THE LID

  • Use the sponge brush to paint the top of the lid. I used 3 coats to get the coverage I wanted.
  • Squeeze the paint directly on the top of lid.
  • Paint outward motion for the outer top edges and then the entire top in one direction.
  • Once the yellow top is completely dry, you can then paint the sides pink.
  • Use the 3/4″ artist brush to paint the sides by aligning the artist brush head where the yellow ends and brush in a downward motion.

STEP 3: PAINT THE STRIPES

  • At the top of the box, lightly label the top of each stripe section with which paint color it will be (if you tend to get confused like I do).
  • Paint the stripes using the 3/4″ artist brush. It works perfectly for painting free-hand stripes.
  • Align the paint brush head next to the pencil mark and pull paint away from your pencil mark line.
  • Fill in the entire stripe using one direction with your paint brush.
  • It’s not necessary for the stripes to dry completely in between coats before adding additional coats. I painted 3 coats on each stripe, except the yellow which took more coats to get full coverage.
completed craft project - how to paint and decorate a paper mache box

STEP 4: MAKE THE POLKA DOTS

  • Use a dotter tool to make the dots around the edge of the lid. I used the end of a medium size foam brush because I liked the size dot it made.
  • Dip the end into the paint, press it on your area, and lift the dotter. Keep repeating. I spaced my dots approximately an inch apart.

HOW TO DECORATE A PAPER MACHE BOX

So many items can decorate the top of your paper mache box, for example, unique knobs, vintage jewelry, textiles, and the list goes on. Of course, I chose a large flower!

PREPARE THE FLOWER AND ATTACH

  • Snip off the flower head from the floral stem with a tool strong enough to cut wire. I always use a garden hand clipper.
  • Lift up the flower layers and snip directly underneath the flower layers and above the plastic “leaf” base.
  • Apply a quarter size amount of hot glue to the center of the lid. Place and press flower on top of glue.
top view of the paper mache box with flower on top

I hope you learned everything you need to know for how to paint and decorate a paper mache box! Will you paint your box with spring colors or use another color scheme?

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO SEE THESE PAINTED CRAFTS:

DIY PAINTED JEWELRY BOX

PAINTED BIRDHOUSE SPRING CRAFT

graphic saying pin for later
graphic showing completed project for how to paint and decorate a paper mache box

I’m sharing my decorated box at the following fabulous blogs!

I’m participating in the Spring Crafts Challenge Hop this month with a few of my blogging friends. We’re sharing spring craft projects that you’ll be able to make, too! Be sure to click the picture links below. Dont miss out!

graphic for spring crafts challenge

Across the Blvd
Sew Crafty Crochet
Purple Hues and Me
Stone Cottage Adventures
Coastal Bohemian
Southern Sunflowers
Comfort Spring
Slices of Life

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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24 thoughts on “How to Paint and Decorate a Paper Mache Box”

  1. Too cute, Allyson! I love the colors and it certainly looks like Spring bursting out all over! I have several paper mache boxes in all sizes. Thanks for inspiring me to do something with them!

  2. What a pretty decorative box and your painting tips are great. I’ve often seen those at craft stores, but have always passed them by. Now, I want to do one. I’m thinking it could be a fun piece to paint for the 4th of July. Putting it on my to make list.

  3. I do often wonder what to do with those boxes; they come in so many fun sizes and shapes. Your beautiful box is so vibrant and just perfect for spring. Pinned.

  4. I love the vibrant colors you chose for your box and the silk flower on top is so pretty! pinning -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  5. I looked recently to add more paper mache boxes to my craft stash, but they’re not as plentiful as they once were. I found some of the larger ones at Hobby Lobby.

  6. I have those flowers in multiple colors and finally got around to using one. I love them, too! So happy you like my box. 🙂

  7. This is so pretty Allyson! I love the bright colors and the fun stripes and polka dot combo. The pretty flower on top is the icing on the cake. This would be a fun idea for gift-giving instead of a wrapped gift.

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