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Craft a selection of elf gift boxes in time for Christmas using your paper stash

What you need...
  • Get ready for the festive season by crafting charming characters which double up as a brilliant way to present small gifts on the big day. It couldn’t be easier to get started with Cathie Shuttleworth’s selection of simple crafts, just head to our pattern pages to find the basic templates, then start embellishing. Give every box and card it’s own unique character by diving into your craft stash and using up scraps of decorative paper, thread and all manner of adornment to make adorable elves, Santa and snowmen.

  • Paper: coloured, decorative
  • Gel pen, white
  • Colouring pens
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Adhesives
  1. Elf Boxes - 1 Copy the pattern from the template page onto green paper. Score all the dotted lines and cut out along the solid ones. Glue the tabs and join the edges to create a green box.

    2 Wrap white paper around the base or top of the box and secure with glue. Along the base, attach thin strips of red paper at equal distances, or cut a small slit in the top and fold over for a collar. Edge with green paper.

    3 Cut a strip of brown for a belt, then wrap around the box and secure in place with glue. Make an orange buckle. Before attaching to the box, colour the belt using brown pens and glue on the buckle, adding a separate piece of brown paper for the tongue of the belt.

    4 Use a white gel pen to add details to the belt and for highlights. Cut two long strips of brown paper for braces. Glue each end to the inside of the box, either side of the buckle. Attach small orange buckles and fix shaped paper underneath to suggest the end of the braces. Cross the braces over at the back and adhere in place.

    5 Cut green paper to a pocket shape and fold over a few millimetres on both outer edges to create tabs. Glue the tabs and attach to the box. Make a paper needle, feed thread through the eye and add it with a few pins to the inside of the pocket, then secure in place.

  2. Santa and Snowman - Repeat the steps for the elf box, using red, white and decorative papers to make scarves, braces, belts, buckles and buttons for the other characters. Most of the shapes used to create the boxes derive from rectangular shapes.

  3. Elf Card - 1Take a green blank, 11.5cm x 21cm. Use a ruler and craft knife to cut three rectangles away from the top 8.5cm of the card, leaving two strips above the waistband; these will become the braces.

    2 Trim white paper to fill the exposed space, adding extra for a tab on the left side. Attach red strips across the white paper, trimming off any excess. Glue to the back of the braces, securing the tab at the fold.

    3 Create a brown belt, longer than the width of the card. Fold over the ends and fix them to the front, just below the braces. Stick thin strips of green paper over the belt, hiding the ends at the back. Decorate the belt before attaching an orange buckle with glue. Fix a shaped tongue to the edge of the buckle.

    4 Cut green paper the same size as the area below the belt. Slice two pockets away with a craft knife. Glue the edges only and attach to the side of the card. Add glue to the top of the piece and secure to the underside of the buckle.

    5 Colour in a darker shade behind the pockets. Write and print a sentiment from your computer, then mount and attach to the card with glue.

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