Title: What’s in a Box?

Grade Rage: Secondary


A fun and unique lesson to get your students thinking outside the box to enhance the inside product!


Download the lesson plan in .pdf here



  • Demonstrates a willingness to experiment and innovate to pursue ideas and forms
  • Examines how a 2-D surface can be cut and folded into a 3-D shape
  • Create a three dimensional box to fit a specific product
  • Designs the outside of the box to effectively identify the content inside



  • Corrugate box to break down and study
  • Maped Color’Peps Jungle Fine Tip Washable Markers x24 [845422]
  • Helix Metal Safety 12” Ruler [32046]
  • Maped Essentials Triangular Graphite #2 Pencils [851779ZT]
  • Maped Classic 1 Hole Metal Pencil Sharpener [006600] (optional)
  • Maped Easy’Cut Craft Knife [009400]
  • Practice paper & cardstock / poster board (size depends on box)
  • Adhesive like tape or glue (optional, depends on box design)


Overview & Directions:

  • You (and your students) collect a variety of boxes to review and disassemble – there should be enough for each student in class.
  • Give each student one box. First, the students will DISSECT the box: examine and break down the 3-D box into its original flat 2-D state to see how it works
  • Look at the box you dissected. Take a ruler and measure the Height, Width, and Depth. Mark the dimensions on the dissected box.
  • Select an object/product to create a box for – a small ceramic sculpture/form would be a great idea to use. In the example below we will use a ceramic pencil holder that was made for another lesson plan
  • Looking carefully again at the box you dissected, take a new sheet of paper and roughly trace a similar box onto the paper, making sure to ADJUST THE MEASUREMENTS to specifically match the dimensions of the object/product you measured. Use the disassembled box as a guide for designing flaps & edges
  • Use a ruler and be as precise as possible. Draw solid lines on the lines to be cut and dotted lines for the fold lines. Cut out the pattern and fold it to be sure it fits together and is the right size. Do not glue anything at this stage. Make adjustments, if necessary.
  • Unfold the paper box and draw the design for the outside of your box to advertise your product. Make up a name for your product (a slogan and company name are optional) Neat lettering should be easy to read and enable the viewer to easily identify the contents in the box.
  • Take a sheet of poster board that will accommodate the pattern for your box. Trace the paper pattern accurately-as exactly as possible onto the dull side of the poster board.
  • Cut the solid lines using the Metal Safety Ruler and the Easy’Cut Craft Knife. Teachers should always use caution and emphasize safety measures when students are using sharp tools. Be sure students always keep fingers inside the protective space in the middle of the safety ruler! And ALWAYS protect the table from accidental cuts with padding under your box design before cutting!
  • Score the fold lines (use any tool as long as you do not cut through the paper. You just want to indent the poster board. Items such as an embossing tool, bone folder, wooden tool for ceramics or bamboo skewer will work). Use a ruler to keep the fold lines as exact as possible.
  • Fold your new poster board box to be sure it works properly. Make adjustments, if necessary.
  • Transfer the paper pattern product design onto the flat shiny side of the poster board box
  • Use Jungle Markers and other coloring tools to add color to your box.
  • Refold the box after all the color has been added to the outside design.
  • Glue any tabs, if necessary, and place object/product inside box!


Discussion Topics & Evaluation:

  • Presentation: Students show and tell what the product is, name of the product, slogan, etc. What is it? How does the box close?
  • Craftsmanship: Is the box constructed well? (It should fit together well, clean cuts, folds are neat and straight, and glued neatly.)
  • Functional Fit: Does the product fit inside the box well? Will the lid close ? Is the box the right size so the product doesn’t slide around?
    Exterior Box Design: Does the design wrap around the box in an attractive way? Is it easy to identify the product? Can you read the product name? Is the color work neat?


Did you like this lesson plan? Share your creations on social networks with the hashtag #MapedDIY , we will be delighted to see what you’ve made! And find all our tutorials of creative activities online.

See you soon!