Making self-care boxes

We all need a place to keep special things hidden away. Forget the sock drawer, honey. It is time to make a unique box perfect for storing the things that make us feel better, whether it is chocolate, a soothing eye mask or a scented massage oil. Writer Jennifer S. Martin shares some ideas!

Take care of yourself, girlfriend!
What better way to motivate yourself to carry out self-care rituals than through putting together a self-care box! Self-care will not seem as difficult to accomplish when you have all your treasures in one place. This month I will give you ideas on how to create the self-care box of your dreams. I will also provide hints and tips on what you should keep stashed away!


There are many options for boxes available. At your local craft store you should be able to find a variety of containers that would be suitable for this project. Specifically, there are boxes made of a cardboard type material that typically run between $6 and $8. In addition there are wooden hinged chests, which are a bit pricier and usually cost $15 to $30. But if neither of these suggestions is practical for you, keep in mind that a smaller cardboard box you may have lying around the house is just as suitable and fun to decorate!

And your box need not be a box at all! It can be a tin or a circular container. Whatever inspires you and feels right is what you should choose. After all, this is for YOUR special treasures.

In designing your box, please feel free to be creative. You might want to stencil or decoupage the outside. Maybe you have some pretty wrapping paper or fabric you’d like to use. I will give directions for both since they are equally as enticing!

Fabric or Paper-Covered Box

  • Box
  • Wrapping paper or fabric (enough to wrap the outside and inside, if chosen, of box)
  • Glue or tape (for paper box)
  • Decorative items (beads, ribbon, sequins, etc.)
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue (for fabric box)

Painted Box

  • Box
  • A variety of acrylic craft paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Stencils (optional)
  • Decoupage designs (optional)
  • Scissors (for decoupaging)
  • Decoupage glue (optional)
  • Clear acrylic varnish

Step one:

Make sure your container surface is clean.

Covered boxes — Start wrapping the outside now. For paper, secure with white glue or tape. Use hot glue for fabric.

Painted boxes — Consider putting down a first coat of paint as a primary color. Wait until dry. If you are decoupaging, start cutting out your designs now as you wait for the box to dry.

Step two:

Covered boxes — Consider adding embellishments with ribbon, beads or sequins to outside of your box.

Painted boxes — After box is dry, start stenciling with the stencils and color paints you have chosen. If decoupaging, paint a layer of decoupage glue to the back of the printed design. Place on box. Slowly and gently smooth out the design. Paint on another thin layer of decoupage glue.

Be free and artistic! You want this box to uplift and inspire you when you look at it. Don’t be afraid to have fun!

Step three:

Covered boxes — Now is the time to wrap the inside of the boxes. This can be tricky and I recommended measuring the sides of the box that will be covered and then cutting out the fabric or paper to the measurements specified. Tack down with white glue (paper) or hot glue (fabric).

Painted boxes — When the decoupaged items are dry, spray on two thin layers of clear acrylic varnish. Let dry for 30 minutes or as directed on spray can.

You are finished!

What to put in the box?

Sometimes after we have done all the work, we become stumped on what to put in the box once it is finished. Here are some ideas:



  • Candles
  • Motivational or comforting quotes or words on index cards
  • A small box of chocolates
  • Packets of hot chocolate or tea
  • Some of those tiny gift books that are inspiring or speak to you
  • Lotion
  • Eye pillow
  • Self-massage tools
  • Essential oils in scents that appeal to you
  • Some nice soap or bath gel
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