Friday, March 2, 2018

Braided Brown Craft Paper Tray DIY

Have you ever experienced an aha moment when out shopping and think, "oh I can probably make something like that!" That's what happens to me while I'm  looking at baskets.  Every time I look at them - the woven type -  the ones that look like someone has braided the fibers into quite a lovely, but simple pattern. I'm talking about braiding - you know, the three strands type!  This thought has been going on for a while with me. And I'd say to myself, I want to try to make that! Well, I finally did! 

And all I had to gather was:
Cardboard box
Brown craft paper roll (Dollar Tree)
Yard stick
Tacky glue
Skewer stick
Glue stick
Hot glue
Wrapping paper

What an inexpensive recycle project!

Begin by cutting off the lids of a cardboard box - one that could look like a tray. Measure the center inside bottom area to cover with part of one of the short lids that you cut off to fill in.  Add tacky glue to center and .  .  .  
place the measured cut off piece in-between the inside bottom flaps to make the bottom even and as flat as possible.

Then, roll out enough brown paper to cover the box, as if wrapping a present and cut off. Lightly mark and measure the box position on the paper with a pencil. Cut out the corners, left, right, leaving a little extra paper on the side edges to wrap around the corners.

Spread tacky glue on bottom paper around the box pressing down into place,  smoothing out to the edges. 

Next spread glue on the longer sides, overlapping the paper on the corrugated edges,  and wrapping the extra paper around the sides, up over the edges and down to the bottom of the tray, smoothing out - one side at a time.

Continue spreading glue on the shorter sides and wrapping the ends side up and over the corrugated edges, and down to the bottom of tray, smoothing out.
Let dry for several hours or overnight. Most of the glue wrinkles should disappear.

To make the paper tubes: Roll out the brown craft paper and using a pencil and yard stick, measure out four inch widths along paper. Then cut out at least thirty paper strips.
Next, take a skewer stick and place on the corner edge of paper at an angle.

Place the end tip of the paper over the skewer and start rolling the paper with finger pressed down on the table first.

Once you've started rolling the paper, lift up the tube so your left fingers are controlling the roll while your right hand is rolling the stick and tightening the tube.

Just before finishing the roll, add glue to the corner end tip and continue rolling until reaching the end to seal.

Make approximately thirty, 25-27" long tubes depending on how you roll the tube and the box.

To make the continuous braid, glue three tubes together, on top of one another, and clamp.

Begin braiding one end tube over middle tube and inside opposite end tube. Repeat alternating outside tube over inside tube and then the other outside tube .  .  .
 until reaching near the end.
Extend the tubes by adding glue to one end and inserting new tube. All three tubes should be extended at the same time.

Continue braiding the tubes until you have reached using up all of the tubes. Clamp off ends just in case you need to extend it more.

Once all the tubes are braided and connected, begin hot gluing on the braid at the top corner around the box. Use clamps to hold in place while glue is drying. 

For a cleaner look, I ended up cutting the braids and gluing the cut tubes together, as I finished each row.
In hindsight, instead of one continuous braid, I would make separate braids for each row.  

There should be extra braids left to create two handles to hot glue onto the short sides of the tray. If not, make additional braids for the handles and glue on. 

I love how the tray turned out! But it's for decorative purposes only! FaveCrafts is a great resource for other recycle paper crafts #FaveCrafts
I placed a piece of wrapping paper on the bottom of the tray for a decorative effect. I covered the flaps that I cut off to place inside the tray to keep the sides stable and to hold the decorative paper on the bottom in place. You can switch out the design for different occasions.

Makes for a lovely decorative look!

Thanks for stopping by

and take a little time to enjoy,

Happy Crafting!


  1. WOW! You are so creative. Love your paper tray. Pinned!

  2. Magnifico trabajo de reciclaje, como siempre.

  3. Ah.. Ahhh... AHHHHHH, HUESandme! Gesundheit!

  4. How cute is that? Looks like a lot of work Gail. You are the queen of crafts.

  5. That is beautiful and such a clever idea!! pinned.

  6. thanks for sharing this would be a great useful display piece thanks for sharing
    come see what we made at

  7. It looks great! You would never know it was made of paper!

  8. Wow! This is incredible! Great job, Gail!

  9. How talented you are to make this beautiful basket from an old box. I'm almost temped to try it, Thank you for giving such
    detailed instructions, also thanks for sharing.

  10. OMG - you so excelle at recycling crafts. It's unbeliefable! Grat idea.


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