diy projects

DIY: Gift Box Cakes w/ Avery Printable Tags

AlanaJonesMann Cake Boxes

I had the idea to make some retro-inspired cake gift boxes a while back and finally decided to give the idea a go earlier this week. Yes, you heard that right…cake gift boxes, you guys! So if you were looking for the most festive way to wrap the present you plan on taking to your friend’s upcoming birthday party, here it is! Or if you just want to make some rad cakes that won’t ever go bad…or are looking for some cute kitchen storage options. I could go on and on – but seriously, endless possibilities with these guys here! The project turned out to be more time consuming than I had planned because I could NOT STOP making them. I busted out six boxes over the past few days, which is a bit more than the one or two I had initially planned to make…but now there’s more of these amazing cake boxes to gift presents in, so no harm done here! And showing up to a birthday party with a CAKE gift box is pretty much the coolest way to show up, in my (very biased) opinion.

Plus, if the tutorial for these cake gift boxes wasn’t awesome enough, I’ve also partnered with Avery to bring you a free downloadable AND customizable printable for some fun gift tags that go great with these cake boxes. Enjoy!

Birthday BoxesCandle Topped Cake Gift BoxAvery Gift TagsSweet Gift Box DIY READ MORE

Materials Needed:

  • Paper mache round boxes (I bought these and these on Amazon)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • White silicone rubber caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Plastic piping bag
  • Decorating tips (I primarily used a Wilton #22 tip)
  • Avery Printable Tags with Strings (#22802)
  • Downloaded printable – use the pdf HERE or customize my design using THIS version on
  • Optional: Birthday candles, non-perishable cake decor or toppers

Cake Boxes



Step #1: First, paint the lid and exterior of your paper mache box(es) using a paint brush and acrylic paint. Apply 2 – 3 coats, allowing dry time in between (if you’re short on time, use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process!). When choosing your paint, make sure to not use a water-based or washable paint, as that will deteriorate the paper.

Step #2: Insert a piping tip (one which you will need to throw away afterwards!) into a disposable piping bag, just as you would if you were going to pipe buttercream onto a cake. Note: As I mentioned above, I used the Wilton #22 tip for the majority of these “frosting” details – it provides a lot of versatility when it comes to decorating. And just in case you were wondering where to buy these, you can buy individual decorating tips at Michael’s for under $2 each.

Next, fill half of the bag with caulk. Twist the bag to prevent any caulk for leaking out of the top. Use quick motions to add small dollops of frosting along the edge of the top of the box. One more note: If you mess up on a dollop or two, no worries – just use a paper towel to wipe the messy section off. As long as you work quickly, the caulk will come off cleanly.

Step #3: Continue adding the caulk until you’re pleased with your “frosting” design. For this cake shown below, I kept it simple with just an exterior ring of piped caulk frosting. Note: If you want more tips or info on piping techniques, YouTube has a plethora of tutorials in that category.

Step #4: As a final touch for the box, I added a few dollops of frosting to the center and inserted a candle into each of them. Since the caulking is thick and dries fairly quickly, the candles (or other toppers/decor) should not have any trouble staying in place.

For those of you wondering, how to add on a second tier, I kept my bottom tier as the box for the gifts and decided to forego using the top tier as a gift compartment. Since I chose my gift box to just have one gift-holding compartment, I simply used caulk to secure the open side of the smaller round (with the top-removed) to the center of my main box. If you want to keep both rounds as potential gift or storage compartments, secure the bottom side (instead of the open end) of the smaller round to the center of the larger round’s top. Does that make sense?! It’s late as I’m writing this and my mind isn’t fully functioning at this point, so feel free to leave a comment if you have any confusion about this step…or any of the steps for that matter!

Cake Box DIY

Step #5: While your caulk is drying, print your gift tags! I went with a retro, Mad Hatter-esque design for mine, as I felt that those would work perfectly with the kitschy cakes. If you’re happy with the ones that I designed, you can download the PDF version HERE. If you’d like to customize my design a bit more (change the colors, resize, etc.) OR if you want to make your own design, download the Avery version HERE! To open the .avery file  provided go to, open the saved file (select “Open a Saved Project from: Your Computer”), and the design will automatically open in Avery Design & Print Online. You’ll be able to customize and personalize the design to make it best for you.

Step #6: Once your box is dry and ready for use, wrap your gift and place it inside of your box, then place the top back on and finish it off with one of the gift tags. Now that wasn’t too tricky, right?!

AlanaJonesMann Cake Box DIY

If you make these, make sure to tag me in your posts…would love to see how you all put your own spin on them!  And lastly, I thought I’d mention that as I was making these boxes I was reminded of my old business cards, which you may also like to check out if fake cake is your thing. All other cake-inspired crafting talk aside, what is very cool (and unique) about these is how realistic they look – from across the room these cake gift boxes could certainly pass for the real thing!

AlanaJonesMann DIY Cake Boxes               Happy Birthday Cake Gift Box Retro Cherry Cake Gift Box Cake Gift Box DIY

I love the customization that is possible with Avery products, which is why I was thrilled when they asked me to partner with them for a handful of posts this year. You can see some of my previous Avery-related posts over HERE.




  1. Trina and Tina

    March 11, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Most darling gift boxes ever! How special and unique!Totally using this idea! Thanks!

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    March 11, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    […] These are the DIY cutest cake boxes ever! […]

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    March 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    […] These adorable birthday cake gift boxes! […]

  4. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

    March 15, 2016 at 10:21 am

    oh my gosh. Alana these are amazing, incredible – so colourful and fun!! they remind me of something from a set design. LOVE the “caulking as frosting”!! and the perfect colour palette … XO

  5. Deb Avery

    May 17, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Do you sell them already made?

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    July 25, 2016 at 7:07 am

    […] Alana Jones-Mann has created these DIY cake boxes using paper mache – isn’t that wonderful? They’re both fun and easy to create. […]

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