Don't show up with the same boring Christmas gift wrapping, be unique with these creative Christmas gift boxes! Draw these cute characters on your boxes for some added fun. Everyone will be commenting on how talented and creative you are.
Even if you're doubting your drawing abilities, these kawaii-style cartoon characters are the perfect place for you to start your art journey.
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For those of you who have blessed me with your email address to receive regular updates, you would have heard me talking all about making these. It started out as a Christmas advent countdown however I had to cut it short just so that I could get this out to you! And that right there is an idea for you on how you can use these art boxes. If you draw enough of these cute Christmas gift box characters they would make great advent boxes with little treats and gifts. I will absolutely be bringing you the full advent DIY in due course.
These guys were just so cute, I thought they would make a great personal Christmas gift wrapping idea. You could place small items like jewellery or cash in them. Or you could make a game of it; Buy one large gift then split it between all of the gift boxes (Lego works well for example). You could even turn it into a scavenger hunt. If you're looking for more ways to make your gift-giving more fun, check out my article with creative gift exchange ideas.
If you draw your characters on rectangular boxes these would be amazing for gift vouchers. I hate giving gift vouchers. Firstly, incredibly impersonal. Also, I often don't like my recipients knowing how much I spent on them. But mostly, I really dislike their “wrapability”. Does anybody else go to the extent of taping a small gift card to the inside of a large box and wrapping it?!
Above I have listed options for the paint pens, keeping them separate from the other supplies. The great thing about this art project is that you can choose to use only one or even two colours. This will keep costs down if you don't have paint pens. I know many of you may already have some paint pens too.
It is a little difficult to go through and describe how to draw each character. You can, however, watch the video below or scroll further for more photos and I'll give you a few tips that I learnt from this project.
Decide on your characters. You can copy the ones that I have drawn, perhaps you've got some ideas in your head. Or you can search for inspiration online. I sketched mine out whilst coming out with the concepts. You may wish to do this too but it is entirely optional.
If your boxes come unfolded, I would recommend you start by drawing on the boxes whilst they are still flat. Ensure you allow for sufficient drying time before touching or folding the box.
I generally used the negative/white space to create colour rather than just colouring the entire area. As with the Christmas tree, it would have been a lot to colour the tree area so I coloured the outside boundary of the tree and it still makes it very clear that it is a green Christmas tree!
Notice how the size of the character's features are out of proportion? Itty bitty eyes and a big head. Or the facial features are all small and drawn really high (or really low) on the face. Squishy smushed-up facial features make for all their cuteness!
At the end of the post, I have an additional tip that you can try to level up your drawing skills.
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I used 0.7mm/1M bullet Posca pens which I found a good size for this project as it is small. They can get a little pricey so if you already have them in a slightly different thickness or tip then I would use those. If you're getting new pens for this project, I would recommend a bullet tip especially as the 0.7mm are quite thin anyway. And lastly, if this is your first Posca marker project and you are looking to create more projects with them, the 3M size is said to be a good allrounder. You could still use those for this art project too.
Now, having said all that, I did find that it would have been easier if I had the thin and also thicker pens for the large areas requiring colour. I only mention it as you might notice it too. However, I got by just fine with the thinner ones as most of the project is line drawing with minimal colour fill. One tip that you could try with the larger areas, is to colour the complete area, trying to use as few strokes as possible. If it is streaky, I found it helpful to let it dry completely and then colour over it again. However, test this out as it could be a different outcome on other types of papers and cards.
It can be easy to make smudges or get small splatters from the pens. Splatters are typical of many types of pens and brushes. This can be because you go against the direction of the intended flow of the nib. It is easy to do and I did it a few times. Go slow and change the angle of the pen to suit the direction.
If your boxes are bright white and you have a white paint marker, one tip you can do to cover mistakes and smudges is to wait for them to dry and then go over them in the white pen.
Posca markers can sometimes “pill” your paper. This is because they were truly made for many different surfaces such as stone, wood, plastics, metal and various non-porous surfaces. They also do fairly well on cardboard. I noticed when drawing on my boxes that they were mostly smooth but for the cardstock I used, the pilling was more apparent. I would think that it's due to the boxes having a slightly smooth sheen to them (AKA more non-porous) and the cardstock being a smooth matte finish (so more porous). This didn't happen too much and I still absolutely love using these pens and the vivid colours they produce. So totally worth it in my opinion.
Once you have drawn your characters, fold your boxes. Then on the cardstock, draw and cut out additional shapes for features like ears and hats. I coloured some in or drew basic patterns. I attached using adhesive glue tape.
The boxes I used weren't bright white, however, the card that I used to attach the small feature cutouts was. I was going to have a hard time matching the card to the boxes at short notice so I just went with it. I was able to use the white pen trick on a couple of mistakes I made on the white card. Unfortunately, this didn't work for the boxes as they were off-white. So I just had to start again or accept it! I did get better at taking my time to avoid mistakes and splatters though.
What I love about these little characters is that they are really cute, easy to draw and a great place to start for anyone who isn't confident in drawing but wants to give it a go. I totally understand that it's not always so easy for everyone, we have to start somewhere and practice is all it takes.
I would first suggest coming up with some sketches first. By all means, copy exactly what I've done but test it out first. I did that when I was trying to work out what characters to include. When it comes to drawing your characters on the gift boxes, you could also try drawing them lightly in pencil first.
If you need some additional help in drawing, my best tip is a creative learning resource like Skillshare. I've utilised them for so many courses. One of my favourite teachers on the platform is Yasmina Creates. She is a fabulous artist. I used the characters from her course You Can Draw Christmas Cuties as inspiration for my Christmas gift wrapping boxes. I also loved her courses You Can Draw Cutie People and Doodle Magic. She has so many I want to try!
If you haven't heard of Skillshare it is a learning platform with classes from creators for topics such as illustration, design, photography and so much more. They have a one-month free trial that you can sign up for to have a look around. Or you can get my 30% annual discount if you're super keen to get into learning and creating!
I hope you got some tips and inspiration from these cute Christmas gift boxes. What would you use to put in your boxes? Let me know in the comments below.
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