Easy Upcycled Block Shelf Sitter

Do you like those lovely wooden blocks that sit on a shelf or tiered tray? I really love them but don’t have easy access to chunky wooden blocks or shapes. I could buy a wooden shape blank of some kind or wait for something suitable to appear in my local Charity shops but you know me, why buy if you don’t have to?

So I came up with a way to create a similar decorative shelf sitter using old gift boxes. I’ve called it a shelf sitter after a quick google to see what they are called but I don’t know if there is a better term. They are not really signs, a sign would be thinner and then fall over too easily. These are chunky blocks, designed to sit and not hang.

It’s time for another Sustainable Craft Challenge, when I join with some of my creative crafting friends from around the world and we all create something to share with a sustainable, or eco friendly element. The aim to explore ways to craft in a more sustainable way, recycling, upcycling and using what we already have. This month our theme is WINTER.

I always keep gift boxes, you just never know when they will come in handy. This shiny silver box had some damage to the lid, a few scuffs so I was actually about the throw it away when I realised it might make a perfect little block shelf sitter.

A few weeks ago I really enjoyed upcycling an old wooden Christmas tree decoration and loved how it turned out so I decided to make my shelf sitter in the same style.


To make a block style shelf sitter from an old gift box you will need:

  • An old gift box, the chunkier and deeper the box the better

  • Pretty scrapbook paper, mine is a snowman one

  • Mod Podge

  • An ink pad

  • Scraps of white card and alphabet stamps to print your words, or print them on your computer

  • Glossy Highlights (similar to Glossy Accents), or gems, paper cut outs etc to embellish your shelf sitter

The base of the gift box is going to take the place of a wooden block and form the shelf sitter. You need a box of at least an inch or more in depth or it won’t be stable when standing up.

Start by trimming pieces of your patterned scrapbook paper to fit the base and 3 sides of the box. If your paper has a directional pattern bare that in mind.

Next decide the words or phrase you want for your decoration. Stamp them onto scraps of card or print them out in a nice font then cut them out and ink the edges.

Glue the paper to the box using Mod Podge. Play around with the words until you are happy with the arrangement then glue them in place. I positioned mine to one side so that one snowman showed fully, without the words covering them at all.

Once that is all dry add any embellishments that you like.

I applied glossy highlights to the snowman’s scarf, eyes and buttons just to give him a bit of bling. How you decorate will depend on the paper you’ve used and what you have to hand.

Simple as that! Once everything is dry pop your new upcycled decoration on a shelf or tiered tray and enjoy.

A sweet decoration that you can use for Christmas if you wish but then incorporate into your winter decor so it lasts just a little longer.

More gift box to shelf decoration ideas:

Now that you’ve seen the gift box to shelf sitter tutorial I confess I am actually a secret gift box hoarder …... this was just some of my collection.

I just cannot resist a sturdy box. What can I say, it’s an affliction!

This box was a marbled grey colour so I painted the edges first with white acrylic paint and then decorated it just as before. This one is a little more Christmassy with these words but as I said at the start you can add any words, quote, song lyric or poem line that you like and theme your block shelf sitter for any occasion at all.


Now let’s check out the other projects shared in this month’s Sustainable Craft Challenge.

Our Good Life - Plastic Bottle Snowman

Christine’s Crafts - DIY Waterless Snow Globe

Purple Hues and Me - Winter Mittens Door Hanger

Crazy Little Love Birds - Upcycling Metal Can into Winter Scenery

Sew Crafty Crochet - Crochet Snowman Ornament

Old Rock Farmhouse - Friendsmass Fizzy Soaking Salts