The ever-amazing Jenny is back again today to share a beautiful and brilliant project: this interchangeable treat box would be perfect for gifting treats for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, teacher appreciation, birthdays, or just because.
It’s not a pie box! It’s not a cake box! It’s an everything box! Interchangeable inserts make this treat box suitable for gifting and transporting all kinds of treats—cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more!
And the box couldn’t be easier to build—no miter cuts, no dados! All straight cuts! You could use a handsaw, a table saw, a miter saw, a jigsaw, a circular saw—whatever saw you have will get the job done.
Just take a look at the versatility of this treat box . . .
This treat box can be any size you’d like it to be, really. I chose to make a large square box that can easily hold up to a 10″ cake or pie. The interchangeable inserts can be configured to accommodate a wide variety of other treat combinations, as well.
Let’s get started!
GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES:
Wood + Wood Glue + Saw + Clamps + Measuring Tape + Sander (or sand paper) + Pencil + Speed Square
I chose to use Purebond Plywood because it’s formaldehyde-free, which seemed like a good choice for a food box, but you can find suitable sheets of wood in assorted sizes at most craft and hobby stores, as well as at your local hardware store. To create one 12.5″ x 12.5″ box (with assorted inserts), I used two (2′ x 2′) sheets of 1/4″-thick plywood and one (2′ x 2′) sheet of 1/2″-thick plywood.
I used Gorilla Wood Glue because it’s FDA approved for indirect food contact. Again, seemed like a good idea for a food box. (There are other brands of wood glue that are also FDA approved, such as Titebond and this brand of silicone sealant).
I chose to work with a 2′ x 2′ board for ease of handling and because I could easily arrange the cuts of my pieces to maximize the available space.
MARK YOUR MEASUREMENTS + MAKE YOUR CUTS
Fat Board: Immediately below are the measurements for the cuts I made out of one 2′ x 2′ board that was 1/2″ thick. I used the thicker board for the sides of my treat box and the sides of my lid.
Thin Boards: Immediately below are the cuts I made out of two 2’x 2′ boards that were each 1/4-inch thick. I used the thinner boards for the top of my lid, the bottom of my box, the interior pieces of the box which form the ‘lip’ for my lid, and all of my interchangeable inserts.
Here are some additional visuals to help you picture how the treat box pieces go together . . .
When drawing out the lines for your cuts, be sure your lines are square.
I used a drill with a 2-1/8″ hole saw to drill the holes in the top of the cupcake insert. Drawing out a grid and marking the centers helped me achieve even spacing.
Make as many inserts as you’d like. The inserts are designed to fit snugly in the box so that they will hold firm without being permanently attached, thus making them interchangeable. However, you could choose to secure them to the box to make them permanent.
SAND + FILE
I used an orbital sander to sand all the edges and surfaces of all of my cut pieces before assembling.
For the slots, I used a file to clean up the edges.
Be sure to thoroughly wipe down the pieces to remove all dust before assembling with wood glue. (A tack cloth can be helpful.)
GLUE + CLAMP
I used only wood glue to assemble my treat box. Because I was able to clamp all of my pieces while drying, I feel very confident about the bond. If you do not have clamps to hold your glued pieces together while they dry, or if you’d simply prefer some additional reinforcement, you could use finishing nails, a staple gun, or a nail gun to reinforce your joints.
DO a dry fit of all of your pieces BEFORE gluing and clamping. You may need to trim an edge here or there or sand a piece down a little. The lid should fit snugly—not too tight or too loose. The interchangeable inserts should stand up independently when positioned in the box, but not be so snug that it requires tugging to pull them out.
Assemble the sides and bottom of your box first and then glue in the pieces that will become the lip for the lid last.
I found it awkward to use a clamp when attaching the two legs of the cupcake insert, so I glued the legs on and then gently stood them up on a tabletop (ensuring that the legs were perpendicular to the insert top). Then, I placed a larger board across (and extending beyond) the top of the cupcake insert and stacked several heavy books on top (spaced evenly for even weight distribution) to apply the necessary pressure to ensure a tight bond while the glue dried.
If you wanted your treat box to have a permanent insert, go ahead and glue the insert(s) in, as desired. However, the inserts are designed to fit snugly so that they will hold firm when interlocked and are thus interchangeable. Many different arrangements are possible so that you can maximize the utility of your box.
ARRANGE YOUR TREAT BOX
Lots of possibilities for lots of different treats! Pair the treats with these printable Valentine’s Day treat tags and stickers, or a birthday tag or everyday gift tag for a professional looking presentation. And don’t forget that this box works great for any holiday or occasion! See below for additional packaging ideas for the holidays!
Published: February 7, 2018