By Kelly O’Roark
Whenever it’s your turn to host “movie night” with your friends, you’re the champ when it comes to going the extra mile. Whether you’ve set up an outdoor movie theater in your backyard, or you’ve designed the perfect movie viewing space in your living room, you do whatever you can to make sure that your guests get the full movie theater experience. This means that your guests get to nosh on your gourmet garlic parmesan popcorn (which pairs perfectly with your private label Sauvignon Blanc) since you’ve perfected the technique for making movie theater popcorn at home (with a grown-up twist, of course).
If you want to take their popcorn-eating, movie-watching experience to the next level (as well as your hosting chops), you can make your own movie theater style popcorn boxes. I know – it sounds really hard, but it’s surprisingly simple when you have step-by-step instructions like the ones below. (How serendipitous!) Here’s what you’ll need:
- A paper cutter
- Treat boxes (dimensions: 2.5 inches by 5.25 inches by 1.5 inches)
- Scrapbook paper
- Crafting glue
- Decorative embellishments (such as paper flowers, letters, buttons, etc.)
- Double-sided tape
Step 1: Cut One Sheet of Scrapbook Paper into Four Pieces
When it comes to the colors and patterns of your popcorn boxes, you can make them all look the same or add a little variety. I chose a different color and pattern for each one, and one sheet of standard scrapbooking paper is plenty for each box since I prefer to make DIY mini popcorn boxes. Even though they’re “mini” (they’re 5 inches tall), they hold about 2 cups of popcorn, which is the perfect serving size.
The first step is to cut four pieces of paper that are all the same height, but two different widths. It’s best to use a paper cutter instead of freestyling it with scissors (since it’s important that the measurements be exact), however, if scissors are your only option, grab a ruler and a pencil to make sure that your lines are straight and even. The first two pieces of paper should be 4 inches tall and 4 inches wide (to make squares), and the other two pieces should be 4 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide (to make rectangles).
Step 2: Glue the Two Smaller Pieces of Paper onto the Sides of the Box
Now that you have your paper ready to go, grab your crafting glue. It’s time to “wallpaper” the box! Place glue on the back of one of the rectangular pieces of paper (the ones that are 2.5 inches by 4 inches). Make sure that in addition to the center, you place plenty of glue on the borders and corners so that the paper is properly secured to the box. Place the paper onto one side of the box so that there is an even amount of the box showing on the top and the bottom. Wrap the edges of the paper around the folds of the box so that they’re extending beyond the sides (as seen below).
Repeat this step on the other side of the box. Again, make sure that the edges are glued down all the way. If they look like they’re lifting, add more glue and press them down again so that they stay in place.
Step 3: Glue the two Larger Pieces of Paper onto the Front and Back of the Box
Now that you have the two rectangular pieces glued to the sides of the box, you’re ready to “wallpaper” the front and the back. Take one of the square pieces of paper (the ones that are 4-by-4 inches), and thoroughly apply glue to the back. Place the square paper onto one of the wide panels of the box. (You can choose which side is the front and which side is the back.) Make sure that it lines up with the two pieces of paper on the sides. Once it’s aligned, press it down firmly, and fold the edges over so that they overlap onto the sides (as seen below).
Repeat this step on the other wide panel of the box, so that the sides look like this when you’re finished:
Step 4: Affix the Ribbon around the Center of the Box
Now it’s time to add some decorative touches to your DIY popcorn box! When it comes to the ribbon color, choose a color that complements both the decorative paper and the embellishment. Since my floral embellishments have gold in them (which will be applied in the next step), I chose gold ribbon.
Grab a piece of ribbon that’s approximately 10 inches long, and apply a thin layer of glue on one side. Glue the ribbon onto the center of the box, starting on the front, and wrap it around to the back, making sure that the ribbon is wrapped evenly all the way around the circumference of the box.
Step 5: Add an Embellishment for the Finishing Touch
When it comes to learning how to make popcorn boxes that look sophisticated and elegant, the embellishments are really what brings that element to life. I chose these beautiful paper flowers, as they add dimension, depth, and contrast on top of the pattern and colors in the decorative paper and ribbon. Since these are heavier than the paper and ribbon, I put a small piece of double-sided tape (about 1 inch long) on the back of the flower, and firmly affix it to the center of the box in the middle of the ribbon.
Once you’ve applied the embellishment, you’re ready to create as many additional boxes that your heart desires (and of course, leave time to make your famous gourmet popcorn).
Creating your own DIY movie theater popcorn boxes not only makes your movie nights memorable, but are also a great addition to other parties as well. If you’re hosting a wedding or baby shower, these popcorn boxes add the perfect amount of charm. Additionally, they can even be used as treat boxes for homemade cookies and candy to give as gifts. The possibilities are endless (as are the requests for you to be the host of every party).
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark