Make: DIY Paper Acorn Boxes with Mini Gratitude Books

These little paper acorns are adorably festive table decorations that are holding a heartwarming secret inside! The caps lift off the top of these nutty boxes, leaving kids a place to collect and share messages of gratitude and thanks.

A paper acorn box filled with blue shreds sitting against a white background with the paper cap next to it

These little acorns are a great way to encourage your kids to be mindful of the season, and even include template pages to create their own tiny book of gratitude they can fill up and keep inside. Whether you use them to adorn a holiday table, pack them with seasonal favors for gifting, or fill them with mini Thanksgiving activity books, they’re sure to provide some happy smiles and warm hearts.

Five different colors of paper acorn boxes stacked on top of each other sitting in front of a pink background.

These templates were originally designed for a special holiday guest post over on hello, Wonderful. Though the free printables are no longer available on the site, I’ve made them available to download here!

For another darling fall acorn craft, grab a brown lunch bag and markers, scrap paper, or paint pens, and visit the simple tutorial for our stuffed paper bag acorns!

To make your own DIY paper acorn boxes you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains Woodpeckers Crafts, Etsy, Blick Art Materials, and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

FOR THE BOXES:

FOR THE GRATITUDE BOOKS:

  • A sheet of 8.5 x 11 heavy cardstock
  • A stapler
  • Drawing or coloring supplies

How to Make Paper Acorn Box – DIY Instructions:

  1. Print our paper acorn box templates

    Print the desired free printable paper acorn box template pages on heavy cardstock (be sure to choose borderless printing in your printer options). 
    Print our paper acorn box templates

  2. Cut out the paper acorn box pieces

    Cut out all of your template pieces – the bodies, caps, and stems.
    Cut out the paper acorn box pieces

  3. Fold the paper acorn body to prep for assembly

    Put the cap and stem pieces aside, and using the dotted guidelines, fold and crease along all 8 sides of the body to create tabs for gluing and assembly. Then fold and crease along the dotted lines where the sides meet the box bottom. 
    Fold the paper acorn body to prep for assembly

  4. Glue the paper acorn body together

    Once you’ve made all your creases, apply glue to all tabs. Fold each side up to meet the next, lining the tabs up along the side and top and gluing them to the back. Turn your box on its side and, applying some gentle pressure, run your finger up and down each tab from the inside – just to make sure your tabs are well-glued!
    Glue the paper acorn body together.

  5. Let dry and set aside

    Once assembled, let dry for roughly 15 minutes.
    Let the paper acorn body dry and set aside.

  6. Cut a small line in the middle of your paper acorn cap where indicated

    While your acorn body dries, we can assemble the cap using the same process, but with three sets of folds instead of 2. 
    Cut a small line in the middle of your paper acorn cap where indicated
    Before you start folding, use an X-Acto knife along the thin dotted line in the middle of your cap. This is where we’ll add the stem! 

  7. Fold and crease your paper acorn cap to prep for assembly

    Ready to fold! Fold and crease all 8 pieces where the sides of your cap meet the middle. Next, we’re going to fold and crease along the light brown lines that are about 1/2 an inch from the edges of your cap. Finally, fold and crease the small tab pieces for each cap piece. 
    Fold and crease your paper acorn cap to prep for assembly

  8. Glue your paper acorn cap together

    Once you’ve made all your creases, apply glue on all the tabs. Fold each side up to meet the next, lining the tabs up along the side and top and gluing to the back. If you’ve lined the pieces up correctly, you’ll notice that the cap pushes up toward the middle a bit. Gently turn the cap on its side and use the same technique we used for the body to make sure all sides are well-glued. Let dry for 15-20 minutes. 
    Glue your paper acorn cap together

  9. Add the stem to your paper acorn cap

    Grab your stem piece, fold in half to crease, apply a bit of glue to the inside and push together. Once your cap has completely dried, you can pull your stem piece through the cut you made in the middle of the cap, fold it along the inside, and glue it into place.  
    Add the stem to your paper acorn cap

  10. Fill your paper acorn box!

    Your adorable acorn boxes are ready to fill! You can use these as favor boxes for treats or surprises OR you can fill them with messages or tiny books of gratitude…
    Fill your paper acorn box

  11. Assemble your mini gratitude book (optional)

    If you’ve printed out our mini gratitude book template page, cut along all the dotted lines. 
    Once you have your “pages” cut out, stack (with the kawaii smile page on top) fold in half, then staple along the half-fold to create your tiny handmade gratitude book. You can also just write messages of thanks on the cut pieces if you’d rather not make a book.
    Assemble your mini gratitude book

  12. Fill your mini gratitude book with notes of thanks

    If you’ve decided to make a book,  you can fill in the pages with written messages, cut out pictures, or make drawings of all the things you’re thankful for! 
    Fill your mini gratitude book with notes of thanks

Five different colors of paper acorn boxes sitting next to each other against a white background.

And be sure to let us know how you’ve used them by tagging us with @barleyandbirch in your shares or leaving your idea in the comments below!

Five different colors of DIY paper acorn boxes sitting next to each other against a white background.

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*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.

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