I'm sharing a project that was in a 1961 publication that I received from my mother - Uses for Tea Boxes
Save cardboard tea bag boxes for crafting projects. We followed directions on one idea in this book, but first painted our tea bag box with white acrylic paint.
Paint your box 2-3 times first, allowing it to dry each time.
Apply a thin layer of decoupage to the outside of the box and apply thin layers of tissue paper. Allow to dry.
For a handle, glue on scrap ribbon, thin cardboard or other material, by attaching it to the underside of the top lid.
Once you fold the top and side flaps inward, the tissue paper may break open. Simply decoupage a few more pieces of tissue paper over the fold areas.
Glue or decoupage ribbon around the box for embellishment.
Sew a button on the top flap and front side. Tie a piece of #10 cotton thread to the top button, underneath the button, and trim off thread (leaving one piece of thread long).
Use the long end of thread and tie it onto the bottom button, and using a figure eight motion, wrap one button then the next until the string is short and box is secure.
Ideas for handle:
~scrap, thin cardboard
~pipe cleaners or chenille stems
~broken shoe laces
~strips of scrap fabric
~phone book pages
~recycled wrapping paper
~thin food wrappers and/or labels
~ vintage photos or magazine photos
~ buttons or other small items
~ use paper fasteners or brads in place of buttons (for attaching a string or elastic for closure)
~ Storage on top of a shelf or dresser
~ Easter "basket" (cut top and side flaps off and glue or secure a handle on the inside sides of the box)