Year of the Snake Good Fortune Box

While in the process of making my pink Chinese New Year tree, I was lucky enough to go on a business trip flying out of SFO.  There is a fantastic mini-grocery store called Napa Farms Market that is pretty much like a Northern-California-specific Whole Foods, miniaturized, and lovingly placed in terminal 2.  Amongst many other specialty foods, Napa Farms Market carries “Kara’s Cupcakes,” that serve their cupcakes in cute pink paper boxes.  After scarfing down my (organic and sustainable) carrot cake cupcake, I decided to keep the pink cupcake box and upcycle it into a Year of the Snake “Good Fortune” box!

I am one of those seriously sentimental fools who loves to keep all of my movie stubs and fortunes (not to mention Disneyland tickets, fastpasses, boarding passes and the kid’s annual check up reminder cards–yup, I’m a paper hoarder)!  My husband is so used to this peccadillo that, as a reflex, he now automatically hands me his ticket stub or collects up all of our fortunes after dinner at our favorite Szechuan restaurant–yes, true love!  Well, here is a fantastic way to store your Chinese take out fortunes and mementos from throughout the year!

MATERIALS:  All you need is a box to upcycle (doesn’t have to be a cupcake box–but it is a fantastic excuse for you to go grab one), pretty trims, double-sided crafter’s tape, a glue stick and a cut-out image (or drawing) of the Chinese zodiac snake.  I got my Chinese-patterned snake from a free Ranch 99 calendar–but all you need do is a google image search to find something similar!  I also recycled the golden tassel from a candle box that was given to me a few Christmases ago (I just knew I could figure out a way to use it!).

HOW TO:  To apply the trims I used strong-bonding double-sided crafter’s tape (it’s a bit thicker and more gooey than conventional double-sided tape).  I started by taping a strip of brocade ribbon around the bottom and up the sides of the box (to cover up where the cupcake box wings are folded in).  I decided to tape it on wrong-side out because I thought it was a more interesting color combination.  Then tape your accent trim around the upper edges of your box.  Layer with another contrasting ribbon for interest.  Make sure to use a lighter to seal the ends of your ribbons so they don’t fray and unravel.  Use a hole punch to make a hole about 1/4 inch down on the box lid “wing,” make sure it is centered because this is where your tassel will hang.  Loop your tassel though the hole (you may need to trim down your box lid wing for a better fit) and drape it over the trims.  Finally, use the glue stick to adhere your snake image to the top of your box.  I positioned mine so that it would camouflage the sticky residue of the Kara’s cupcakes sticker.

This is also a fantastic idea if you are having a Chinese New Year themed party and would like an extra-special cupcake display or take home treat box!  I also like the idea of having the kids write down all the good things that happen to them this year and placing it in the box and going through them at the end of the lunar year.  There are so many possibilities for this cute box–let me know how you plan to use yours!

Happy Year of the Water Snake!  And check out my (finally completed) Chinese New Year tree!


  • Mimi

    I love it! Very clever! Looks great under the Dragon Tree, too : )