DESIGN A GIFT BOX – Form, Colour, Emphasis

Students use Model Magic, acrylic paint and glitter glue to design a gift box for someone who is important to them. 

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 7 to Grade 10


Social Studies
Visual Arts


balance colour theory detail emphasis form shape texture


Small Recycled Gift Box Crayola Glitter Glue Construction Paper – 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9” X 12”) Other Embellishments (optional) Water Containers Paper Towels Model Magic Brushes Acrylic Paint


DESIGN A GIFT BOX – Form, Colour, Emphasis - Step One

Step One

Collect materials needed for the project.

DESIGN A GIFT BOX – Form, Colour, Emphasis - Step Two

Step Two

Paint your box with acrylic paint.

DESIGN A GIFT BOX – Form, Colour, Emphasis - Step Three

Step Three

Build a short sculpture out of Model Magic. Make sure the sculpture is in proportion to the size of the box, not too big and not too small.

DESIGN A GIFT BOX – Form, Colour, Emphasis - Step Four

Step Four

Glue your sculpture onto the painted box lid with Washable Glue.  Add details and embellishments to make the sculpture interesting.

Learning Goals

      Students will be able to:

  1. Use the elements and principles of design to create a gift box;
  2. Create a 3-dimensional design that reflects an important celebration or event;
  3. Use placement of objects to create an area of emphasis;
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity: and
  5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


  1. Have students discuss other ways that gift boxes can be used, and then design their own boxes using a template.
  2. Provide opportunities for students to create freestanding sculptures using an armature and Model Magic. For example,
    Mythological Me


  1. Prior to the lesson have students brainstorm occasions for gift giving.
  2. Download images of birthday cakes and sculptures. For example,
    Food Sculpture
  3. Gather a variety of picture books about celebrations such as, I'm in Charge of Celebrations, by Byrd Baylor, Twelve Days of Christmas, by Lesley Sims, The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco, Some Birthday!, by Patricia Polacco, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colorsby Hena Khan



  1. Discuss special occasions/celebrations with students such as winter holidays, birthdays, summer holidays, and religious holidays.
  2. Have students look at a variety of images related to celebrations.
  3. Ask students to come up with three ideas for their gift box.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a 3-dimensional design on a reused gift box using Model Magic.
  2. Use the elements and principles of design to create a design that reflects something important to you and a person close to you.
  3. Use placement of objects to create emphasis.
  4. Use the creative process to generate ideas for your plan and product.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  6. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Have students make 3 sketches of possible designs for their gift box.
  2. Ask them to choose the design they like best.
  3. Students follow their 2-dimensional sketches to create their 3-dimensional sculptures.
  4. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  5. Observe students as they work.
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement as they work.


  1. Once all the boxes are complete ask students to share them with a partner or in small groups.
  2. Ask students to choose one box that appeals to them and tell the group why.
  3. Place boxes on display so other students may view them.
  4. Share ideas for making art out of recycled material.


  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download - BOX_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - BOX_self-assessment.pdf)