Friday, May 4, 2012

Craft Tutorial: Date Night Box

You may have heard of the “Date Night Jar”…this is my spin: the Date Night Box.

Date Night Box Bridal Shower Gift Idea

My husband’s cousin is having her bridal shower this weekend. She and her fiance have a registry but it’s not your typical one at the department store where you request dishes and kitchen gadgets. This progressive couple has requested gifts to be applied towards items such as their honeymoon, a new piano, and one that was the inspiration behind this gift…date nights. It’s great that they already know the importance of spending time alone together.

The date night jar idea, such as that one by Life in the Green House that I saw on Pinterest, is totally cute, but a little rustic for Brigitte and Gary. It’s obvious from their invitations that they love a clean, modern aesthetic. I thought a box with their wedding colors, plus blocks where they could change their date night ideas as they wish, would be perfect for them. The Date Night Box would also make a great DIY Valentine’s Day Gift or Anniversary Gift.

Date Night Box

Here’s how to make a Date Night Box!



  • Wooden box (this one is from Michaels)
  • Rectangular blocks (mine are thrifted…I think they are Jenga pieces)
  • Frame (for the top of the box, or use additional rectangular blocks as I did…these are flatter than the Jenga pieces were also thrifted.
  • Craft paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brushes
  • Chalk board paper
  • Chalk board pen (or regular chalk)
  • Fabric
  • Strong glue, such as Gorilla Glue
  • Not shown: tools for cutting fabric (rotary cutter, ruler/straight edge, self-healing mat)

Directions: We can divide the process into five steps:

  1. Paint everything that needs to be painted
  2. Mod Podge the fabric to the box
  3. Mod Podge the chalkboard paper to the blocks and the top of the box.
  4. Glue the frame onto the top of the box, and color key to the inside of the lid.
  5. Write date night ideas on blocks, color key, and top of box

1) Paint everything that needs to be painted.


First, paint the blocks. This box can hold 22 blocks, which is a good number of date night ideas. I chose three colors (purple, green and gray) to paint them, with 9 purple blocks (to represent dates at home), 9 green (dates out) and 4 gray (weekend/overnight dates). You don’t have to paint the surfaces that will be covered with chalkboard paper, or glued down onto the box. Also paint the additional blocks for the color key on the inside of the box lid (one for each color), and paint the frame.


In addition, I painted the inside tops and sides. I will cover the bottom and the inside of the box lid with fabric later.


2) Mod Podge the fabric to the box

I chose two fabrics in my stash to cover the lid, sides, and inside surfaces of the box. First the top…I flipped the box upside down and traced the shape onto the fabric. Then I cut it out and Mod Podged it on.


I trimmed off the excess fabric by turning it over onto a self-healing cutting mat and ran my rotary cutter along the edges. Then I applied an additional coat of Mod podge on top to seal it.


Same with the inside of the lid, and the bottom of the box.


For the sides, I used a tape measure to measure all the way around…since the corners are rounded, I thought I could do one long strip.


My fabric wasn’t long enough (d’oh!)


So I cut two strips each for the top and for the bottom of the box. For the bottom half, I started in the back in the middle…


…which gave me a seam in the front (by the way, I removed the hardware and just Mod Podged the fabric over the holes).


For the top half, I started on the side so there would be no seam up front.


Then I used a pin to find the screw holes and just reattached the hardware over the fabric.


3) Mod Podge the chalkboard paper

I love this chalkboard paper! I am not a very precise painter, so any errors with dark chalkboard paint would definitely show. And, I don’t have to wait for the chalkboard paper to dry! So I cut the paper to the size of the blocks, and applied Mod Podge to the unpainted side.


For the top of the box, I also used Mod Podge to stick on the chalkboard paper…


…and centered it onto the box.


For the color key, I applied a piece of cardboard paper to each wood piece.

4) Glue the frame onto the top of the box, and color key to the inside of the lid.

I used a thin bead of Gorilla Glue to glue the frame on top of the chalkboard paint.


As well as on the color key pieces.


It has to be a thin bead because Gorilla Glue expands. And it may seem to take a while for it to stick, but once the bond forms, it really sticks!

5) Write the date night ideas, color key, and top of box.

You can actually start writing the date night ideas anytime, while you’re waiting for the paint to dry, for example. I got some ideas off their wedding website (they love camping for example, so I put that as one of their “weekend” dates). I also included typical things like “coffee date”, “movie”, “cook together”, etc.


I also left several blank, and will be including the chalkboard pen for them to fill in their own ideas. I then wrote in the color key, then I filled in the box, alternating the colors.


…and inside the frame. Yes, I totally dotted that ‘I’ with a heart.


I will be buying them some gift cards (as the “real gift” haha) to help them get started on their dates, from REI (camping), Starbucks (coffee date), Safeway (cooking at home), and movie tickets. I’ll probably adhere an envelope on the inside of the lid, above the color key, to store the gift cards. Will come back and add some pics of that later.


I hope the bride (and groom) enjoys this shower gift! And here’s to more date nights for all, even old marrieds like us.

CM Wedding

I’m happy to be participating in this DIY wedding ideas blog hop hosted by Crafterminds! Please click the links below (if the links are not there yet, come back soon) for more ideas from many of your favorite bloggers!


Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Tip Junkie :: Rook No. 17 :: Oopsey Daisy :: The Trendy Treehouse ::Tidy Mom :: Creation Corner :: Whipperberry :: Sassy Sites::Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique : :Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Mine for the Making :: Fine Craft Guild :: Mad in Crafts :: Finding My Way In Texas :: DIY On The Cheap



  1. What a fab idea -- I liked the one at Green House, too; different styles but both are neat. Plus, I like that this is something couples can do no matter how long they've been together, from newlyweds to those married 25 years!

  2. What a fun idea! Way to keep the magic alive! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is such a great idea Steph! I don't even know why I am surprised. You always come up with amazing things. Love this idea. I think I need to make a family one for us. Things to do with our kids. :)

  4. This is SUCH a good idea. I don't know why coming up with dates is such a hard task. Thanks for linking up to Pin-ed it, Made it.

  5. Such a cute idea! I did something similar with a mason jar & popsicle sticks.

  6. This is so stupid. Your poor, poor husband.

    1. HURRAH! My first negative comment ever! This must mean I've officially made it as a blogger!
      Really, you have no idea how proud I am feeling right now. I'm serious. I only wish you could have left your real name so I could properly thank you.

  7. Brilliant idea and I'm sure they lucky couple will appreciate such a great gift.

  8. SO fun! I'd love for you to add it on my link party at: Thanks!

  9. This is the cutest thing I've seen in a long daughter's wedding shower is next month and I'm getting started on this right now! Love and the person that wrote the negative comment should be ashamed. TFS, Kim P.S. I'm also adding a babysitting coupon for their monthy 'parents nite out' as one of the gifts since they have a daughter :-)

  10. This is such a thoughtful and creative gift and one that your friends are likely to remember as the very best of their wedding experience!

  11. This is an adorable idea - the color key?! Soo soo cute! TFS!

  12. I think it is a great idea especially since I hate it when I get invited to weddings where they want money!!


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