DIY Birthday Surprise in a Box: How-to Ideas and Supplies

Why give a usual birthday gift when you can send a whole boxful of presents—or even an entire party? That’s the super-fun concept behind a Birthday Surprise in a Box! You can either fill the package with all kinds of festive supplies for an instant celebration, or you can personalize the items around a theme that you know the celebrant will love.

To get started, discover some clever surprise-in-a-box inspiration in the examples we found below. Then, stock up on birthday gift box basics to send along in a lovingly-made package. Surprise! (*this post contains affiliate links)

Birthday in a Box Ideas: Different Themes and Price Points

Depending on your recipient’s personal style or favorite things—and on your budget, too—your birthday surprise can be sweet and simple or quite elaborate. Come take a look!

Surprise gift box fillers

1 – Chica Circle demos a homemade gift box filled to the brim with party hats, balloons, a birthday banner, party blowers, and more—then finished with a happy birthday cutout on the box lid.

2- Dressing up the box can be lots of fun, too! See how cutting out pretty birthday printables can create a 3D effect for the birthday box decorations, as in this tutorial from Tried and True. Then, add thoughtful gifts, sweets, and trinkets as fillers.

3 – Keeping things “in theme” and color coordinated will make your gift extra appealing, just like this  Birthday in a Box Gift from Dukes and Duchesses. No Cricut machine for those cute cutouts? Use scissors and punchers instead. 

4 – This DIY surprise gift box from Brilliant Little Ideas is a fun way to hide little presents (like a stuffed toy and some birthday cash) in an inflated balloon, delivered in a self-decorated craft box. (You’ll see what that tin can is for in the full post!)

5 – You Are My Fave (via Oh What Fun) offers up this inspiration for a birthday party in a box. It’s filled with ingredients for sweet treats, as well as party supplies like plates, cups and napkins to serve them with.

6 – For your special gal pal, check out this pastel-pretty DIY birthday in a box for your BFF from Balloon Time. It contains sweet treats, a mini bottle of champagne, a cute mug, nail polish, party poppers and balloons, of course!

7 – Finally, for the sweetest little birthday surprise box ever (via YouTube), how adorable is this Happy Birthday banner tucked into a tiny box? It’s sure to delight the birthday girl as it appears letter by letter as she lifts the lid!

Basic Birthday Box Supplies

We loved shopping on Amazon to find these for you. But of course, you can always adjust the box size, the choice of contents, and even the color motif (we went with bright primary colors) to suit your birthday box concept.


  1. If you have a used file box, hat box, or large corrugated box, you can recycle that instead of buying a new one. Just dress it up with wrapping paper, ribbon, or stickers.
  2. If the birthday celebrant lives far away, plan your gift box to be mailable—not only size and weight-wise, but also in what you put inside (nothing fragile, spillable or perishable).
  3. If the recipient lives nearby, works with you, or is right in your home, place the gift box where it will be “found”—adding to the fun of the surprise!

Surprise gift box supplies

1 – Corrugated Box 12" length x 12" width x 10" height, White (Bundle of 25)

2 – Happy Birthday Decorations Banner with Tissue Pom Poms

3 – Rainbow Party Cupcake Kit for 24

4 – Party Pop Confetti Poppers

5 – Balloon Cluster Cake and Cupcake Topper (5-inch, 8 pack)

6 – Wilton Candles, Sweet Dots Party (12 pack)

7 – Darice Premium Quality Tissue (100 Sheets, Assorted Colors)

8 – Premium Confetti Gift Wrap Bows, 4" (5 Pack, Red)

9 – Hallmark Reversible Birthday Wrapping Paper (Pack of 3)

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