Learn how to create a Christmas or Birthday inspired Gift Box in Illustrator using shapes, colour gradients and 3D options.

Final Result

1. Create a new document that’s 600×600 pixels. Using the Rectangle Tool draw 2 shapes like below for the cover & box.

2. With the 2 shapes selected go into Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Put in the following settings below:

3. If the cover is slightly off move it in place. Next select the 2 box layers and go to Object > Expand Appearance, then go to Object > Ungroup (Shift+CTRL+G), you’ll need to do this several times to ungroup the shape.

4. Now select each section of the box and put in a red gradient. Use the Gradient Tool to direct where the light source is. For the Cover of the box use the second Gradient colours below.

5. Using the Line Tool draw 3 White Lines (2 pt) on the corners of the box.

6. Using the Rectangle Tool draw a white shape for the ribbon on the left side of box. Make sure it’s on the same angle as the sides of the box. Hold down the Shift Key and select the ribbon & left side of the box and pull the 2 shapes out while holding down the ALT Key to duplicate. With the 2 duplicate shapes selected click on the Intersect Button in the Pathfinder window. You’ll be left with the shape of the ribbon. Repeat the process for the left side of the Cover so you have 2 shapes for the ribbon.

7. Put the 2 shapes on the Left Side of the box. Right click on the cover ribbon and Arrange > Bring to Front so it’s over the other ribbon shape.

8. Next select each shape and put in a silver gradient.

9. Repeat the process with the Cover & Right side of the box.

10. Place in the Silver Gradient on each ribbon shape.


11. Elsewhere on the canvas draw the shape below using the Pen Tool (you can use any colour). With the Fill to none & the stroke to 1 pt (again any colour) draw a curve shape on the previous shape. With the 2 shapes selected click on the Divide button in Pathfinder. This will divide the main shape.

12. Select each part and put in a Gradient.

13. Create another section of the ribbon using the previous method.

14. Using the Ellipse Tool draw the knot using the Ellipse Tool and put in a Radial Gradient.

15. Select the 2 ribbons sections and drag out while holding down the ALT Key to duplicate. With the duplicated shapes selected go to Object > Transform > Reflect.

16. With the 2 duplicated shapes selected Right Click > Arrange > Send to Back and place it underneath the knot.

17. Hold the ribbon on top of the gift box.

18. To make the shape more Ribbon like, with all the shapes selected go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh and put in the settings below. Click on the ribbon using the Mesh Tool and Warp the Ribbon.

19. Lastly for the drop down shadow, draw an oval shape using a dark grey, Right click the oval and Arrange > Bring to Send to Back. With the shape selected go into Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur & put in 71. If the shadow is too small you can select is with the Selection Tool and make it bigger.

Experiment with different colours to create what you’re after.

Final Result