How to Make a Punch Prize Box for Class Parties

Monday, December 11, 2023
As the homeroom parent for my son's classroom, I am always on the lookout for new ideas to use at the class parties.  I have seen 'punch boxes' or prize boxes on Pinterest, but never actually tried to make one myself. Until now!
Punch boxes are kind of like the old game they used to play on the Price is Right, where the contestant would punch their hand through a little crepe paper circle to reveal the prize inside (except the prizes were much bigger on the Price is Right- we have a budget for these class parties, you know. None of the kids will be winning the keys to a new car!)

You Will Need:

-a pencil
-a large piece of cardboard or foam core (or even wood, if you're bold)
-paints in the color of your choice
-paint brushes
-hot glue gun
-rubber bands
-red solo cups
-tissue paper in the color of your choice
-small prizes that will fit in the solo cups

I chose a simple candy cane design. I had a giant cardboard box in the basement that I planned to use for the shape, but you can use a piece of foam core, too. I started by lining up the cups in the shape I wanted, then traced a candy cane shape around them in pencil. Then I painted the whole thing in red and white with a blue background. It took me less than 20 minutes to do this (we are an artsy family and we have tons of paint and paint supplies on hand- I used a combination of acrylic and tempera paints, just what I had on hand).

Even little dogs want to help with a prize box!
My painted prize box, before adding the cups

Once the paint was dry, I used a hot glue gun to glue the cups (open side out, duh) to the red and white parts of the candy cane. The only weird problem I had was that the cups would not stick to the acrylic paint (white) very well. I had to re-glue them a few times, which was kind of frustrating. The cups stayed glued to the tempera paint (red) with no troubles.

You don't need to add the tissue paper yet- I was just anxious to try it out.

After everything was totally dry, I cut red tissue paper in small squares. I put a small prize in each cup (erasers and mini notepads- I originally bought pencils but they turned out to be too long). Then I covered each cup in a square of red tissue paper and secured it with a rubber band. Not too shabby!

I didn't go overboard with decorations. I have seen people make punch boards online and they use stenciled lettering and pure perfection, really. I knew the kids in my son's class would like this box no matter what it looked like, so I just painted words on the side of my box top to jazz it up- WIN! FUN! PRIZES! Good enough. Then we tested the box out a few times to make sure it worked (always test out your class party games in advance!). It worked great for the Jersey Momma's Boy. His little hand poked easily through the tissue paper and found a prize. But then I had Mr. Jersey Momma try it and he almost broke the board, because he took his giant fist and literally tried to PUNCH a hole through the paper, almost taking the cup with it! ('What? That's how they do it on the Price is Right!' he argued). So just remind your participants to gently poke and not punch.

The finished product will be standing up for the kids, although you can lie it down, too, if you like. Mine was pretty large, around 4 feet tall, but you can make them any size or shape. See my tips below for more ideas.

A finished punch prize box - candy cane style!


-You can make these in any size, with any size cups, really. Even a small board would work.

-Be sure your rubber bands are tight enough, otherwise the tissue paper will just push in when you go to 'poke' it. You want the paper tight enough to be able to poke through it. That's why testing it out before-hand is important!

-You don't have to form a shape with your punch board. You can just do the cups in rows and have a similar, fun effect, too.


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