You’ve just finished serving up a nice spread for your friends and family. You baked, broiled, and mixed up enough food to feed four families. Now there’s not enough room in your fridge for what’s left.

Hosting BBQs, parties, and potlucks often means sending your guests home with leftovers. You just slap some aluminum foil on top of a plate and call it a day. Some of you are so sweet that you part with your own stash of storage containers, risking never seeing them again.

If you’re fancy, then you’re sending people packing with purchased takeaways. Nice. But maybe it’s about time for a different option. With this idea from DaveHax, you can dole out small portions in their own to-go boxes. Cheap and easy to make, these portable packs are made from paper plates!

Paper Plate Food Box

Image of paper plate box.DaveHax


  • Paper plate
  • Tape
  • Scissors


  1. Fold the Plate

    Fold in two opposite edges of a paper plate to the point that they almost touch.

  2. Open It

    Open the sides back up where you folded.

  3. Cut Slits

    On one folded side, cut two slits about 2 inches apart to the fold line. Repeat on the other side.

  4. Fold it Again

    Turn the plate around to fold the unfolded sides of the plate so they’re in line with the cut marks.

  5. Flip and Shape It

    Flip up your cut tabs and bend up the sides to form the shape of a “gift box.”

  6. Tape It

    Tape the sides in place.


Quick and compact, these boxes are perfect for small serving sizes of food. Watch the tutorial to see how to properly fold the plate for the right fit. Plain tape will work just fine, but some folks like to get crafty and use washi tape. When you’re trying to send guests off with something functional, though, anything will do.
If you want, you can line the finished product with parchment paper, foil, or wax paper to protect the inside of the plate and the goodies. Decorative food-grade tissue paper is also available, as are designer paper plates in different colors. Wrap the packed food with your covering of choice. This video suggests adding a piece of ribbon around the middle of the box as a cute accent.
You can easily fit cookies, fruit, wings, sliders, or other small bites in these. Besides leftovers, these containers can be used as small gift packets for treats. Think items for bake sales or holiday gifts that are wrapped in ribbon or cellophane.
A pack of paper plates is fairly inexpensive, and when you start divvying up your leftovers folks will get roughly the same size portions. We all know there’s always at least one greedy person in the bunch who will try to scoop up as many leftovers as possible, but with these you can keep things simple.
They’re convenient, easy to carry, and still able to be slipped inside a doggie bag. If you’re too stuffed or busy to make these yourself, make it a family affair and delegate it!

What do you think about this paper plate hack? Would you try this at your next get-together?