Construction paper or wrapping paper
If you are using wrapping paper you can either wrap the shoe box and lid in the wrapping paper or you can cut out various shapes and designs to decorate your shoe box. Another idea is to wrap the box with the white side of the wrapping paper showing and then decorate it using pictures and other various things, such as beads, sequins, paper cut outs, etc. But no matter what you do, you want the entire box covered
Water down the glue, 2 parts glue to 1 part water. Paint the box with the glue in small sections and apply the designs that you previously cut out. After covering the entire box, allow the glue to dry thoroughly.
Once everything is dry, apply a light coat of the glue and water mixture to the entire outside of the box to make it more durable and shiny.
Just remember that there are many variations to this type of shoe box project. You can decorate the outside of the box how ever you see fit. Another variation of this type of project is to glue the lid onto the top of the shoe box and cut out a hole so that you can fit the letters inside the shoe box, or you can leave the lid unglued and cut a hole in the top of the lid so that you can access the letters at a later date.
You can also make a layered letter box holder out of different sized shoe boxes. To do this you are going to have to get shoe boxes that you can stack, so they need to be different sizes. Then you need to cut out the bottom of the shoe box, so that your letters can easily pass through from one box to the next. You are also going to need to cut out a hole in each shoe box lid, leaving a little room around the edges so that you can glue the shoe boxes on top of each other. Other than that the rest of the project is the same as the others.