Another holiday season is upon us, which means a lot of cluttered boxes and waste from the presents we receive. That’s a whole lot of cardboard! And while you could always recycle them, there are much better ways to use all sorts of different packaging boxes. You could repurpose them into a number of useful items, some of which you might even have to buy, so a bit of upcycling could save you money. Here are some of the most creative ideas:
Cat Scratching Post
If you recently moved you probably have a lot of cardboard boxes. That’s exactly what you need for this project to work. Flip the boxes upside down if they are printed so you get the brown side and then build a short tower. That shredded cardboard/layered card packing material can be wrapped around the outside and secured with string, helping you to avoid having to buy a ridiculously expensive scratching post.
Photography Light Box
If you’re into photography or use the pictures for your blog, having a white background can really help the items like makeup or jewellery stand out. Sure, you could buy an expensive light box, or you could simply fashion one from a packaging box. Obviously, you’ll need a large white cardboard box. Even if it’s not white, you could use white paper to cover it in white to give you the perfect background for product shots. I also find that brown cardboard works well as a background for craft DIY blog posts – and it keeps my table clean while working on messy projects too!
One of the most popular repurposing choices is using old boxes to make plant or flower pots. All you need is a plastic bag (or a planter) to line the box, some embellishing or paint, and you won’t even recognise the old box. I’ve seen brown paper bags and hessian sacks used to wrap around plant pots, so maybe try this with your other leftover packaging.
“That’s obvious” you might think. But I’m not suggesting simply using the raw boxes. Instead, invest a little time in decorating them with fabric or wrapping paper (or wall paper). Use old belts to fashion straps, or cover with string and you’ve got yourself fancy new storage baskets.
If you have a weed problem in your garden, cardboard is the ideal solution as it is a compostable but durable material. Simply place flat cardboard pieces over the area that tends to develop weed and water them down to keep them in place. The last of daylight will kill off the weeds underneath the cardboard. When you’re finished simply cover them with soil to hide the cardboard.
Store Your Magazines
How many cereal boxes have you thrown out recently? Why not repurpose them as magazine files instead. It’s a neat and inexpensive way to organise all your favourite subscription magazines. Just strap some decorative paper over the cut boxes and you’ve got a great storage solution for your magazines.
And finally – everyone knows that boxes are the best fun when it comes to playtime. Turn a massive box into a castle fort, or use a smaller cardboard box to turn into a TV so that your little ones can perform their own telly show. The possibilities are endless, especially when you add a child’s imagination into the mix!
Let me know if you can think of any other ideas for upcycling and reusing leftover boxes and packaging by leaving me a comment below. And when you’re finished with your projects and no longer need them – be sure to recycle the leftovers!