If you’re an Amazon addict like me, you’ve got plenty of empty cardboard boxes stacked up somewhere. Don’t toss them out. From DIY drawer dividers and craft projects to kids’ playhouses, there are awesome ways to repurpose cardboard boxes.
Cardboard boxes are often seen as a temporary storage solution or a means of transporting goods from one place to another. But, with a little bit of creativity and some DIY skills, an empty cardboard box can be transformed into a multitude of useful and decorative objects. Read on for some inspiration on how to give them a new lease of life.
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1. Upcycle cardboard boxes into drawer dividers.
You’ll need some cardboard, a ruler, and a box cutter to make these easy drawer dividers.
1. Measure your drawer and use the dimensions to create lines on a piece of cardboard. You’ll make two sets of divider pieces: one set for the width, and one set for the length of the drawer.
2. Measure about four inches down into each divider section to create slots. Before you cut out the entire divider section, cut out the thin slots—trust me, it’s easier this way.
3. Using the slots as a guide, connect each divider section, place in your drawer, and you’re done!
2. Make a collapsible cardboard box playhouse.
I don’t know about you, but my kids love to play in cardboard boxes. Make their cardboard playhouses collapsible for easy storage so the fun can last a little longer.
You’ll need two boxes, some tape, and a box cutter for this playhouse.
1. Tape flaps to keep them from folding in (use tape on the inside and outside of the box). They’ll function as part of the playhouse’s floor.
2. Cut off one of the bigger sides of the box. This is where the roof will be. Keep the box piece you just removed—you’ll need it for the roof.
3. Pull out another box or large piece of cardboard. Using the piece of cardboard you just removed (see step 2) as a guide, measure out and cut a duplicate roof piece from the new box.
4. Tape the two roof pieces together and attach them to your playhouse’s frame (the first box).
5. Lay the box flat on the floor and securely tape just the vertical back and bottom cuts you just made. Don’t tape the horizontal bottom edge, otherwise, the box won’t collapse properly.
6. Open up the playhouse so it’s standing and secure the inside (back and bottom cuts only) with tape. You may need to add a few more pieces of tape to keep the playhouse together, but that’s it. Let their imaginations run wild!
3. Protect the floor when moving furniture.
Using leftover cardboard to protect your floors is not only a great way to repurpose materials, but it can also save you money and prevent unnecessary damage to them. Tear off pieces and place the cardboard under furniture before moving to prevent scratches on your floor.
4. Donate to a charity like GiveBackBox.com.
Use your cardboard box to help others. Fill up your empty Amazon boxes with items you’d like to donate like gently used clothing, shoes, and housewares (no electronics or liquids).
Go to GiveBackBox.com to print a free shipping label. Then just drop your box off at any USPS or UPS location. Amazon and other retailers have partnered with GiveBackBox.com to pay for your shipping expenses.
Related: Here’s what to know about the Amazon Give Back Box program.
5. Repurpose cardboard boxes as bird feeders.
Your kids will love helping you make these and will be thrilled when they see birds enjoying their homemade feeders. Save on your next peanut butter purchase with Jif coupons.
1. Cut pieces of cardboard into shapes. Then create holes for some twine or string to loop through.
2. Spread peanut butter on the cut-outs and press on some bird seed.
3. Roll the peanut butter and cardboard in birdseed and hang on a branch. That’s it!
6. Prevent overspray with an old cardboard box.
Painting can be a messy job, especially if you’re using a spray can or spray paint gun. To prevent overspray from getting on surrounding surfaces, use an old cardboard box as a shield.
7. Reuse Amazon boxes as decorative wrapping paper wastebaskets.
8. Create a cat tent with an old shirt and an empty cardboard box.
Pull an old t-shirt over a box so that the neckline lines up with the box’s opening. Tuck the sleeves in against the box to make the sides look neater, then show your cat its new cozy cave.
9. Make paint palettes from a piece of cardboard.
I’ve seen paint palettes at Dollar Tree, but free is better, right? This is much more fun than using a paper plate — plus you get to recycle an old box.
10. Repurpose a cardboard box as a lights organizer.
11. Make homemade coasters.
Homemade coasters are an easy DIY project that can add a personal touch to your home decor. Here’s how to make your own coasters using cardboard:
2. Cut out the coasters. Use the ruler or measuring tape to mark out squares or circles on the cardboard. Cut out the shapes using the scissors or craft knife.
3. Get to decorating. Cut out squares or circles of decorative paper or fabric that are slightly larger than the cardboard coasters. Glue the paper or fabric to the cardboard coasters, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles.
4. Add a protective layer to protect your new coasters from moisture. Just add a layer of clear varnish or acrylic sealer to the top of the paper or fabric. This will make them waterproof and durable.
5. Allow the varnish or sealer to dry completely before using your new coasters.