Whatever you do, don’t throw away cardboard boxes! They have an abundance of potential uses, so you can repurpose just about any cardboard boxes into new items.

"Repurposing" refers to taking a worn-out item and using either part or all of it to make something new. By doing this, you are doing your part in recycling by making a small, yet important, impact on the amount of waste that is discarded into landfills every year.

Benefits Of Repurposing Cardboard Boxes

There are so many reasons to repurpose old or used items. In fact, there's way too many to list here. However, we thought we'd share (below) the top 10 creative uses for recycling used cardboard boxes.


Stack of cardboard boxes

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​Recycling cardboard boxes is a great way to:

  • Save money
  • Make something new
  • Bond with family and friends

Reap the benefits of recycling by trying it out for yourself! By making new, useful items out of some old ones, you may save yourself a trip to the store while at the same time saving money. Why pay for something you need if you can make a similar item of comparable quality?

Also, your repurposing efforts will probably yield a cool, new item you will be proud to say you made. What a great activity this could be for the family. Likewise, it could be a fun experience for a team of friends or coworkers ... or, even just a great idea to keep your little ones occupied.

What Is Needed To Successfully Repurpose Items?

All that’s needed are the right supplies, a creative mind and patience. The skills required are learnable, so let your mind wander and think about all the things you can create.

Common Craft Supply Necessities

Before we get into our suggested uses for cardboard boxes, we thought we'd give you a list of commonly needed supplies for repurposing projects. While this list may seem overwhelming at first, it really doesn’t have to be expensive. Most items can be found at a dollar store, so check there first.

If you can’t find the item there, look for craft sales. You might also try yard sales and flea markets, too. Be sure to exhaust all avenues by checking online and in the newspaper before paying full price for an item.

This list is sure to satisfy both the novice as well as the experienced recycler. It has been narrowed down into 6 major categories including glue, tape, paint, scissors, coloring supplies and other supplies.


  • Mod Podge
  • Fabric glue
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Glue stick
  • Hot glue gun


  • Washi Tape
  • Glitter tape
  • Painter's tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Double-sided tape
  • Command Strips


  • Paint set
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Brushes
  • Paint palette

Scissors/Cutting Supplies

  • Box cutter
  • Cutting board
  • Scrapbook paper/decorative wrapping paper

Coloring Supplies

Assorted colored pencils

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  • Colored pencils
  • Glitter Crayons
  • Regular markers
  • Variety of Sharpie products


  • Ribbon
  • Sewing supplies and fabric scraps
  • Stickers, stamps and stencils
  • Stamps
  • Stencils

10 Crafty Uses For Cardboard Boxes

Woman holding brown cardboard box

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There are many ways to repurpose cardboard boxes and it’s awesome what new items you can make. Here, we give you 10 great repurposing ideas for used cardboard boxes that almost anybody can enjoy:

1. Handwritten 'Thank You' Cards

Nothing says "thank you" like a handwritten card. There’s something charming about brown paper that’s hard to describe. Use the same box (that came to you with a present from a loved one) to write an inspiring message or gift tags. You can also make postcards from cardboard boxes and they are an acceptable form of mail that requires no envelopes.

2. Recycled Bird Feeder

Give your furry, backyard friends a reason to chirp and sing with a repurposed bird feeder. The supplies needed to make this include a single toilet paper roll, peanut butter and birdseed. Cover a cardboard toilet paper roll with peanut butter before sprinkling completely with birdseed. This new item comes at no cost and is sure to make birds in the neighborhood happy.

3. Picture Mat

Picture frame mats can be expensive. There’s no need to spend money, though, especially when you likely already own the tools necessary to create your own. Have complete creative control over your own picture mats and add style to your collection. Start by cutting out the perfect sized mat from a used cereal box and apply decorated fabric with a glue gun to secure. Now the sky is the limit on how your family photos can look.

In addition, photo frames are easy to make with recycled cardboard. Cut out the picture holes and bend one long strip of cardboard to make an adjoining 2 picture foldable frame. Decorate with attractive fabrics and secure with glue. This is a great idea for children, or if you want to change the look of your personal photo collection.

4. Blank Canvasses

For the art lovers in all of us, shoebox tops make great canvasses for displaying your own creations on a wall. Save shoeboxes until you have quite a few to choose from to make an outstanding art collage for your wall. Ideally, pick out a handful of differently sized tops.

Paint the lids first with primer, followed by a white color and you will have pieces of a canvas. Put your imagination in the driver’s seat and watch creativity fly.

5. Magazine Files

Magazine files

Image by Mike via Pexels

Stop letting cereal boxes go to waste. They have a great repurposing use as magazine files. Cut appropriately and decorate with your favorite fabric and small ornamental additions to give your new organizer a fancy look. This will bring order to your home by reducing clutter that might happen to be lying around.

6. Painting Palette

Painting is so much easier when you have a palette, so why not just make one out of used cardboard? Cut out a palette-shaped piece and attach a ring hole so you can properly hold it while you paint. Mixing paints suddenly becomes easier, and you won’t leave a colorful trail of mess on the floor. One simple idea and the help of used cardboard can completely change the way you paint.

7. Maze For Kids

For some reason, there are tons of large boxes piling up at your house. Did you just move or have the kitchen redone? Stop looking at that pile as a pain and put it to use. Build your kids a maze and they will be busy for hours. Not only will you feel proud for doing a little recycling, but this fun distraction will free up your time while the kids have a blast. Cut a doorway or two into each box and join it to the others with heavy clips to prevent collapses.

8. Trendy Multi-Use Coasters

Cardboard coasters

Image by BRRT via Pexels

Coasters are easy-to-make items that keep your furniture looking new. All that is needed is your favorite design of duct tape, scissors and used cardboard. Cut the appropriately sized circle and simply cover it with the duct tape. Change your style as often as you want by adding a layer of alternative tape to the coaster. This product has dual benefits, because it also doubles as the perfect set of floor protectors for your couch and other furniture.

9. Fashionable Matching Storage Totes

This is the perfect idea for thick boxes that are still in great shape. Convert sturdy, used boxes into decorative totes with amazing handles for great storage use. The smart design of a belt handle not only allows you to store goods, but easily transport them, as well.

All that is needed is an ideal tote-sized thick box, gold screw bolts, spray adhesive and your own personal definition of great fabric to outline the cardboard box. Screw in the gold bolts to secure, spray on adhesive, and gently apply the desired fabric. Secure the belt carrier with a gold screw and you have a highly individualized means of storage that looks great.

10. Stylish Plant Home

A great repurposing idea is to recycle cardboard boxes for sprucing up a garden. Thick boxes with an open top are perfect for this kind of thing. Line your new cardboard box with a plastic bag and make a few holes to drain access water. Transfer your plants and when you are finished, see just how creative your new garden will look.


Change the way you think about used cardboard. Before throwing them into the trash, consider they're many qualities that make repurposing a breeze. You only need to look around because almost everything can be repurposed. By doing so, you will save plenty of money in the process. While a creative spirit is great and useful to have, you should also equip your creative arsenal with crafting supplies to make the best new product possible.

It is easy to acquire the appropriate supplies and save money by waiting for sales and shopping at secondhand stores. Adopt the habit of repurposing items and live your life a little greener. Reap all the benefits offered by cardboard boxes and get started. Used cardboard has plenty of uses and throwing it away is a waste when it can be turned into such wonderful other things.

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