Uses for Cardboard Boxes

Recycling your cardboard boxes is a great practice, but don't forget that many of them can be reused in your own home. This is a guide about uses for cardboard boxes.

Uses For Cardboard Boxes

April 15, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

This year I want to try raised beds in my garden, but I don't want to spend any money on purchasing the wood necessary to make them, plus all the work involved. So I came up with this idea - why not use cardboard boxes from the grocery stores? I plan on getting approximately 12 inch deep ones with sturdier sides. I think that they should hold up for one entire summer. I will let you know how I fare with them. If this works, I'll be so happy!

By annelaundrie from Green Bay, WI

April 22, 20120 found this helpful

Interesting discussion here about the various materials for raised beds. In earlier years I wanted to have our small veggie garden raised as our land is so flat and stays wet too long in the spring. Gradually I just kept raising that parcel of ground with leaves and other mulch until it had become a raised bed. Of course it wasn't quite like the boxed garden beds but it was raised and worked out quite well.

A couple years ago our grandson built a garden box that fit right around the original bed. Then I filled it up with more soil and now have a nice raised bed. The point here is that you can have a raised bed without a container.

You do need to avoid walking on the garden bed and compacting the soil. Just keep adding material that will enrich and keep the soil loose and easy to work. The picture is my garden before the box was built around it.

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April 7, 20130 found this helpful

I used cardboard boxes for planting containers last year. I live in the Pacific Northwest where we get lots of rain and wind. The sides did not break down. Roots of the plants grew down into the ground, not out the sides. It worked fine for one year. It was a bit of work filling each one with dirt and then emptying them out at harvest time. If it was an area where I was building a raised bed garden I could have just lifted up the sides of the boxes and spread out the dirt and done another row of boxes on top. But that was not suitable for where I had them so I had to empty out the dirt. Cardboard boxes do work. Each of my boxes was free standing and they held up fine.

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May 6, 20130 found this helpful

This season, I will be using feed sacks and old wicker laundry baskets to plant potatoes. Got the idea from who plants hers in bushel baskets. Anything will do, apparently, if the sides are high enough for continuous hilling-up.

Also, last year I found old bookcases for raised bed. The narrow ones with no back to them. Just lay them down flat and voila!, instant raised bed. I laid one down next to a fence and planted birdhouse gourds there which need to climb. This year, I have my peas there.

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May 6, 20130 found this helpful

I would just worry about what your containers are made of if you are planting things you will be eating. Old tires, lead painted boxes and other chemicals can leach into the soil and make your food toxic. Just something to think about.

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May 7, 20130 found this helpful

December 3, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have made a doll's house out of small cardboard boxes (not shoe boxes, but a little bit bigger). I have done each room separately so I have 4 separate boxes. Would anyone know what would be a good covering for this when joined together to make it more sturdy? I want to use something other than wood. Many thanks.

By h.arnott from U.K

December 13, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would use foam core board. Then you can use contact paper to decorate the outside if you so choose.

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December 14, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Many dollar stores have inexpensive peel and stick tiles. How about those in different patterns for roof and sides, doors and window frames could be yet another pattern.

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December 14, 20090 found this helpful
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Corrugated cardboard can be really strong depending on what it is made to hold. Go to your home appliance store (washers, stoves) or stores that carry heavy goods and see if you can get discarded cardboard. Hold the individual boxes together with a strong glue and then wrap with the strong cardboard. A hardware store could tell you the right kind of glue or strapping to hod the dollhouse together. Good luck. Send ThriftyFun a picture when it is finished if you can.

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December 15, 20090 found this helpful

I will definately try and put a picture on when it's finished. Many thanks again. Helen x

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December 18, 20090 found this helpful

December 19, 2006 Flag
4 found this helpful

For sending presents by mail instead of using brown paper to cover the box, try recycling a cardboard box that can be gotten from a grocery store or any other store (before they crush them, of course).

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October 5, 2015 Flag

We recently bought some furniture at Ikea and used the broken down boxes to protect our floor while we assembled the furniture. When we were done our daughter decided to make her baby brother a play mat to drive his cars on.

Cardboard Vehicle Play Mat

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December 6, 2015 Flag
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I have completed several jigsaw puzzles and have glued them together to frame them. What do I do with the boxes? I really don't want to discard them.

December 11, 20150 found this helpful

Use them s gift boxes?

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December 13, 20150 found this helpful

Good idea. Also, storage of things you don't use often. Small Christmas balls come to mind. If the top is sturdy, cover it with contact paper and use it as an "inbox" for mail, bills, etc. Use smaller ones to corral that "funk drawer" we all have. Glue some of the smaller ones together for a shadow box of light things, or cover the outside ones with fabric or contact paper, glue them together and put photos inside. I hope those helped.

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December 17, 20150 found this helpful

Wow!!!!!!!!! What great ideas. I won't have to keep going to the dollar store. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!1111

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February 12, 2001 Flag
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I work at a restaurant that throws away all of their cardboard boxes. For a month or so I have been recycling the boxes for them because it annoys me that they throw them away. Does anyone have any cool uses for boxes? Craft projects that require a lot of boxes? Or somewhere that I can donate boxes. Thanks!

February 4, 20080 found this helpful

I'm currently in A-2 studio at Boston Architectural College. One of our projects this semester is to design a chair to be made out of cardboard. The challenge is that we cannot use any sort of glue or fasteners. We must assemble it by created joints in the cardboard. Please wish me luck.

I do know that making chairs out of cardboard is not a new idea if you do a google search your bound to find all sorts of interesting things people have done with cardboard.

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July 6, 20080 found this helpful

When I have several boxes I make a playhouse for my cats. Duct tape them together & cut corresponding holes for them to climb through. They enjoy it for weeks.

When I was young my mom & sister made me a doll house out of boxes, left over wallpaper and other fabric scraps. It was biggest and coolest of all my friends.

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November 28, 20080 found this helpful

I work for a company that sends us WAY too much cardboard. I had made these suggestions to my fellow employees.Some are the same you have...


1. Burn barrel starter material.

2. Garage floor covering for oil spills.

3. Packing material for shipping your friends presents.

4. Makeshift dust pans for large floor junk in the garage.

5. Storm window coverings.

6. Broken car window replacements.

7. Coloring material for the kids.

8. Project material for the kids and their friends and their friends...

9. Backing for paper note pads.

10. Garage notes for measuring, drawing or figuring something so you don't have to back into the house to find a note pad and pencil.

11. To use for your outside burn barrel cover, to set on the grass so the hot lid won't burn the grass.

12. Patterns for things.

13. Garage trash holders.

14. Use extra 123's to hold your movies in,

15. Use them for bookshelves or CD holders.

16. Sock drawer separator walls.

17. Placemats for the table when kids are doing home projects.

18. Fan to restart your burn barrel fire.

19. Computer mouse pads.

20. Wind protector for the beach.

21. Cut & line with foil and create a sun tan shield for your face.

22. Inside cupboard lining.

23. Silverware drawer separators.

24. Mudroom flooring.

25. Recycle.

26. Kids play houses.

27. Play houses for your cats.

28. Tear up for a compost pile or a worm bed.

29. Donate to a local cardboard drive.

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March 14, 20090 found this helpful

You could check with your local Postmaster (the Post Office is the largest recycler in the US) and see if he will allow you to "donate" your cardboard boxes. My husband works for the Post Office here in Texas and they would allow that--but it's critical to talk to the Postmaster.

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December 28, 2011 Flag

This year, I put lots of gifts in the cardboard decorated boxes you can buy at the dollar store. I noticed they were perfect for art projects, to protect furniture, and to store after the children are through with them.

Cardboard box under painted suncatcher project.

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April 19, 2005 Flag
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Don't recycle those inner cardboard boxes used to separate tampons in the multipack. Reuse them for organization!

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