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Uses for Cardboard Boxes

December 19, 2006

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). Instead of blacking out all the writing on the box as the post office suggests, turn the box inside out.

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Cut the tape or pull open the glued flaps as if you are going to flatten the box. (If you are lucky you can get the boxes already cut open from the store because some of them flatten the boxes before they crush them.) Carefully cut the seam of the box with a knife so it is able to be opened up flat. Turn the box over to the non-printed side (inside out).

Tape the seam back together with packaging tape inside and outside if you want it to be more stable although taping outside will suffice. Tape the flaps on the bottom closed again. You can then put whatever you are sending in the "new" box and seal it up with the packaging tape. This not only saves on the brown paper and recycles the boxes but also helps the post office because the brown paper often rips off or rips so that it gets stuck in the machinery used to process the packages. The only drawback is that you can only do this once unless you are careful when opening the box and you use easily removable labels on them.

I have done this countless times with no problems at all. Every time the box arrived intact. Happy shipping.

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Save cardboard boxes or if you shop at Costco, at check out they'll put your purchases in cardboard boxes - those boxes are handy! In our household we paint in the boxes to create a mess free painting environment. :)

Mess Free Painting Using Cardboard Boxes - inside of cardboard box with evidence of blue and red paint

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If any of you do warehouse shopping, you know that the boxes you put your food in to take it home are not the best, except for one! You will notice that there are always boxes that look like a big "U" was cut out of the middle.

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If you are a frequent online shopper, you will receive tons of boxes each month. I do not toss my boxes because they could be used for many things!

Recycled Boxes as a Trash Can - plastic bag inside cardboard box being used as a trash can

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I am always looking for free storage. Shoe boxes are great except you can't see what is in them. What is more frustrating than not knowing what is inside, is not knowing if there is anything inside.

Boxes that are marked "MT" to denote that the boxes are empty.

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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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Now that it is summer vacation, my toddler (3 years old) enjoys box building blocks made with packages we receive from online shopping. As more orders come home, he will have more boxes to play with.

Reusing Cardboard Boxes as Outdoor Blocks - stack of Amazon shipping boxes

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When we got all our stuff unpacked from our recent move, my husband decided to flatten some of the larger packing boxes and use them around the edges of rooms that needed to be painted instead of having drop cloths spread about.

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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

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

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Questions

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February 12, 2001

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!

Answers

February 12, 20010 found this helpful

You don't say how big the boxes are. If they are about as big as the boxes copy paper comes in, I have decorated them and used these as "cars" for toddlers and preschoolers. Possibly a preschool or daycare center could use them. If they are big (appliance size) boxes, kids love to play house in them. If they are small (shoebox or smaller), let kids get creative and glue them together to make castles, robots, or anything they like.

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Anonymous
February 12, 20010 found this helpful

This site has some ideas.

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Anonymous
February 12, 20010 found this helpful

Having worked at restaurant, I would guess they are probably dealing with mid-sized boxes for produce, canned food and what not.

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February 13, 20010 found this helpful

You can sell or donate cardboard boxes to the local Sheltered Workshop for the developmentally handicapped. They sell them for profit and the money is used for upkeep and to pay the people for working there. These places give the developmentally handicapped people a sense of usefulness and teaches them to take care of themselves, financially and otherwise.

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Anonymous
February 13, 20010 found this helpful

I use boxes for drawers in places that normally don't have drawers. Cardboard boxes are great, because you can cut them to whatever height you need.

I use them for storage drawers under my bed, for drawers on my freezer shelves to keep food types together and easy to get out. I use them in the attic to organize plastic bags full of yard-sale finds that the kids haven't grown into yet.

Kids love to play in boxes, make cars, trains, mazes out of them, attach several together with open ends all facing one direction for a multi-story doll house.

A local school would probably love boxes for dioramas, storage, crafts.

Maybe you could put a note on a bulletin board about where to pick up "free boxes for moving (or whatever)".

I'm sure I've seen something about making furniture out of cardboard; the corrugated kind is really strong when set a certain way. - MC

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February 13, 20010 found this helpful

I just made a cooler for the truck of my car using two cardboard boxes and a bunch of plastic grocery bags. Works great, doesn't fall apart like styrofoam, and didn't cost a thing! If the boxes are uniformly shaped, I could imagine giant building blocks or a storage system for seasonal clothes and decorations. I keep craft supplies organized in smaller ones. If you want to try the cooler, the instructions can be found at the link below.

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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.


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April 22, 2020

Upcycle sturdy cardboard boxes to make this pretty display gift basket. This would be perfect as a thoughtful present or as a donation to an auction.

Upcycled Cardboard Box to Gift Basket - basket ready to give with a card clothespinned on the front

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March 16, 2017

Raised beds are usually made from wood, concrete or stone. You can use something as simple as a large cardboard box however, it will last likely only last one season. This is a page about making raised beds using cardboard boxes.

Cardboard Box

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March 2, 2017

A large cardboard box can be rescued in a myriad of ways. Making a dollhouse from a leftover box is a perfect way to use it again. This is a page about making cardboard box dollhouses .

A pile of cardboard boxes.

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