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Our cat was bored being cooped up in the house when it was twenty below zero for a week or so. We built him a play house out of cardboard boxes in which he can tunnel through from one box to another.
We attached the boxes together with packing tape and left some openings in the top for light to shine through and for the cat to enter from above as well as through the side. Boxes can also be stacked on top of one another for a two-story house.
Cats often like to claw on cardboard boxes so the boxes also deter them from clawing furniture.
By Judy S. from Valley City, ND
Recycle your kitchen cardboard into fashion decorator alpha accents or decorative lidded origami boxes using pretty paper napkins to cover them! This is a simple and low cost to NO cost way to use kitchen cardboard as craft material.
Stencil the letter(s) you want (I used the letters in my name) on the backs of food products cardboard and cut out as many as you want to form a stack of them. Secure them with tape and cover them in pretty paper napkins using glue to adhere them. Cut portions of the same napkin out to use the designs as embellishments. As you can see my napkin had butterflies and flowers. I cut them out and added them. Using a piece of scrap cardboard glue the cutout onto one side and trim out the shape.I bent the wings of my butterfly up to give it a pose!
Use the lidded origami box fold how-to. The box I used was a pie box and the inside was white. I chose the white inside to be the outside of my origami box and cut out portions of pretty paper napkin to decorate it. I used the same method to create the butterfly on both ideas. There is a little paper napkin left. But I used only one, it was lined. If yours is lined, you might want to peel off that second layer before you try to glue the paper to the alpha accent or the box. It will work much better with only one layer. Add any number of other embellishment: buttons or glitter or beads and what-not.
If nothing else, yours could be the cutest trash in the neighborhood! Maybe someone will want to take it home with them and put it to good use! ;)
Source: My own recycling efforts turned into craft projects!
By melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO
A friend left a large gift box with a top and bottom and I reinforced it inside with cardboard cut to fit the sides, on both boxes.I stapled the cardboard at top and bottom to strengthen. Now I use it to fold and store bedding. That's the beginning of the story.
Next came an article that China is refusing the world's recycling [they handled about 90%]. I live in Oregon, a recyling state, and found out the county of our state's capital is no longer accepting recycling, I assume because of this fact. Our local neighborhood recycling center has vanished in just a few weeks after the announcement. Possibly as a result; looks that way. Even if your state doesn't recycle from the home onward, chances are they recyle at the dump.
Alarm bells went off. We are going to be buried in our own garbage. Karma is coming back to bite our shopping habits.
I started repurposing all the boxes I could, from tea boxes to cereal, first tucking anything inside that was already cut.Using the top or side to make
"paper slats" to fit along inside of box and stapling into place. They can be decorated with other paper or not. I'm organizing every area I can with these boxes, starting very small, only have made about 8.If it's in an area that doesn't conflict with decor, what does it matter? But I look at every piece of cardboard with new eyes. I work for a small mail order company and a piece of cardboard can be used to stiffen soft goods packages inside plastic mailer bags.
I'm getting rid as I come to it, any plastic container and replacing with glass or metal, which conceivably can last the rest of my life. So I have jars soaking and have to deal with the gunk under the labels. Oh, well.
One of the reasons we buy sets of storage containers is we like the consistency of design. We can satisfy that need by putting like jars in neat little rows, by like jars. And then shutting the cupboard doors.
If you like knick-knack type stuff, ask yourself if you want it all your life; if not, don't get it. All that tiny cute stuff comes in cardboard boxes that are in the back room of the store to be hauled away. It won't be long before the question will be, "to where"? And is it really right to shove our problems on somebody else?
Plain cardboard can be used to cover your veggie garden in winter to keep out weeds, and in spring or summer to make walking paths to work the garden.
There are a million things and ideas out there, many right here on this site. I think we should share as fast as we can think of more before our landfills top out. This site is such a great source of ideas for recycling and reusing. Maybe we could have a section just devoted to that. I'd like to see us humans getting ahead of the curve on things we have to face eventually, with a "let's do this" attitude.
If you are storing long-term, do not use cardboard boxes. Anything can happen to them, be it roof leakage or bugs or mice.
I have another use for cardboard, if you have a sick dog that throws up in the house or a person who does not make it to the bathroom, cardboard is a a good scraper. I take a piece of cardboard, tear it in half so that I have two pieces, then scrape.
We have seen the amount of paper and cardboard a family receives in the shopping of food and other things, so we decided one day; "Let's see how we can use this for good things in the everyday life."
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Does anyone have a use for the heavy cardboard backs from kid's puzzles? Our dog chewed up a bunch of pieces from my son's puzzles, but it seems like there could be another use for the backs of them. Any ideas?
By Liz from Charleston, SC
Maybe your son could draw or color a page out of a coloring book and you could make a new puzzle using the back of the old one. Some are brightly colored; maybe a type of frame your his artwork.
If you got some peel and stick cork and cut to fit, you could make a small bulletin board. I would even try painting the center with blackboard paint(a couple of coats, letting dry in in between) to make a slate size chalkboard.
They can be glued onto a cheap frame or made into a frame and then spray painted. Make great Christmas decorations with child's photo inside. Use several layers to add depth.
You could also, take another piece of cardboard, around the same size, or even a little larger, as long as the second piece "over-lapses" the puzzle frame. Then, have an adult cut the edges, of this second piece, with something like a "Stanley or razor knife", so it fits snugly into the puzzle frame.
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I use cardboard squares, which I cut out of cartons, etc., to put in the corner of the guinea pig cage and also in the ferret cage. These animals usually pick a couple of places to go and go there all the time, making this idea work. I just throw away the soiled square, it is so easy.
The squares, in a bigger size also work great for the bottom of the litter box, covered with baking soda and then the litter poured over it. I do this for the litter box most of the time. When it is time to change the litter, there is already a tool to scrape the box out with :).
I would already be tearing up cardboard to throw away anyway, so this gives it an extra use before it gets burned or ends up in the landfill.
I also use cardboard squares in the garden to keep weeds from growing. I simply put them in a place and cover them with dirt. I usually dig a moat-like thing around the cardboard square, then use the dirt from that. Then I plant on top of it. I have a picture of a potato hill I made this way, only using an old dog blanket. Of course, this is my yard, where my favorite flowers, Morning Glories have free reign, and they take over everything. They are taking over the potato hill, and then the bugs on the potatoes are killing the plants, but I enjoy the circular flower beds, with no regular weeds in it, anyway.
I might end up putting the cheap solar lights from Walmart around this potato hill, as a kind of funny thing. I will do it in honor of my Dad, who was an innovator, an inventor, an engineer, and a nurse. I love, and remember him, especially this time of year, since this is the 8th anniversary of his passing into heaven. He once considered putting a fake UFO in the backyard, but decided against it, but I still remember he wanted to do that.
By Robyn from Hampton, TN
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 page about uses for cardboard boxes.
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Get unlimited cardboard from fast food places. You can put some in your pet carrier under papers. Also put papers on cardboard in the area you keep pet, just in case it is not REALLY well house broken!
By Bill from Indiana
I have been using McD's fry boxes to move in - I have to buy shipping tape to "remake" them because here they fold them down flat and put them in a little fenced area on their parking lot! I will eventually get 2 or 3 emptied at a time and as I do, I will cut the tape and flatten them for easy storage!
By the way: I usually have great things to say about Dollar General but their shipping tape isn't worth it! It doesn't want to stick well to these fry boxes and I have seen it fall off! Save yourself the bother with their brand tape and get Scotch. Yes, it's higher priced but you won't end up with boxes breaking open! (11/08/2007)