DIY Projects Facility Spotlights FYI

7 Unusual Ways to Reuse Cardboard Boxes

1. Costumes
You’d be amazed by how many unique, stand-out costumes you can make for kids (or for yourself!) out of a simple cardboard box. Whether it’s for Halloween or just for fun, you can create extraordinary DIY costumes like these and save a lot money. It’s surprisingly easy to transform a cardboard box into a more elaborate costume like superheroes, robots or dinosaurs!

2. Play Food
Using cardboard to craft play food is a great idea for young kids that love crafts and playing house – and also a great way to teach them about shapes and geometry. You can craft circular food items like donuts, cupcakes or pizza (check these crafty cardboard pizzas by Filth Wizardry!) like this:

  1. Tie one end of a thread to a pen and hold the other end of the thread down on a sheet of cardboard. Have your child drag the pen to draw the circumference of the circle. Repeat and change the length of the thread to create different sized foods.
  2. Cut out the circles. For pizzas, use a ruler or other straight edge to draw in slices and use a utility knife to cut along them.
  3. Use mixed media to add “toppings” to your pizzas, cakes or donuts.

3. Instruments
If your family is musically inclined, you can get creative with different-sized cardboard boxes and rubber bands to craft string instruments. For some inspiration, check out this excellent step-by-step guide to cardboard guitar making from Make It & Love It. If you have cardboard tubes, they’re perfect for making wind instruments like flutes, oboes, and didgeridoos. Recycle an oatmeal container or ice cream tub to make drums and your band will be complete!

4. Stuffed Animal Kennel
Another fun idea for smaller and medium-sized boxes is to make a kennel for your children’s stuffed animals. Here’s how:

  1. Stand the box upright (flaps on top) and cut off the flaps.
  2. Create the door: cut out a small opening on one side of the box (make sure it’s big enough for the stuffed animals to get through).
  3. Create the roof: use two of the cut off flaps or cardboard from another box to fashion a triangular roof. measure the empty triangle spaces on the two thinner sides of the box and it and fill it in with and fit it with cardboard. Glue or tape all the parts together.
  4. Decorate: use media like paint, markers and crayons to decorate and label the house with your kids.

5. Puppet Stage
For kids that love puppets or putting on shows, you can have hours of fun by turning a large rectangular box (such as an armoire or refrigerator box) into a puppet stage:

  1. Stand the box upright (flaps on top) and cut off the flaps.
  2. Cut out one tall side panel entirely (this will be “backstage).
  3. Cut out half of the opposite side panel (the remaining panel should be call enough to cover your puppeteers).
  4. Decorate: use media like paint, markers and crayons to illustrate the scene or indicate show times – like this. If you have some fabric, make a curtain!

6. Pop-Up Lemonade Stand
Running a lemonade or iced tea stand is a great opportunity to teach young kids about counting, currency and how to make change. Following the same steps (1-3) for making a puppet stage, you can craft a pop-up lemonade stand out of a large armoire or refrigerator box. Set up a small table in the front of the box for cups and pitchers. Use paint, markers, or crayons to make labels. You can play pretend inside the house, or bring it outside for the real thing!

7. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles… and Spacecraft!
Inspire your children’s imagination and reuse boxes to create these imaginary modes of transportation:

  • Boats: a simple canoe just big enough for your child or a big, kid-sized Viking ship!Little ships with sails for dolls and figurines are a great idea too.
  • Cars, Trucks, Buses: for wheeled vehicles, cut circles for tires or use disposable plates like these paper plate wheels for a quicker solution.
  • Trains: if you have a lot of similarly-sized boxes to work with, a train is easy to make. For seating inside the cardboard box cars, place childrens’ chairs within the box cars.
  • Spacecraft: finally, if you have very large boxes and are up for a real challenge, create cardboard space vehicles. Get inspired by this impressive rocketship over at Filth Wizardry and Made by K’s spaceship big enough for fluffy passengers. Then prepare your little astronauts for launch!

For more outside-the-box uses for cardboard, check out this list. Have you ever reused a cardboard box in a unique way before? Tell us what you made in the comments section.

CubeSmart

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The CubeSmart Storage Blog is your one-stop-shop for moving and organizing help. Get motivated with our fun and helpful posts on all things moving and storage-related.

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CubeSmart

The CubeSmart Storage Blog is your one-stop-shop for moving and organizing help. Get motivated with our fun and helpful posts on all things moving and storage-related.

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4 Comments

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  • I can add one advice – if you are not sure the cardboard box is that
    solid you can always reinforce the edges with tape. I use many for
    storage and I always do that before I put my things in them and place
    them in the professional storage facility.