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  • Writer's pictureJen Bedard

3 Ways To Upcycle Cardboard Boxes

What’s the one thing we always have around the house?

Cardboard! Whether it’s shoeboxes, discarded Amazon packages, or moving boxes, we’ve always got tons of the stuff hanging around our houses. Fortunately, there are a lot of decent ways to re-use the stuff without just tossing it, and I’ve brought you three of my favourites!


I don’t know about you, but I’ve often been envious of those gorgeous homes in decor magazine spreads, with everything matching, right down to the storage! I’m especially fond of baskets, but if you’ve ever done any decor shopping, you’ll know the cost of baskets can get expensive. Even if you just stick with the ones at Walmart, you’re usually looking at around $10 for the smallest ones!

Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own “baskets” out of cardboard boxes!

You’ll need:

● A cardboard box

● Rope or twine of your desired thickness

● A hot glue gun

● Fabric, for the lining.

Place fabric along the inside of the box. If you’ve got a smaller box, try fitting a pillowcase inside, or else just cut the fabric to fit, and then glue the edges to the outside of the box to secure it.

Then, use the hot glue to attach the end of your rope to the bottom of the box. Moving slowly, hot glue the rope all the way around the box until you reach the very top. When you’re done, you’ll have a stylish, fabric-lined basket bin that you can use on a bookcase, in a closet, or anywhere you need attractive storage.

DIY Light Box

Have you ever seen those gorgeous pictures of product photography on all-white backgrounds? Those are usually taken in a pricey apparatus called a lightbox, but fortunately, you can make one at home using an old cardboard box.

You’ll need:

● Some white fabric. An old sheet, a shower curtain liner, anything inexpensive and diffuse.

● A large square cardboard box.

● A boxcutter or exacto knife.

● Tape, glue, or a staple gun.

● A pencil.

● A ruler.

● White cardboard.

Carefully cut the flaps from the box.

On each side of the box, draw a square at least one inch out from the edge. Do this to at least three sides.

Using the boxcutter, carefully cut out the squares. Each side of your box should resemble a frame.

Cover at least three sides of your box with the diffuse material and secure it in place.

Take the cardboard and cut it to fit the inside of your box. The top of the cardboard should hit the top back corner of your box and slope down to the bottom. Secure it in place with tape, staples, glue, or your adhesive of choice.

Use the box by placing the object to be photographed inside it. Experiment with lighting styles by placing lamps on the different sides of the box covered by diffuse material, and photograph.

Charger Station

With so many devices that need charging, it can sometimes be a hassle to find the right charger! Keep it simple by creating a charging station out of an old shoebox!

You’ll need:

● An old shoebox

● Decorating supplies

● A boxcutter or pair of scissors

● A power strip.

● A pencil.

● A ruler.

Decorate your box to match the decor of the room you’re putting it in.

Use your pencil and ruler to draw a one-inch-square opening at one end of the box.

On the long front end of the shoebox, draw several equal-sized squares, evenly spaced, one for each charger you plan on plugging into the station.

Use the boxcutter or scissors to carefully cut out each of the squares you’ve drawn on the box. Slip the power strip inside the box and thread the cord through the opening at the end of the box.

Plug each charger into the power strip, and thread each cord through a different hole on the front of the box. Label them if you like, and put the lid on the box, plugging it into the wall.

Enjoy your new charger station!

These are just three of the ways you can reuse your extra cardboard. Are there any DIYs that you use to give cardboard a new life? Let me know and it might make it into a future article!

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