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Five ideas for reusing cardboard boxes

Do you have a lot of boxes at home that you don’t know what to do with? Don’t even think about throwing them out! When you discover all the possibilities they have, you’ll want to take advantage of them. And the best part is that these ideas for recycling cardboard boxes are a win for both you and the environment. 

The path to sustainability starts with awareness of the impact of our small daily actions and the changes we can make to help protect the planet

One of the simplest and most practical steps is to reuse. That is, to give a second life to the things we have at homeWe’re talking about items like cardboard boxes that accumulate in our homes and that we usually throw away without thinking. However, looking a little closer shows they can have many uses. Not convinced? Keep reading to discovereverything you can do with a simple shoe box 

1. Surprise box for music lovers


Concert tickets are alone a great gift for music lovers, but if you package them like this, the recipient will be speechless. Beyond the aesthetic value, giving the tickets in a box designed like a piano will become part of the gift itself and, being handmade, will show how important that person is to you.

To prepare, you’ll need the following: 

  • 1 white shoe box 
  • Black marker  
  • Ruler 
  • Black masking tape 
  • Tissue paper or gift wrap

Once you have everything, the first step is to draw the white keys of the piano. First, measure the lid of the box and divide it with black lines, so that all the keys are the same size. Then add the black keys using tape. It’s also important that they’re the same size to make it look much more professional.

The next step is to put the tissue paper, tickets and any other details you want to include (a photograph of you, a letter, knick-knacks) inside the box. Finally, you can also decorate the outside of the box with a sticker that includes a nice message. They’ll remember this gift forever! 


2. Play jumbo Jenga 


Kids whose parents have accumulated a lot of cardboard boxes at home are in luck. They can have a great time decorating and playing with them. In this case, we suggest you play Jenga on a jumbo scale. Create a tower of boxes where each player has to remove a piece while ensuring that the tower doesn’t topple over.

To do this, you will need the following: 

  • Shoe boxes (the more the merrier) 
  • Colourful paints 

Once you have all the boxes, the first part of the game will be to decorate them to make the Jenga pieces much more beautiful. If you want to make the activity more fun and special for the little ones, try to get the whole family involved and each of you can decorate several boxes. Give your imagination free rein! 

When they’re ready, all that remains is to set up the tower and start taking turns pulling the pieces out until someone breaks the tower and loses. It sounds easy, but it takes concentration to remove the right part. You’re sure to have a great time! 

3. Personalised chocolate box


Gifting chocolates is a classic that never fails, but it can give an impression of a gift without much thought. One way to avoid this is to personalise the box. You can do this with an original chocolate box or with any other box that you have at home.  

What are you going to need? 

  • 1 box 
  • Gift wrap 
  • Decorative ribbons  
  • Paint 
  • Glue 

Before you start decorating the box, it’s important to think about the person you’ll be giving the chocolates to and her style and tastes. This will make it much easier to get the colours and general look right. She’ll also see the thought you’ve put in. Once you’re clear on that, it’s time to start customising the box.

You can completely change the box by gluing on gift wrap with a design you like or paper in a neutral colour. Then draw some details yourself. You can even add a message.  

The next step is to add a paper base for the chocolates, ensuring that the result looks great. Of course, avoid touch the chocolates with your hands, using tongs to make it as hygienic as possible. You can put the finishing touch on this sweet box with a card attached to a decorative ribbon or string 

4. “Guess my dream” game


Whether it’s for a birthday or any other type of celebration at home, a cardboard box and a little imagination can be the keys to putting together a fun plan when you’re out of ideas. Also, this particular game lets you get to know each other better. 

To prepare, you’ll need the following:  

  • 1 large cardboard box 
  • 1 small cardboard box
  • Coloured cards
  • Colourful paint
  • Felt pens
  • Pencil
  • Scissors 

Decorate the first box for the game by writing the letters “dreams” to create the atmosphere and make the moment more special. The simplest way is to draw the letters on the cardboard in pencil and cut them out. Once this is done, you can paint them with your favourite colours. 

Then you’ll have to decorate the small cardboard box, which is where each participant will deposit their piece of paper. The next step is to cut out the different coloured pieces of paper, give one to each participant and let them write a dream they want to achieve. After this, the object of the game is to guess who wrote each item. The more you participate, the better! More than one dream may surprise you ...   


5. Memory box  


Another perfect option to give a cardboard box a second life is to decorate it and use it to store memories or things that are important to you.

To get started, you’ll need the following: 

  • 1 cardboard box 
  • Felt pens 
  • Colourful paints 
  • Pencils
  • Scissors 

The rest involves using your imagination and decorating it however you like. One option is to have a theme depending on what you’re going to save in it. For example, if you’re going to save memories about a sport that you played, the decoration can revolve around this sport. If you’re going to collect love letters, go with a more romantic style. You decide! 

Which of these ideas did you like the most? As you can see, a simple box can offer much more than you’d think. If you want to learn more ways to give different materials a second life and be more sustainable, don’t miss these articles.  

We love it when customers use our products in a creative way. Why not try to do something new with them yourself? But do remember, any modifications or changes that you make to IKEA products will prevent them from being resold or used for their original use, thus invalidating IKEA product warranties and your right to return.