Things to Make with Cardboard: Ingenious Ideas

Share it with others!

What can I make with empty cardboard boxes?

Do you end up with a lot of boxes? Between the shipping, snack boxes, cereal boxes, and more, it’s time to take on a new challenge and discover the endless possibilities of repurposing. In this article, we will explore Ingenious things to make with cardboard for recycling and repurposing.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Click here for my disclosure policy

 In this article, we will explore Ingenious things to make with cardboard for recycling and repurposing.

From practical organizers to stylish home decor, these projects will help you make the most of those boxes while embracing a sustainable lifestyle. Let’s dive into these innovative “things to make with cardboard” and start recycling with a touch of creativity!

What can you make with cardboard for adults?

Who says boxes are just for kids? Get ready to unlock your creativity and dive into the world of crafts designed specifically for adults. From practical organization solutions to stunning home decor pieces, cardboard offers a versatile and eco-friendly medium for artistic expression. Let’s explore the exciting possibilities and discover what you can make with it as an adult!

DIY Address Sign – Creative Way to Repurpose Cardboard Boxes

Cut out the size piece you like, add some contact paper, and customize it with your address numbers. This unique “address sign made with cardboard” is not only practical but also adds a touch of personalization to your home’s exterior.

Trash Can – Upcycle Cardboard Boxes for Easy Waste Management

Transform a box, such as one from Goldfish Cracker snack bags, into a functional and eco-friendly trash can.

This “cardboard box trash can” is not only a budget-friendly option but also perfect for use in your car or any space where you need a compact waste management solution.

Faux Wooden Crate – Repurposing Cardboard Boxes with Style

Turn a cardboard box with handles into a “faux wooden crate made from cardboard” by wrapping it in wood contact paper.

This versatile crate is ideal for keeping groceries secure in the car, carrying snacks to my son’s baseball games, costumes to our performances, and more.

DIY box storage ideas – can you see just how many ways this one item can come in handy?!!!

Drawer Divider – Organize Your Space with Cardboard Box Pieces

This is my son’s drawer before and after. I used box pieces to divide his large drawers into sections for his different sports clothes.

You could use this same concept in any drawer including bathroom and kitchens.

Make A Mat For Your Frame – Make a Unique Mat for Your Pictures Using Cardboard

For this, I used a cereal box. Cut your piece to fit inside your frame.

I glued on some wrapping paper on top, cut out my center hole, and inserted it into my frame.

Make Wall Art – Unleash Your Creativity with Cardboard Cutouts

Start by cutting your cardboard into strips, then draw on your curved end.

Cut out the curved shapes. I needed 8 for my project.

Paint your shapes, I used Dixie Belle Daisy Paint.

Start hot gluing your shapes onto your mirror (or use a glue of your choice). I found this mirror at Dollar Tree.

Hang up your wall art. This one was inspired by sunflowers.

Ingenious Things to Make with Cardboard Video

Watch me make several of these things in my video with Hometalk!

Cardboard Desk Organizer: Tidy Up Your Workspace

Transform a simple box into a stylish desk organizer that keeps your workspace clutter-free. Design compartments and dividers to hold pens, notepads, and other essentials. Customize it with fabric, decorative paper, or paint to match your personal style and create a functional and visually appealing organizer.

Cardboard Furniture: Craft Your Own Sustainable Pieces

Discover the joy of making your own sustainable furniture using cardboard. From chairs and tables to bookshelves and storage units, it can be transformed into functional and eye-catching pieces. Reinforce the piece with adhesive or use multiple layers for added strength and durability. Get creative with shapes, patterns, and finishes to design furniture that complements your home decor.

Cardboard Sculptures: Embrace Three-Dimensional Art

Cardboard Sculptures: Embrace Three-Dimensional Art

Explore the world of three-dimensional art by creating stunning sculptures from boxes. Sculpt animals, abstract forms, or intricate designs using cutting, folding, and gluing techniques. Experiment with different textures, paint effects, or even mixed media elements to add depth and visual interest to your sculptures.

Cardboard Jewelry and Accessories: Make a Fashion Statement

Discover the beauty of cardboard jewelry and accessories as you create unique and trendy pieces. Cut out intricate shapes, layer the pieces to add dimension, and embellish with beads, fabric, or metallic accents. From earrings and necklaces to statement cuffs and headpieces, it allows you to express your personal style and make a fashion statement.

Cardboard Props and Costumes: Unleash Your Inner Cosplayer

Cardboard Props and Costumes: Unleash Your Inner Cosplayer

Embrace your love for cosplay or themed events by crafting props and costumes from cardboard. Build intricate armor pieces, helmets, or weapons using these pieces as a lightweight and affordable alternative. Paint, seal, and decorate the pieces to achieve the desired look and transform into your favorite character with your custom-made creations.

Cardboard Planters: Bring Greenery into Your Space

Embrace eco-friendly gardening by crafting unique planters. Cut and shape pieces into desired planter forms, ensuring proper drainage and stability. Paint or wrap the planters with fabric or decorative paper to match your interior design. Add your favorite plants or herbs, and create an eye-catching display that brings nature into your living space.

Pirate Ships

How to make anything with cardboard for kids?

Cardboard Crafts: Let the Creativity Flow

With boxes as their canvas, the possibilities for creative expression are limitless. Encourage kids to make masks, photo frames, jewelry holders, or even 3D sculptures. Provide them with markers, paints, fabric scraps, and other craft supplies to bring their imaginative ideas to life.

Cardboard Board Games: Fun for the Whole Family

Design and create your own board games using the cutout pieces as the base. From classic games like Snakes and Ladders to unique, personalized creations, the possibilities are endless. Encourage kids to invent their own rules, design game pieces, and decorate the board with their artistic flair.

Pirate Ships or Cardboard Box Car: Sail the Seas or Race to Adventure

Pirate Ships or Cardboard Box Car: Sail the Seas or Race to Adventure

Transform boxes into thrilling pirate ships or a box car. With a little cutting, folding, and decorating, kids can embark on exciting imaginary journeys across the seven seas or zoom down imaginary racetracks. Add details like sails, flags, or racing stripes to make these creations come to life. Cut out windows, add wheels, and decorate it to resemble their dream car. Let their imagination take them on thrilling road trips, exploring imaginary destinations and engaging in pretend play adventures.

Pirate Ships or Cardboard Box Car: Sail the Seas or Race to Adventure

Cardboard Maze: Engage in Brain-Teasing Fun

Challenge their problem-solving skills with a maze and marble. Create a labyrinth of twists and turns by cutting out walls and passages in a large box. Add obstacles and surprises along the way using toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, or small toys. Watch as they navigate through the maze, solving puzzles and enjoying hours of entertainment.

Cardboard Puppet Theater: Spark Their Creativity

Cardboard Puppet Theater: Spark Their Creativity

Bring stories to life with a homemade puppet theater. Cut out a large frame, add curtains, and let the kids design their own puppets using boxes, fabric scraps, and pipe cleaners. Watch as they immerse themselves in the world of storytelling and put on captivating shows for family and friends.

Cardboard City: Build a Miniature World

Let their creativity soar as they construct an entire cityscape. From skyscrapers to houses, roads to parks, the possibilities are endless. Encourage them to add details like cars, trees made from pipe cleaners, and tiny paper cutouts of people. This project will keep them engaged for hours, fostering imaginative play and storytelling.

Cardboard Box Fort or Playhouse: Build Your Own Adventure Zone

Cardboard Box Fort or Playhouse: Build Your Own Adventure Zone

On a rainy day, when outdoor play is limited, why not build a fort or cardboard playhouse? Grab the duct tape, blankets, fabric, markers, and crayons, and have a blast constructing a cozy hideaway. Let their imaginations soar as they design the interior and create their own little world within the walls.

Lemonade Stand: Turn Cardboard into a Business Venture

Encourage entrepreneurial skills and creativity by building a lemonade stand. Decorate it with bright colors, add a sign, and let the kids serve refreshing drinks to family and friends. This project not only provides hours of entertainment but also teaches valuable lessons about commerce and teamwork.

Cardboard Instruments: Create Musical Magic

Cardboard Instruments: Create Musical Magic

Turn cardboard tubes and boxes into musical instruments that kids can play and enjoy. Design their own cardboard guitars, drums, or even a xylophone using recycled materials. Let them decorate their instruments with markers, stickers, and colorful tape. Encourage them to experiment with different sounds and rhythms, igniting their passion for music.

Cardboard Swords and Shields: Become Brave Knights or Adventurers

Ignite their imagination and transport them to a world of chivalry and adventure with homemade swords and shields. Let them design their own knightly armor, complete with shields adorned with crests and swords decorated with symbols of bravery. Engage in epic battles or embark on heroic quests with these imaginative props.

Do you have any cardboard box crafts to add? Let me know in the comments below

Shop any of these stores and I receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Homedics Tabletop Water Fou...Shop on AmazonRool Coffee Table Decor Boo...Shop on AmazonCOCORRÍNA Reed Diffuser Se...Shop on AmazonInternet's Best Premium Uti...Shop on AmazonWhat To Do With a BoxShop on Amazon
 In this article, we will explore Ingenious things to make with cardboard for recycling and repurposing.

If you’re done with your boxes you might want to know this: Here’s How to Recycle Your Cardboard Boxes

With these ten creative DIY ideas, you can turn ordinary boxes into extraordinary creations while promoting recycling and sustainability. Whether you’re organizing your space, adding a personalized touch to your home, or creating unique wall art, box repurposing offers endless possibilities. Embrace these “things to make with cardboard” and let your imagination soar as you contribute to a greener planet and a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Share it with others!

Similar Posts


  1. Wow, so many ideas! Who knew so much could be done with a box. My mind is whirling with the possibilities. 🙂

    1. Thank you Linda 🙂 It’s nice to be able to re-use something rather than always throwing it away.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Very fun and ever-so-clever, my friend! I just love your creative ideas.

    Hugs! Stephanie-The Enchanting Rose

    1. Thank you Stephanie, I truly loved your blog post yesterday, very inspiring and honest. Hugs to you too!

  3. You are super creative! I would have never thought of these creative ideas with boxes. I see my nieces, nephews, and cats play in boxes & create things out of the boxes! That’s as far as my creativity has gone. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

    1. Thank you Natalie 🙂 My kids love them too. When they were younger we used to make box cars out of them and then they’d watch the movie Cars in them. So much fun.

  4. Wonderful cardboard boxes, your ideas are great. I use one to keep my craft bits and pieces in, I made shelves in it. It was a strong box that came with an office chair. When my grandchildren where young they could play with a cardboard box all day long. Mainly it was a boat but it could be anything.

    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    1. Thank you Kathleen, I remember playing in boxes myself and with my kids. Kept me busy for hours.

  5. Wow, I like them all. I normally keep my cardboard boxes for packing but I quite like the address sign and the faux wooden crate so I might give them a try :).

    1. Thank you Teodora, we save a few for packing, and usually recycle many. This was a fun challenge and I’m so glad there are a couple that interest you.

  6. I wasn’t expecting these awesome ideas! A nice twist on the basic. I’m always feeling guilty when I recycle the great boxes (amazon has the best!). I can never think of something to use them for so they get thrown in with the rest of the paper. I’ll have to remember some of these.

    1. Thank you Katelynn and I think as long as they are recycled – you’re doing well 🙂

  7. These are great! I love the Welcome sign and have never seen such realistic looking contact paper. Where did you get it?

    1. Thank you Mari and I got that contact paper from Dollar Tree 🙂

  8. I have lots of boxes and you have lots of ideas how to use them. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.

  9. Great ideas. I have tons of boxes from my on-line excursions. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best.

  10. We enjoy making things out of any type of cards or magazines. Everyone continues to make their little collages of their favorite items!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, and I’m glad you like these projects.

  11. Thanks for the ideas! we make custom cardboard boxes and thus we care about the disposal of them as well!

  12. Oh my gosh Chas – your creativity always amazes me! I’ll never look at a cardboard box the same way again! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

    1. You are so sweet Barbara, thank you so much!

  13. I love the contact paper idea. I thought it WAS wood. Goodness knows we all have enough of these hanging around. Thanks for the fun ideas

    1. Thank you so much Andrea, and I love that you thought it was a real wood box 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *