17 ways to repurpose cardboard

Despite technology always giving us new and innovative ways of doing things, there are some things that inevitably stay the same. Take for example simple cardboard. A vast majority of goods and products shipped into the US come here in cardboard in some way, shape or form. After we bust open that package, we barely even stop to think twice before breaking down the cardboard and throwing it out. But there are endless possibilities and ideas to transform cardboard into everyday useful and decorative household items. Cardboard can be reshaped, cut, bent and painted in some of the most intricate ways! Here are 17 very creative ideas to repurpose cardboard.


The traditional thank you card is an oldie but goody way to show your appreciation. Why not take a section of the original gift box and turn it into a beautifully written message? What’s great about this is you don’t even need to put it in an envelope because cardboard “postcards” can be sent as is.

Napkin Rings

Instead of throwing out that cardboard tube from the wrap or aluminum foil when it’s finished, cut it up into sections and wrap them in your favorite fabric. Use either double-sided tape or fabric glue to attach the fabric to the inside of each section.

DIY Flower Pots

Design and re-shape cardboard into containers that can support a soil medium. Then you can line them with plastic bags. Don’t forget the drainage holes!

Toys for the kids

You can cut cardboard pieces into all sorts of shapes and sizes. Attach wooden dowel pins to them to make it easier to fit them into place.

Nice Storage

What to do with those old moving boxes that you still haven’t gotten rid of? Transform them into storage totes of course! Use screw bolts and spray a little adhesive to hold the covers in place.

Scratch Proof Couch

Having a cat around your furniture all the time can quickly become a problem for obvious reasons. Make a colorful scratching pad out of corrugated cardboard!


If you just moved in or happened to have a bunch of big cardboard boxes lying around, cut some holes on the sides of the boxes and fashion them into a large maze. It’ll keep the kids busy for hours.


Who knew all you would need is cardboard, scissors, and decorative duct tape to make some really stylish coasters? You can place them under the legs of tables and sofas to protect the floor as well.


Cardboard is a really easy and absolutely free way of labeling different things around the house.


Sometimes it’s just best to keep it simple, right? Make a really crafty paint palette. You can even cut out a little thumb hole as well.

Magazine Files

Cereal boxes tend to overflow recycling bins. Instead of throwing them out, you can cut them into magazine files/organizers and cover them with decorative fabric or paper.

Party Decor

No need to waste all that money at a party store. Make a beautiful flower garland out of cardboard paper towel rolls. Paint them, fold them, and hang them up. Your guests will love them.

Wall Art

Canvases are known to break the bank. Cut out the tops of shoe boxes and coat them with primer and then white paint. And voila! You have a canvas.

Bird feeder

Take a cardboard toilet paper roll and cover it with peanut butter. Then roll it in peanut butter and hang it from a tree with string or ribbon. Instant bird feeder.

Gift Bags

Take a cereal box, cut it into shape and paint it brown. Add a couple decorations to it and stuff it full of goodies.

Fabric Picture Mats

Tear off the back of an old notebook and use a spray adhesive to add your fabric. It will instantly convert into a wonderful picture frame.