Turn Cardboard into Treasure

You might think I’m cracked if I try to tell you that it’s possible to turn cardboard boxes into treasure.  You might instantly call to mind that saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and get this vision of clutter and mess.  However, you would probably track with me if I say that you can upcycle cardboard, or transform it into something fun.  Have I got your attention now?  Let’s talk about some really great ways you can recycle that old garbage into something clever and creative:

For the first idea you need multiple cardboard boxes of the same size (or a tall one, if you have access).  Cut the seams on the tops and bottoms and open them up so that you have created, essentially, a tunnel.  Do this to however many you need to make something tall enough to become a puppet theater.  Cut appropriate holes and windows and spray paint or cover with wrapping paper.  Use some pillow cases or old t-shirts to make curtains.  Don’t have any puppets?  There are plenty of options for homemade sock puppets!


If you are feeling super capable, you can take all manner of cardboard and transform it into a Barbie townhouse or any kind of dollhouse.  Making accessories and embellishments is so easy with crafting paper and an Xacto knife.  It will be so cute you almost won’t want your kids to play with it.


Not feeling up to the task of a lot of fine details?  Simply take some decent sized cardboard boxes and cover them with brightly colored duct tape, which will simultaneously decorate and fortify them.  Spray paint some paper plates black and attach them to the bottom of the boxes on both sides and you’ve got yourself some box cars!

Perhaps my personal favorite is taking a couple of the same sized cardboard boxes, or cutting a decent one in half, and turning it into a doll bunk bed.  So cute I could scream.  Use some paper towel rolls, or dowell rods if you have some on hand, and some strong tape as the bed posts and then use some popsicle sticks to make the ladder.  This is basically any little girl’s dream.  Spray paint it and make some custom bedding out of adorable cloth scraps and you’ve got yourself a BFF for life.


Finally, this post would simply not be worthy of posting if I didn’t mention the classic tissue-box-paper-towel-roll guitar.  Remember those?  Man, the memories just come pouring in.  You can use the supplies I’ve already mentioned and simply stretch some rubber bands around the tissue box, or you can look online for some more sophisticated templates.  Amazon boxes are usually the perfect size for this project, and you can cut out a guitar-shaped faceplate from some other cardboard.

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