Life Hacks – Uses for Cardboard

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 16th Jun 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3i7s_laf/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Cardboard is a wonderful resource and fully recyclable in my neighborhood. But before I toss it in the bin, I take mine on one or two more turns around the cardboard block.

As File Folders

Cereal and pizza boxes make great sturdy file folders. Separate the boxes until flat, then fold in half. One of the edges can be cut to size for labeling purposes. These are especially useful for storing items that should remain flat, like photographs or a child’s prized artwork, as box cardboard is more sturdy than manila file folders.

As a Nail Guide

How many times have you tried to hold a nail in place? You’ve probably smashed your finger more than once. However, if you push the nail through a strip of cardboard, the cardboard will hold it stiff and keep your fingers away. When the nail is firmly imbedded, the cardboard can be torn away or left as insulation or wall protection.

To Increase Bookcase Space

Bookworms have a lot of books. And often, bookworms keep multiple collections by the same author or authors. I have found that facing the books out in boxes helps keep those collections together – and allows one of my other favorite things to be constantly on display (no soda hating comments, please!)

To Store Pieces and Parts

Flat cardboard boxes with slightly raised sides (like a shirt gift box) make great containers for puzzle pieces, parts, and other smaller items that need containment. The shallower size makes the parts accessible without fear of their falling to the floor as they might if just set upon a table or other flat surface.

For Crafting

Notching the top and bottom sides of a cereal box creates a nice weaving loom. Kids can use yarn to make gifts for friends and family without fighting or spending a ton on expensive looms. When the loom wears out or the weaver loses interest, the cereal box loom does not have to be stored like a store-bought loom. It can be recycled without concern. If you’ve ever stepped on a hard plastic or metal loom, you will appreciate this feature!!

Making one’s own puzzles is as easy as gluing a picture to a sheet of cardboard and cutting it out. 3-D puzzles can be made by cutting many shapes and assembling them. A few years ago, when my son was building dinosaur models, we found a site like this one to help us.

For Building Toys and Games

Paper Towel and toilet tissue tubes can make great chute games. With a piece of yarn, tie a small toy (we like to use army men) to the tube (either punch a hole at the tube top or run the yard all the way through the tube and tie a knot). Then, have the players hold the tube with one hand (the other behind their backs, or similar) and try to get the army man (toy) down the chute. It takes some doing, and is great fun!

Another fun game involves placing a facial tissue box on top of a paper towel tube, then trying to see how many more boxes can be balanced on the tube. Of course, if you’ve collected many similar sized boxes, building castles, targets, and small towns is possible. Most cardboard boxes can be stored flat by carefully opening the seam(s). When schoolteachers need a box sent in (or you have a home party with lots of kids to plan), saving those boxes seems much more logical.

Large boxes provide infinite storage opportunities. But when they are done serving that purpose, they make great castles, cars, airplanes, caves -- think about all those kids who get fancy toys for Christmas and abandon them to play with the boxes they came in! Why wait for a holiday? Make someone smile (it doesn't have to be a kid) and aid the planet at the same time!

Wrapping Up (in Cardboard)!

I’ve made great use of my cardboard refuse. These are just some of the ways I have reduced and reused before I’ve recycled. At the same time, I’m sure I’ve missed some. In the comments, tell me about any other great ideas you’ve had. If you like any of these ideas, especially if they are “new to you,” please tell me that in the comments section as well.

Here are some of my other Life Hacks -- and more will be coming soon!
More than one way to "stuff" a recliner
Craft Table Too Short? Try This!
Life Hacks (Kitchen)

Click the appropriate word to see all my articles, visit me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or view my webpage. Thanks for reading!

Tags

Cardboard, Crafts, Games, Home Improvements, Home Repairs, Recycling, Reduce Waste, Reusing, Toys

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
16th Jun 2014 (#)

I must say Phyl, you're quite the handywoman. Lots of great tips in a great article.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Jun 2014 (#)

THANKS, Steve! I don't want to shout, but I'm so excited by your comment!! ;)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
17th Jun 2014 (#)

So practical, something my father would have loved - he was the master of using string in his day.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Jun 2014 (#)

What a compliment! Many thanks!

Reply to this comment

author avatar snerfu
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Cardboard is practical. Finding some use for it takes ingenuity. Good article Ms Campbell.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Thanks, Snerfu!

Reply to this comment

author avatar vandana7
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Interesting. But cardboard is again made from wood, right? Cellulose..I have always wanted to try a few things though. Like making a sheet of cardboard and dipping it in molten ceramic liquid, on either side, to form thin sheets which can then be used as wall panels. Or at least have multiple layers of cardboard layered with cement on either side for making such panels. I don't know if there are special paints and plastics that can keep rain and heat off. It would help to make some of the roofs in developing and third world countries as cardboard is bad conductor of heat, and if panels were used instead it would be easier to provide homes to the poor.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Hmmm. There is some possibilty of using cardboard for structure and then covering it with tarps or sheet plastic, but I am not talented in those ways. Good luck and much success if you are. What a fascinating article that would make!

Reply to this comment

author avatar vellur
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Very useful and creative ways to recycle cardboard, thank you for sharing.

Reply to this comment

author avatar C.D. Moore
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Very creative Ideas!

Reply to this comment

author avatar joyalariwo
17th Jun 2014 (#)

A very interesting way recycle, good job Phyl.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Thanks Vellur, C.D., & Joyalariwo!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
17th Jun 2014 (#)

Very interesting post!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
18th Jun 2014 (#)

Thanks Fern!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
18th Jun 2014 (#)

Wow! 505 views today on this article alone! Thanks so much everyone! I appreciate your interest!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar BizziePumpkin
18th Jun 2014 (#)

great article! Thanks for getting my creative juices flowing this morning!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
18th Jun 2014 (#)

Thank you, BizziePumpkin! Welcome!

Reply to this comment

author avatar WOGIAM
20th Jun 2014 (#)

I appreciate your use of cardboards, ingenious i say. I use ours to keep books and toys, label and store away, helps save space.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
20th Jun 2014 (#)

Yes, it sure does, WOGIAM. Thanks for your comment!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Jun 2014 (#)

Recycling needs a creative mind and your practical take is thought provoking, Phyl. I am reminded of what I learned in school - waste not, want not - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Jun 2014 (#)

Thanks, Siva!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
3rd Jul 2014 (#)

Very practical.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
4th Jul 2014 (#)

Glad you think so. Thanks.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
18th Jul 2014 (#)

Wow, Phyl, your creativity is showing! Alternative uses for cardboard: Resourceful !

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
18th Jul 2014 (#)

Merci beaucoup, LeRain! In other words, thanks a lot!

Reply to this comment

author avatar n.c.radomes
20th Jul 2014 (#)

Very useful tips. Surely, they'll raise readers' level of awareness.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
21st Jul 2014 (#)

Thanks, n.c.!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Ptrikha
20th Aug 2014 (#)

Quite a number of uses for cardboard.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
21st Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks, Ptrikha!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Lee Hansen
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Phyl another great page with practical and helpful hints that will help save money. I love the way you repurpose.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks! I'm so glad you're enjoying them. Not all my ideas work, but I'm happy when someone else can find even one useful idea from all the crazy stuff I attempt!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
14th Apr 2015 (#)

Phyl, I love this article. Do you seriously know how many cereal boxes I've thrown away that I could have actually used! Amazing! Thanks for the great ideas. I love the Dr. Pepper it adds a certain amount of zing to your picture. Priceless!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password