With Christmas on the horizon, you're probably getting ready to receive a mountain of parcel and packages, but what do you do with all of that scrap cardboard?
Here at ukpackaging, we've created a list of the Top 10 ways that people have reused their scrap cardboard. From stylish storage, to cosy cat castles, let our list inspire you to reuse and make your Christmas a little greener.
Upcycle It Into A Storage Box
For the perfect storage solution, look no further than your scrap cardboard boxes. For a rustic basket look, simply wrap your box in twine or rope, and cover the inside with your preferred fabric or an old pillowcase. The best thing about reusing your boxes into home storage is that there you can decorate the box to suit your home and in whatever style you choose, and with whatever materials you would like. These can also be great for toy storage, around the office, or even for creating a gift hamper.
photo credit: curbly.com
Use Them As Planting Boxes
Cardboard planting boxes are great for urban gardeners, simply find a place to hang your planter, poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage, and start planting. This is a great way to garden when you have limited space, as the boxes can be resized to match your alloted space. These planters are also environmentally friendly, as they fully degrade after your growing season. Cardboard is also an excellent weed deterrant, and those wishing to plant in their garden can put down a layer of cardboard below their soil to prevent weed growth.
photo credit: cardboardcollective
Layer Your Compost
Cardboard and paper are great for balancing compost as they are rich in carbon and are great for insulating your compost heap during the winter. Cardboard can also be used for mulching as it helps to surpress weeds, increase worm activity, and generally improves soil quality. The best cardboard to use for this is either flat cardboard (like cereal boxes) or corrugated cardboard.Make sure corrugated cardboard is broken down into small pieces (preferably shredded, but ripped up or cut down works too) as this will help it to degrade faster.
photo credit: kiiforkate/Flickr
Give Your Cat A Scratching Pad
Cardboard is great as an inexpensive yet effective scratch pad or post for your cat. This pad is made by rolling up and gluing corrugated cardboard and then painting the outside (although this is optional). To get your cat more interest in their new scratching pad, you can also drop catnip into the corrugate fluting to make it more enticing. Alternatively, for a taller scratching post, layer identically cut pieces of corrugate around a wooden post for a post that you can adjust to keep your cat entertained.
photo credit: mutedtalks
Make Your Cat A New Hideout
Give your cat a luxury home for less money byjazzing up a cardboard box. The beauty of this is that your cat's house can be as big or small as you like, and as extravagant as you want, all without breaking the bank. Each home can be easily fitted into any space that you (or you cat) would prefer, and if you need a little help or inspirtion, there is a selection of tutorials online, whether you want to make a cute home like this one, or an extravagant castle. The best thing is that it can be easily added to, altered, or completely scrapped without huge costs.
photo credit: cuteness.com
Build A Fort
Cats aren't the only ones who can get cosy in some cardboard. Building a cardboard fort is a great way to spend some time with the kids, whether its whiling away the hours of a weekend, or keeping them busy during the holidays. The best thing about fort building is that younger children can help out with both the construction, and the decoration. Even if they are too younger to cut out the windows and doors, they can still help decorate their new fort with felt tip pes, paints, or even coloured washi tape.
photo credit: Apartment Therapy
Make A Play Kitchen
If your child prefers cooking to castles then good news, cardboard is also great for making play kitchen. With traditional play kitchens capable of costing hundreds of pounds (sometimes over a thousand), why not make one yourself? This also means that you can include the bits and pieces that your child wants, and that they can then decorate it to make it their own personal dream kitchen. As your child grows, you can also add more to the kitchen, or create a new one, without the additional expense.
photo credit: encorebabyregistry
School Project Supplies
Cardboard is a great go-to crafting material for a wide range of school projects. Whether your child is learning about Egyptians or electrics, a school homework project is practically guaranteed, so save your leftover cardboard ready for their next creation. Cardboard also works well to protect your table or floor from any stray paint or pens, simply put down a layer before your child starts making and throw it away afterwards. Alternatively, it can be used for paint mixing, stamp making, or even as a template.
photo credit: Adrian Grosse
Make Gifting Easy
As it's getting close to Christmas, why not save up some of your extra boxes and use them to package up some harder to wrap presents? This is also a great way to give similar gifts without the recipient being able to guess what's inside. Thinner cardboard, such as that from a shoe box, can be used to make great personalised tags that are more environmentally friendly and unique. Here at ukpackaging, we celebrated a Green Christmas in 2018 using our kraft paper, paper tape, and sisal twine to wrap presents.
photo credit: ukpackaging.com
Make A Christmas Tree
Our personal favourite festive craft is this brilliant cardboard Christmas Tree by Makedo. This is a great craft to do with the family, allowing children to decorate the tree whilst also minimising the mess caused by tree branches, tinsel, and glitter. This is also great for houses with pets as there are no low hanging branches or baubles to entice cats or dogs, and there is nothing harmful for them to chew on. Even better, when Christmas is offer, simply recycle the cardboard and make a new one next year - less stress and more loft space!