While technology is constantly giving us new ways of doing things, there are some things that stubbornly stay the same. Take the good old cardboard box, for example: 90 percent of all products shipped in the United States are still sent using some type of cardboard packaging. So what do we do with all of it once items have been safely removed from their boxes? Unfortunately, we usually break down the boxes and toss them in recycling—but if we would just give it a little thought, the possibilities are almost endless. Cardboard can be bent, cut, painted, wrapped, and configured in almost any way you can imagine. And, as you will see, upcycled cardboard doesn't have to remain in the realm of kids' play forts or drab storage containers. Here are 11 creative ideas for turning excess cardboard into functional household items you will want to show off.