5 Things to Do with… Shoeboxes

Take a few old shoeboxes from the dusty stack in your closet and with a little creativity, transform them into stylish yet functional everyday objects for the home.

By Tracy Anderson | Updated Sep 5, 2014 11:03 AM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

There’s something about the size, durability, and versatility of shoeboxes that compels us to keep them long after our footwear has done its walking. If you’ve still got a shoebox (or four) lying around, your hoarding instincts were right-on—that box retains plenty of potential. Many simple and quick projects can breathe new life into your old shoe storage, whether you’re looking for pure function or something more fun. Here are five favorite shoebox crafts to help get you started.



Shoebox Crafts - Spools

Photo: justcraftyenough.com

The one pitfall of having a large inventory of ribbon for wrapping and embellishing? The inevitable tangle that occurs when your ribbons aren’t in use. But with a shoebox and some basic crafting tools, you can keep your trimmings tidy. To make an organizer of your own, follow the step-by-step at Just Crafty Enough.



Shoebox Crafts - Canvas

Photo: cremedelacraft.com

For budget-friendly decor, try these trendy color-blocked “canvases” with a twist: Instead of using pricier pulled canvas, create the same dimensional effect using a covered shoebox lid. Grab some painter’s tape and a few spray paints in your favorite colors, and follow these easy instructions from Creme de la Craft.



Shoebox Crafts - Puppet Theater

Photo: handmadecharlotte.com

Create a charming shoebox puppet theater guaranteed to make little ones smile. While an adult should take care of the handiwork (involving an X-acto knife), smaller children can help with the puppets—and, of course, run the show. Miniature LED lights adds a final magical touch. Handmade Charlotte has the tutorial.



Shoebox Crafts - Organizer

Photo: tashachawner.com

Cord clutter? Put a shoebox to work as a charging station, which keeps tangled cables out of sight. This one, shared by Tasha Chawner on her lifestyle blog, took just 30 minutes to build. Tasha simply cut holes for the cords to poke through, painted the box red for a pop of color, and framed the slots with metal bookplates.



Shoebox Crafts - Planter

Photo: magilkey.com

Take a tip from Laura Gilkey at Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. and upcycle your extra shoeboxes into a container garden. This project is a snap, requiring only a little potting soil and your choice of small plants, flowers, or herbs. The best part? You can plant the whole box, if you choose, as cardboard is often biodegradable!