A handwritten thank-you card will never go unappreciated. So what could be better than using the original gift box to craft your message? Cardboard "postcards" can be sent as is; no envelope needed.
Whip up a set of these delightful napkin rings with a cardboard tube from a roll of plastic wrap or foil. About one-quarter yard of your favorite fabric will be more than enough for eight rings; use fabric glue or double-sided tape to secure the cloth to the inside of each cardboard coil.
Contain Your Excitement
Here's a natural idea: Dress up a simple cardboard box with a few embellishments, then line it with a plastic bag poked with a few drainage holes. You are now ready to move a plant into a pretty new home.
Help little ones hone their fine motor skills with this clever shape-sorter toy. Fluted dowel pins make it easy to guide the colorful shapes into place.
Related: 5 Classic Wood Games You Can Make Yourself
Making this trio of storage totes is simpler than you might think. Gold screw bolts and spray adhesive hold the fabric covers in place, and an old belt finds new purpose as a carrying strap. Visit Brit + Co. for the tutorial.
Related: 5 Things to Do with… Cardboard Boxes
Cat Scratch Fever
Save your furniture—and impress your favorite feline—with this scratching pad made from corrugated cardboard boxes. The painted outer rim is optional.
If you just moved or happened to get a delivery of large appliances, you can make a cardboard maze that will entertain the kids for hours. Cut a doorway or two into each box and join it to the others using sturdy plastic clips.
Cardboard, decorative duct tape, and a good pair of scissors are all you need to make these drink coasters on the fly. Bonus use: Protect the floor—these also make great furniture sliders!
Tag, You're It
Whether you use them as gift tags or as a way of labeling different boxes, bags, or containers around the house, cardboard is an easy and free way to mark your stuff.
In the Weeds
Cardboard is a sturdy yet compostable material, which makes it a natural solution for a weed problem. Just place flat pieces of cardboard on your weed-prone area, watering thoroughly to help them stay put. When you're done, add soil or mulch on top to camouflage the cardboard.
Sometimes it's nice not to overthink it. Any craft project will be easier with this cardboard paint palette, complete with a handy thumb hole to keep things in balance.
There's almost never a lack of cereal boxes going into the recycling bin. Make a stylish magazine file by cutting it to the proper size and covering it with decorative paper or fabric. Instant organization.
No need to go to the party store for decor. Make a flower garland like this before your next event with cardboard paper towel rolls. Just paint, bend, glue and string together. So pretty.
Blank canvases are expensive. But shoe box tops are not. Give them a coat of primer and white paint and then treat them just as you would a canvas. Decorate at will!
This is the recycler's take on the traditional pine cone bird feeder. Use a cardboard toilet paper roll as your base. Cover it with peanut butter and roll it in bird seed. Then slip a string or ribbon through it and hang from a tree close to your window. Let the show begin!
These suitcase styled gift bags were made by cutting a cardboard cereal box into shape and painting it brown. A few decorative accoutrements later, and you have a memorable goodie bag to send home with your guests.
Fabric Picture Mats
Why use a plain-Jane picture mat from the craft store, when you can customize one with fabric? Thin cardboard, like that from a cereal box or notepad backing is perfect for this. Just cut it to the appropriate size and use spray adhesive and Mod Podge to add your fabric. It will frame your photos beautifully.
For more ideas on upcycling, check out:
Get Organized: 25 Clever Ideas for Repurposed Storage
11 Brilliant DIY Ways to Reinvent Your Dinnerware
Garage Doors Repurposed: 10 Innovative Design Uses
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!