How to creatively reuse carboard boxes

Cardboard mailing boxes have a strong presence in the world of e-commerce and shipping. Once they've fulfilled their primary duty of safeguarding precious cargo during transit, your customers might find yourself pondering what to do with them next. According to the 2023 Auspost Australian online shopping report, over 16% Consumers in Australia in 2022 purchased more than 52 online orders, that is a lot of mailing boxes to dispose of. Instead of offloading them straight to the curb side recycling bin, consider these ingenious and eco-friendly approaches to give your cardboard mailing boxes a new lease on life.

Why Repurpose Cardboard Mailing Boxes?

Before delving into the creative ways of repurposing these mailing boxes, let's first explore why it makes sense to do so for your consumers.

  1. Environmental Benefits: Recycling is a responsible choice, but reusing is an even more sustainable one. By repurposing cardboard mailing boxes, you're not only decreasing waste but also diminishing the demand for fresh materials.
  2. Cost-Efficiency: Purchasing of new cardboard mailing boxes for various purposes, such as sending gifts to family or packaging a return can add up. Repurposing cardboard mailing boxes is not only an environmentally conscious but also budget-friendly solution.
  3. Remarkable Versatility: Cardboard mailing boxes are exceedingly versatile, you can get creative with them, using the carboard as drawer dividers, storage solutions or even something as unique as a cost effective bed for your cat.

Let's get into the home-based solutions that you can use your cardboard mailing boxes for:

Practical Storage and Organisation

Cardboard mailing boxes can be easily transformed into practical storage solutions for your home. With some creative cutting, decorating, and arranging, you can create stylish containers for your miscellaneous books, toys, office supplies, or even kitchen essentials. These repurposed kraft mailing boxes serve a dual purpose: organizing your space and minimising waste.

To take your cardboard storage solutions up a notch, consider using adhesive shelf liner or decorative paper to cover the boxes. This not only enhances their aesthetic appeal but also makes them more durable and resistant to wear and tear. You can even label each box for efficient categorisation, ensuring your space remains tidy and organized.

Additional Tips:

  • Utilise different box sizes for various storage needs, from small items like stationery to larger items like shoes.
  • Repurpose shoeboxes into drawer organisers to keep small items like socks and accessories tidy.

A Playground of Creativity for Kids

If you have children, you're probably well-acquainted with their limitless imaginations. Cardboard mailing boxes can become the perfect inexpensive canvas for all their creative ideas. Encourage them to create forts, castles, cars, or even robots out of these boxes. This not only friendly on your pockets, but also keeps them engaged and entertained but also fosters their creativity.

Additional Tips:

  • Save various sizes and shapes of mailing boxes to accommodate different project ideas.
  • Keep a box of crafting supplies handy, including coloured paper, glue, and safety scissors, for impromptu creative sessions.

A Stylish DIY Furniture Venture

Cardboard mailing boxes can be used to craft unique and functional DIY furniture pieces. With some careful planning and creative flair, you can construct everything from side tables to bookshelves and even small chairs.

To strengthen the boxes and ensure their durability, consider reinforcing them with additional layers of cardboard or wood. Cover the exterior with decorative paper or fabric to match your home decor and give the furniture a polished appearance.

Creative Solutions Beyond the Home with cardboard mailing boxes

Recreational Havens for Pets

Don't forget your furry family members! Cardboard boxes make fantastic playhouses for cats and small dogs. Simply cut out a door and windows, add a soft blanket or pillow, and watch your pets enjoy their cozy new space.

Additional Tips:

  • Create a playhouse by connecting multiple boxes, providing your pets with an engaging environment but also at no cost to you.
  • Attach small bells or feathers to strings inside the playhouse for bonus pet entertainment.

Nurturing Your Green Thumb

For avid gardeners, cardboard mailing boxes can serve as invaluable tools in your gardening endeavours. These kraft mailing boxes can function as effective weed barriers or as a base for constructing raised garden beds. By strategically placing flattened cardboard boxes on your garden bed, covering them with soil, and planting your desired plants, you'll be not only preventing weed growth but also enhancing the soil quality. To optimise this approach, ensure the boxes are thoroughly broken down and flattened before laying them in your garden bed.

Additional Tips:

  • Wet the cardboard slightly before laying it down to help it conform to the soil.
  • Cover the cardboard with a layer of mulch to enhance its effectiveness.

Organised Shipping Supplies

If your business or personal needs involve frequent shipping, repurpose a cardboard mailing box into an efficient organiser for your shipping supplies. This DIY inexpensive solution allows you to neatly store packing tape, labels, stickers and other shipping essentials in one easily accessible container.

To further enhance the organisation within the box, consider using dividers or smaller containers to segregate various items. This simple yet effective solution ensures that you have everything you need on hand when preparing shipments without having to spend money at somewhere like office works.

Additional Tips:

  • Label compartments for quick access to specific supplies, such as labels, tape, or packing materials.
  • Keep a checklist inside the box to help you track your inventory of shipping supplies.

Re-using for future eCommerce online returns

When ordering online there is a chance your item, whether it be clothing, shoes, jewellery etc. May not fit, may be faulty and will need to sent back. It is always good to hold onto your carboard mailing boxes and store them for those moments when you get too excited and tear apart your mailer bags or carboard mailing boxes, which are then unable to be reused for your return to the business you purchased off. This also saves you the additional cost of having to pay for a new mailing bag or mailing box when you post your returns with Australia post returns for example.


In conclusion, cardboard mailing boxes, often viewed as mere transient containers, possess immense potential for reuse and reinvention. By repurposing these boxes, you not only reduce waste and promote eco-friendliness but also tap into your creativity and resourcefulness. Whether it's within the confines of your home or in the broader context of gardening, shipping, crafting, and gifting, cardboard boxes can be transformed into functional, aesthetically pleasing, and eco-conscious solutions.

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