Cardboard Box Decorating Ideas

Updated November 21, 2016

Cardboard boxes aren't just for packing and shipping. You can reuse cardboard boxes for a variety of purposes, from home decor to playtime with the kids. Use a few cardboard box decorating ideas to find new uses for old boxes around your home. You can improve your storage situation and enjoy a rainy afternoon with your family, all by repurposing a few cardboard boxes.

Imaginary Fun

If you have a large cardboard box, such as one from an appliance purchase or a large shipment, turn it into an inspirational playland for your children. Paint the box to look like a castle, a cave, a fort, a house or a log cabin. Cut out doors in the side so the kids can crawl in and out, and send them inside armed with books to read, crayons to colour the inside of the box or costumes to play out an imaginary scene. A slightly smaller big box can become a train car, a ship or an aeroplane for plenty of playtime fun as well. Your little one can become a driver, a pirate or a conductor as he rides in his new box-mobile.

Creative Coverings

Use shelf liner paper in a decorative pattern to cover a cardboard box. Choose a large, shallow box that will fit under your bed. Measure the width of the bottom of the box added to the height of the two sides, then the length of the bottom added to the height of the opposite two sides; add 6 extra inches to your length and width measurements. Cut the shelf liner paper (also sometimes called contact paper) to match these dimensions, then cut out the extra paper on the corners. Peel off the adhesive backing from the paper carefully and place the bottom of the box in the centre of the sticky side. Smooth the paper over the bottom of the box, then up the sides and over to the inside of the box. Repeat this all the way around until the entire box is covered. Use this type of box to store folded sweaters and sweatshirts during the warm-weather seasons. Use the boxes to hold shoes out of the way or even photo albums and books for a convenient under-bed storage solution.

Memory Boxes

A small cardboard box with a lid, such as a shoebox, can become a creative space to store memories of a special event or just a lifetime of collecting. Decorate the outside of the box with a layer or two of craft paint. Add cut-out images from wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper or even magazines and attach them to the box with d├ęcoupage glue. To do this, paint a layer of the glue onto the box, add the clippings and then paint another layer of glue over the top. When everything is dry, you can fill the box with items of personal significance, such as photographs, hair clippings, concert tickets or travel brochures. Store the decorative box on a shelf so you can access your memories any time you want them.

Box City

Use several cardboard boxes in different sizes to make a cardboard city. Use boxes from food items, such as cereal, oatmeal or rice. Decorate the boxes by covering them in colourful construction paper, and then let children use crayons or markers to draw windows, doors and designs onto the boxes. They can arrange their city in a bedroom to be a playland for their action figures and toy cars. For a Christmas twist, decorate the boxes like gingerbread houses or Santa's workshop and display them on your mantel during the holiday season.

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