Reusing Packaging You no Longer Need: Be Creative

Warehouse packages

Maybe you are a consumer that is tired of throwing out packaging materials and you are looking for a better solution. Maybe you are a business owner that is concerned about your businesses carbon footprint so you reuse as much as you can but still have wound up with a surplus of packaging materials. There are still steps that you can take that can help you to get even more out of your packaging material if you get a little creative.

By now just about every company has heard about reduce, reuse, recycle and many companies have adopted the policy because not only is it a better way to do business it is also a more cost effective way to do business but there is still a slew of excess packaging material floating around the world that could be put to better use.

For both businesses and consumers it really comes down to learning to look at packaging materials as a possibility instead of a necessity that has outlived its usefulness after it has served its initial purpose.

When you consider the cost of crafting supplies and the similarities between crafting supplies and packaging supplies (once you take that second look) it makes packaging supplies much more appealing.

With a few cuts here and there and some paint or adornments you can easily turn a box into a container for the kids school books or even a book shelf. All you have to do is change how you look at packaging materials and tap into your creative juices.

If you get stumped take heed there are plenty ideas that crafty people online have shared so don’t be shy to take a look around at what other crafty people are doing with their packing “trash”.

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Cardboard Boxes In the Work Place

Since everyone is stuck on cardboard boxes-90% of all shipments arrive in cardboard boxes – here are some tips for reusing cardboard boxes that are no longer serviceable in the workplace:

  • Make postcards out of the boxes
  • Make planters out of boxes
  • Donate them
  • Decorate them and use them to hold files

You can make postcards out of old cardboard boxes and you do not even need an envelope. Use a stamp pad and some cool stamp (company logo if you must) to announce upcoming events, reminders or just a thank you.

You can make planters out of old cardboard boxes by cutting them down to size and lining with some plastic, they are biodegradable.

Donate the boxes to people that need them. There is always someone that can use boxes. College students that are heading to school or that are on their way back home always can use boxes so put an ad up on social media and watch as all those extra boxes just disappear.

Cover them with wallpaper or contact paper and use them to hold old files.

Cardboard Boxes At Home

Cardboard boxes can easily be transformed into everything from fun kids games to holders for the logs for the fireplace. All you really need to make a cardboard box into something amazing is something to cover it with and some hardware that you can add on.

You can make a great ottoman out of a cardboard box by adding some foam cushions cut to fit all the sides than covering with a favorite material. Just flip it over if the top is missing or craft a top from a foam cushion and the same material you used to cover the box.

Envelope from cardboard

Children’s blocks can also be fashioned from cardboard boxes of different sizes. Just decorate the box to look like the children’s familiar wooden blocks.

Wall art crafted from wooden boxes is a great option because it is light weight and with the right treatments no one will ever know that your new “BAR” sign is really crafty from cardboard box letters.

Anything Wooden

Wooden packaging material is the easiest stuff to recycle. You can create amazing things from wooden pallets, crates and other wooden packaging. Of course wooden packaging has a much longer life span than cardboard so there is a lot less of it available to have to worry about reusing.

Furniture from palletes

You can craft everything from planters, wall art, furniture and beyond from wooden packaging material that has outlived its usefulness as packaging.

All you have to do is dismantle the packaging and repurpose the wood.

Flower pot from palletes

Styrofoam

Styrofoam packaging is one of those things that is a necessity but it is also a big issue because it never decomposes. Long after the earth is gone as we know it Styrofoam will still be around siting in the landfills.

There are plenty of things that Styrofoam can be used for. You can cut out letters, shapes, designs and create great wall art from it.

You can hand paint Styrofoam to make it look like anything you want. Costume jewelry can be cut out from #6 Styrofoam and embellished with beads.

Styrofoam can also be used as insulation in a wide range of situations. Styrofoam sheets can also be cut into panels for dog houses, sheds or even the garage to act as an added layer of protection against the elements.

Styrofoam sheets also make an excellent back drop for a memo board all you have to do is frame it out with some wooden furring strips or you can even use an old frame without the glass and insert the foam sheet.

Message board from styrofoam

Styrofoam packaging peanuts can be used in the bottom of planters instead of gravel to get the same results without the added weight. You can use them to create pet beds by filling up a zippered cover with them. Christmas tree decorations can be made from packaging peanuts, just spray paint them holiday colors and string them together.

They can also be donated to shipping concerns worldwide.

Packaging peanuts can be used to hold nails in place when hammering them. They can be slipped on the tips or knives or tools to ensure safe storage. These handy little peanuts can also work as insulation in a pinch.

Air Filled Packing Cushions

The air filled packing cushions can easily be transformed into small waste bags that are great for dog messes and the disposal of other small items. They are also great for storing small non food items like screws, nails and even craft supplies. All you have to do is cut away the bag that you need and cut off the top!

Sponge Pad Packaging

The sponge like pad packaging can be cut to be used as a cleaning tool. While the pad is not as absorbent as a sponge it does have a scouring ability that is great to use in the bathrooms and kitchen. It is free so why not? Of course these pads can also be cut into shapes, numbers and letters and keep the kids entertained in the bath.

They can also be cut into shapes to be used as a stamp with paints. This type of packaging has endless uses. They can be combined to act as a foam cushion in chair pads. You just have to look at them differently to get the most use out of them.

Packing Paper

Brown paper is often used as packaging and it also makes excellent craft paper. Just unfurl the paper and place it under a heavy object to get the wrinkles out. You can also decorate this paper with stamps and use it as wrapping paper.

Molded Fiberboard

Many electronics are shipped with molded fiberboard packaging. You can rip this up and put it right in the compost pile.

Long Plastics

Long plastic that is used to cover mattresses and other large furniture items make great drop cloths for when you have to paint. They also make excellent weed barriers in garden boxes.

You can use long plastic sheets for a slew of household chores to make clean up easier. You can even make a greenhouse using this type of plastic sheeting.

Keep In Mind

When all else fails and your towering pile of packaging materials does not seem manageable any longer don’t discard it, put it online. You can sell clean packaging materials to people that sell on Ebay and other online market places.

There are several online sites that have an exchange system in place for used packaging materials. This type of marketplace connects businesses and consumers with other businesses and consumers that are looking for packaging material. In most cases it is a barter type system but in some cases you can make some money off the deal.

Look for small non-profit groups that utilize the materials for crafting with senior adults and kids. There are also a lot of physical rehabilitation centers that can benefit from an excess of packaging materials to use in crafting projects.

You should also always keep in mind that if worst comes to worst corrugated cardboard can also be torn up and used in your compost pile.