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15 Cool things to make with cardboard

Here are creative things to make with cardboard!

If you love the idea of cardboard crafts, these ideas are creative and easy! I love working with cardboard because it’s a good way to make use of all those shipping boxes. 

Use these ideas to teach a class or have a craft night with friends. And before you toss your boxes, check with a local art center to see if they would like them to use in classes.

Things to make with cardboard

Before we dive in, I put together a little guide of types of cardboard. This will help as you choose what projects to make.

Corrugated Cardboard: This is the kind that has a wavy layer between two flat layers of paper. It’s strong and durable, making it ideal for building and sculpting projects. Corrugated cardboard is commonly found in shipping boxes and packaging materials. You’ll need a box cutter or heavy duty shears for this.

Paperboard or Chipboard: A lighter, single-layer cardboard that is often used in cereal boxes, shoe boxes, and other types of packaging. Its smooth, shiny surface makes it excellent for painting, cutting, and making small crafts like gift tags, bookmarks, and greeting cards.

Waxed Cardboard: This type is coated with a thin layer of wax, making it water-resistant. Commonly used for shipping fresh produce or as containers for liquids.

Kraft Cardboard: Made from kraft paper, this type of light, flexible cardboard is strong and durable. It’s often used for grocery bags and wrapping parcels. Its smooth and even texture is ideal for crafts that require painting or drawing.

When using cardboard for crafts, make sure it’s clean and free from any food contamination. Corrugated cardboard, paperboard, and kraft cardboard are among the most commonly recycled and craft-friendly types.

Ok, here are 15 cool things to make with cardboard!

How to make a cardboard shadow box #craftychica #cardboardcrafts

1. Cardboard Shadow Box

This is where you can cut up cardboard to create a standing box. Fill with a picture or miniatures, party favors -whatever you want. 

Check out my DIY cardboard shadow box video tutorial!

YouTube video

And here is a local TV segment I did showing the project!

2. Piñata-inspired Photo Frames

This one is a little out there, but it has a great final look. Follow the steps to make a piñata, but rather than hang it up and hit it, cut a little area in the front to use for a picture.

piñata photo frames
Cut up boxes to create a frame

More cardboard crafts:

3. Costumes

Save those large boxes to make Halloween costumes. Check out my tutorials for a llama costume, a slice of cake costume, and a Frankenstein mask!

Use boxes to make a cake costume!


4. Bulk Earrings

For this, use lightweight cardboard, the kind that is used for cereal boxes and crackers. I used watercolor paper, but next time i’m going to use food boxes!

Used cereal boxes to make earrings.

5. Storage Caddy

This is a GREAT project by Happy Bankky Crafty Mom.

She created this to hold her glue gun and glue sticks, but it would also work great for any other small items. And it looks so cute the way she decorated it!

things to make with cardboard
Storage caddy by https://www.happybankkycraftymom.com/


6. Match Box Shrines

These are ready-to-use. Paint and decorate them to use a little affirmation boxes or party favors.

DIY Matchbox Shrines cardboard crafts

7. Goddess Headdresses

Use a headband as a base and then use cardboard to create a wearable structure. Add paint, flowers, glitter, pictures, whatever you want! Here is another version as well.

things to make with cardboard

8. Drink coasters

Cut circles and decoupage, then add a waterproof seal, like UV resin. Make sure to seal up the sides as well. I made these by adding social media quotes. They were such a hit!


9. Cardboard Leaves

This is super stylish, Tatzkreen Art shows how to transform ordinary cardboard into these gorgeous leaves!

YouTube video

10. Handmade Book with envelope pages

I made these for the holiday season, but they work great any time of the year. you can use the envelope pages to hold notes, gift cards, cash, little treats.

gift card book with envelopes

11. Fancy Candy Boxes!

Level up an ordinary candy box by cutting up and glueing the shapes on top. Such a fun way to personalize a box! For this box, I used cut up cereal boxes. You can’t even tell!

Custom Candy Boxes


12. Jewelry Box

Another awesome way to create a functional art piece! It looks so realistic, as if she used leather and metal. I like how she scored the cardboard so it would bend easily.

YouTube video


13. Painted magnets

This is one of the first crafts I ever made to sell. Simply use cut up cardboard and add your painted designs, and varnish. Add a magnet on the back. You could also run it through an electronic cutting machine. People love these because of the recycled element!

things to make from cardboard


14. Cardboard Flowers

Toilet paper rolls! You can also cut up paper towel rolls if that makes you feel better! This is by Day With DIY.

YouTube video


15. Corrugated Frames

This one blows my mind! You roll the corrugated cardboard and create these cool designs. Doesn’t it look beautiful?

YouTube video

Thanks for checking out my post. Which is your favorite?

More ideas:

Visual storytelling: DIY mixed media shadow box art


Weekend CraftyChica fabric sale!

How to make heart concha jewelry


2 thoughts on “15 Cool things to make with cardboard”

  1. So many cute and clever ideas. Love the piñata frames, magnets, coasters, frames and shrines. Super cool.


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