Make a gift ribbon dispenser
You will thank yourself each time you look for ribbon to wrap a present, if you use a shoe box to make this handy ribbon dispenser. Take a used broom handle or piece of a bamboo garden stake — anything you can use as a small dowel — and cut it a little longer than the length of the shoe box. Cut two holes for the dowel, one in each short end of the box, at a height where a spool of ribbon slipped onto the dowel would spin freely. Slip your ribbon spools onto the dowel as you poke it from one end of the shoe box through to the other. Once the dowel is in place, you can duct tape it at either short end to keep it from slipping out. You could also cut holes along one long side of the shoe box for each spool of ribbon, and pull a little bit of each ribbon through the hole. Now you’re ready to wrap!
Use for play bricks
Kids can get creative using a collection of shoe boxes as building bricks. Tape the lids on for them. You can even let the little ones color the “bricks” with poster paint.
Get your stuff organized
There are lots of ways shoe boxes can help you get organized besides collecting old photos and receipts. Label the boxes and use them to store keepsakes, canceled checks, bills to be paid, and other items you want to keep track of. For a neater appearance, cover the boxes with contact paper or any other decorative self-adhesive paper.
Pack yummy gifts
Shoe boxes are the perfect size for loaves of homemade bread, but of course, you can also pack cookies in them.