Make Life Easier With Cardboard Boxes

Shield doors and furniture
Use cardboard shields to protect doors and furniture from stains when you polish doorknobs and furniture pulls. Cut out the appropriate-sized shield and slide it over the items you are going to polish. This works best when you make shields that slip over the neck of knobs or knoblike pulls. But you can also make shields for hinges and U-shaped pulls.

Make dustcovers
Keep dust and dirt out of a small appliance, power tool, or keyboard. Cut the flaps off a cardboard box that fits over the item, decorate it or cover it with self-adhesive decorative paper, and use it as a dustcover.

Make an office in-box
Making an in-box (or out-box) for your office desk is easy. Simply cut the top and one large panel off a cereal box; then slice the narrow sides at an angle. Wrap with self-adhesive decorative paper.

Make place mats
Cut several 12 x 18-inch (30 x 45-centimeter) pieces of cardboard and cover them with colorful adhesive shelf paper or other decoration.

Protect glassware or lightbulbs
A good way to safely store fine crystal glassware is to put it in an empty wine or liquor carton with partitions. You can also use it for storing lightbulbs, but be sure to sort the bulbs by wattage so that it’s easy to find the right one when you need a replacement.

Make a magazine holder
Store your magazines in holders made from empty detergent boxes. Remove the top, then cut the box at an angle, from the top of one side to the bottom third of the other. Cover the holders with self-adhesive decorative paper.

Poster and artwork holder
A clean liquor carton with its dividers intact is a great place to store rolled-up posters, drawings on paper, and canvases. Just insert the items upright between the partitions.

Store Christmas ornaments
When you take down your Christmas tree, wrap each ornament in newspaper or tissue paper and store it in an empty liquor box with partitions. Each of the carton’s segments can hold several of the wrapped holiday tree ornaments.

Create an impromptu sled
Use a large cardboard box to pull a small child (or a load of firewood) over the snow.

Garage for toy vehicles
Turn an empty large appliance box on its side and let the kids use it as a “garage” for their wheeled vehicles. They can also use a smaller box as a garage for miniature cars, trucks, and buses.

Make a puppet theater
Stand a large cardboard box on end. Cut a big hole in the back for puppeteers to crouch in and a smaller one high up in the front for the stage. Decorate with markers or glue on pieces of fabric for curtains.

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