How To's & Quick Tips

5 Things to Do with… Shoeboxes


There's something about the size, durability, and versatility of shoeboxes that compels us to keep them long after our footwear has done its walking. If you've still got a shoebox (or four) lying around, your hoarding instincts were right-on-that box retains plenty of potential. Many simple and quick projects can breathe new life into your old shoe storage, whether you're looking for pure function or something more fun. Here are five favorite shoebox crafts to help get you started.

1. STORE SPOOLS

The one pitfall of having a large inventory of ribbon for wrapping and embellishing? The inevitable tangle that occurs when your ribbons aren't in use. But with a shoebox and some basic crafting tools, you can keep your trimmings tidy. To make an organizer of your own, follow the step-by-step at Just Crafty Enough.

2. WAKE UP YOUR WALLS

For budget-friendly decor, try these trendy color-blocked “canvases” with a twist: Instead of using pricier pulled canvas, create the same dimensional effect using a covered shoebox lid. Grab some painter's tape and a few spray paints in your favorite colors, and follow these easy instructions from Creme de la Craft.

3. START A PUPPET THEATER

Create a charming shoebox puppet theater guaranteed to make little ones smile. While an adult should take care of the handiwork (involving an X-acto knife), smaller children can help with the puppets-and, of course, run the show. Miniature LED lights adds a final magical touch. Handmade Charlotte has the tutorial.

4. CORRAL CORDS

Cord clutter? Put a shoebox to work as a charging station, which keeps tangled cables out of sight. This one, shared by Tasha Chawner on her lifestyle blog, took just 30 minutes to build. Tasha simply cut holes for the cords to poke through, painted the box red for a pop of color, and framed the slots with metal bookplates.

5. MAKE A PLANTER

Take a tip from Laura Gilkey at Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. and upcycle your extra shoeboxes into a container garden. This project is a snap, requiring only a little potting soil and your choice of small plants, flowers, or herbs. The best part? You can plant the whole box, if you choose, as cardboard is often biodegradable!