15 Fantastic Ways To Repurpose Your Shoe Boxes

Photo: Jeffrey/FlickrI don’t think I’ve ever seen a closet that doesn’t have a shoe box or two lying around inside. They’re ubiquitous; they’re everywhere. We all have them and we all hold onto them for whatever reason. We know they have to be good for something!

Well yes, yes they are. They’re good for lots of things in fact. Things like:

Whole Box:

1. Basic storage. Yes, I know, shocker! You really needed an article on the Internet to suggest that one to you, right? But listen, there are some REALLY great tutorials out there that’ll make your shoe boxes REALLY pretty. See here for some inspiration.

2. A shoe box can be turned into a neat and tidy cord organizer /recharging station. Genius, right? Tutorial here.

3. How about an allowance saver or charity funds collector?

4. Shoe boxes are sturdy and compact, and thus they’re perfect for packing up homemade gifts -- especially gifts of the delicate-baked-goods variety. A standard box is the perfect size for a typical batch of cookies!

5. For the kids, shoe boxes make great toys. You can cover them in solid or printed paper to make giant building blocks for an aspiring contractor, or you can use them to make an incredible miniature city, like this.

Box Without Lid:

1. Boxes can be used as simple and effective drawer dividers. Just line your drawers, like your underwear drawer, with the empty boxes (which are just the right size to line up side by side). Then you can easily separate items -- like different types of underwear, or socks, or hosiery, etc.

2. A shoe box makes a perfect mini planter box to hold small flowers or herbs. This would be especially great during early spring, when you’re starting all your seeds indoors and need lots of seedling containers. Plus, using a clean container means you don't need to worry as much about calling, say, a Denver exterminator to help with pests eating your indoor seedlings.

3. Shoe boxes make for easy shadow boxes or hanging wall shelves. Sound sketchy? No way, it works!

4. You can use a smaller shoe box as an elegant accent box. For example, this tutorial upcycles an old sweater, and is absolutely lovely.

5. And for the kids, a shoe box makes a perfect little doll house. This craft is cute cute cute, and totally customizable. Check out some great instructions and inspiration, here.


1. Lots can be done with just the box lid. For example, you can make it into a loom for weaving small tapestries. No kidding!

2. Combined with some old magazines, a shoe box lid can be crafted into a fun and funky picture frame. Double reuse projects are the best!

3. Covered in a pretty fabric and embossed with some strategically placed pins, a box top can be turned into an adorable jewelry organizer/hanger. Tutorial here.

4. Here’s a fun tutorial that turns shoe box tops into decorative wall hangings, which can than be changed out with the seasons.

5. And finally, color-blocked or patterned canvases are one of the oldest cute/quick decorating tricks. But you know what’s even cheaper than canvas? Shoe box lids! You can achieve the same affect as canvas but for a fraction of the cost. There’s some great inspiration here.

So there you have it, 15 fantastic ways to use your old shoe boxes. And here’s a little tip -- the boxes can be unfolded to lie and stack flat, for easier storage until you do decide how to use them. Happy repurposing!

Sayward Rebhal writes for Networx.com.

Updated October 25, 2018.

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