This is a favorite tip for the economical folks in the room: recycle your cardboard boxes and turn them into art panels.
How did this all start? Well, we had a yard sale this past week. Can you hear my sigh of relief? I used to love having yard sales, but since having kids it’s always been easier to take our long-loved belongings directly to the thrift store. My kiddos have been eager to have a sale, however, so that’s what we did. And you know something? Not only did I survive, but we cleared out a walkable path in our garage and I also uncovered my trusty old-fashioned paper chopper that was previously covered with boxes and cushions.
Along with getting reacquainted with my old paper-cutting pal, I uncovered a bunch of cardboard boxes. And with that, I spent a jolly twenty minutes chopping those boxes up into panels that my kids and I can paint, collage, and otherwise attack with our art.
Cardboard boxes are wonderful for so many reasons. When I have them in the house they often get recycled as…cardboard boxes. I’ll use them again to ship things to friends and loved ones. But when I have a few piled up, I like to chop them into smaller pieces that we can later use as art panels.
Throw that box on the guillotine and create some incredibly enticing art substrates.
There are a few ways to cut cardboard into panels
- Cut the box with heavy duty scissors. Don’t cut yourself. Obvious, I know, but I did this the other day.
- Cut panels with a box cutter on a cutting mat
- The quickest way is most likely an art-grade chopper like this Guillotine Paper Trimmer.
And now we’re ready to use these as bases for painting, collage, gluing, etc. Here are some examples:
- Glue beans, sequins, buttons or pom poms to the cardboard, like in this Bean collage or Glue Dots and Buttons
- Attach pasta, glitter, and cotton balls to the cardboard: Found Object Collage
- Paint on it with acrylic paint: Painting on wood panel or cardboard.
- And, before you cut those boxes up, you might want to try Cardboard Box Splat Painting!
Two questions for you
How do you like to recycle or upcycle cardboard? What are your favorite art tips?