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Cardboard box. Ways to recycle cardboard boxes

Here are a few ideas for recycling cardboard boxes

Dust cover Make a dust cover for a small appliance such as a power tool or typewriter by cutting off the top flaps of a box and placing it over the object. If you want, decorate it with adhesive-backed plastic.

Table guard Open out a large box and use it to protect work surfaces and table tops from ink, paint, glue or knife and scissor nicks.

Mechanic's helper Keep the floor of your garage clean by placing a piece of cardboard under your car. It will catch any drips of oil and will also help a mechanic to identify potential problems with the engine or elsewhere.

Gift of suspense Place a friend's gift inside a series of increasingly bigger cardboard boxes, each one specially wrapped, for an extended surprise.

Nail holder When knocking in a small nail or tack, push it through a piece of stiff card to hold it in position. It will prevent you banging your fingers.

Paint protection Cut a piece of stiff card and hold it at the base of the skirting board to prevent a paintbrush coming into contact with carpet or a dusty floor. And exposed pipework at the base of radiators can be painted cleanly and easily if you hold a piece of flexible card behind the radiator pipe.

Filing tray Remove the top and the front from a cereal box. Lying it on its back, angle the ends of the short sides.

Place mats Cut several pieces of cardboard to the same size and cover them with colourful adhesive-backed plastic. Or get your children to paint pictures on them before covering with plastic.

Puppet theatre Stand a large cardboard box on end; cut a big hole in the back for puppeteers to put their hands through and create a platform with a smaller box for the puppets to perform on.

Magazine holder Remove the top of a detergent or cereal box, then cut the front and back of the box at an angle, from the top of one side to the bottom third of the other.

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