The Next Strides in Smart Packaging

 smart packaging for an interactive consumer experience

What’s the future of retail packaging?

You have a product, you put it in a box and sell it. Not much of an evolution there, right?

Wrong! So very wrong. Packaging is everything. It’s not just us saying that–although we may be a little biased–there are numerous reports about the importance of having a strong presence at retail.

In an article for Forbes, Chris Wilder of Moor Insights and Strategy wrote about the future of packaging. While the article was geared more towards food packaging, Wilder did say that “no industry, segment, or market is immune.” And it’s true. There was a time when, say, jewelry packaging was very different from, say, produce packaging. But today, and moving forward, that distinction is breaking down. Especially as the world moves towards smart packaging.

What is Smart Packaging?

Also called intelligent packaging, or active packaging, smart packaging refers to a level of interactivity between the people and the package. It can be as simple as a QR code to track a shipped package–a technology that has been utilized for years–or as advanced as embedding microchips in packaging. While the latter isn’t widely used, the implication for what this means for the future of packaging in general is exciting.

An interactive experience, not just for package handlers or delivery persons, but for consumers as well. Imagine whipping out your smart phone, scanning a product at retail, and unlocking a variety of comparative, informative material.

Pretty cool, right?

In some ways, we’re already there. In other ways, we’re still a ways off. In the Forbes article, Wilder outlines the various custom packaging methods companies are currently using to vie for shelf presence at retail. He refers to the idea of hybrid packaging–custom boxes that are a blend of conventional retail packaging tenets and all the bells and whistles of luxury packaging. Hitting the stride between informing the consumer what the product is and does, and also establishing a stand-out presence in order to stay ahead of the competition. Wilder even mentions rigid materials! Now that’s an informed analyst.

Where the future of custom boxes and personalized packaging is heading, one can only speculate, of course. Whether or not you embed a microchip in your retail packaging is up to you. Still, the facts about presentation packaging remain true: standing out at retail is still the most important element. Eye-catching packaging, turned edges, and interesting materials will give your box a leg up in the retail arena.

Tokaido: A #WhatDidYouPlayMondays Review

If you count this as a long weekend, then I did get some board-gaming in. The weekend proper was a busy one and I didn’t get much play time in, but after missing out on gaming entirely last weekend due to a grueling weekend shift, I knew I had to make up for it with something big. Fortunately I was more than satiated by getting to play one of my “grail games” on Thursday evening: Tokaido.

I have watched and re-watched this game played on one of my favorite episodes of TableTop. I’ve mentioned it before, praising its minimalist artwork. But this would be the first time I’d personally get to play it.

Sadly, I couldn’t get any pictures, but BoardGameGeek has plenty.

There was a chill in the air as it was unboxed. Not just because I was finally getting to play a game on my Must Play list, but also because this game comes with a certain level of reverence built in. I would call this board game a game of cultural elegance. The premise is a group of players on a literal road trip; spanning Japan’s East Sea Road from Kyoto to Edo. Along the way, players must stop at destinations ranging from souvenir-filled villages to religious temples in need of donations. Each character has an “ability.” Some pay less for food, others get more money from farming, but each of them is unique (and represented as beautifully-drawn characters).

My friends and I played two rounds, traveling back and forth, sampling traditional cuisine and capturing the beauty of early Japan in panoramic paintings. Like any good game, Tokaido was very immersive. There were times when I could almost taste the sushi, or smell the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. For such a seemingly simple game, Tokaido was filled with equal parts strategy and subtlety. One of my gauges of a great game is whether it lends itself to inside jokes and theme-based, good-natured ribbing of other players. Tokaido had this in spades. Although, I found because of the theme, I held back some of my usually-more-colorful exclamations.

Well played, Tokaido. Well played.

I won’t go into too much depth on the game box, for a couple reasons. For one, I talked a lot about it in that other blog post and, for two, the box is very minimalist. Stark white with splashes of beautiful artwork in the style of Japanese watercolor paintings and organic brushstrokes give Tokaido’s custom game box a unique charm. The game board itself continued the tradition.

It was a die cut board, turned edges wrapped around durable chipboard. What made it unique was that it folded out the long way to emphasize the long road trip. The minimalist graphics continued within: a mainly white board with black lines and thumbnail splashes of color representing the stops along the road. It fits so well with the theme, you’d almost be disappointed if there was more imagery on the board.

The player cards are also rigid chipboard punchouts. Though they don’t benefit from turned edging, they (like everything in the game) has a beautiful glare-reducing lamination that gives a warm glow to the artwork and also making it easy to see along the way. One of the cool elements of this game is each player is represented by a colored meeple. In order to personalize each player, the character cards have a circular cutout to place a colored emblem to remember which game piece is yours. Just one of many subtle-yet-fascinating elements this game provides.

Other pieces in the game are the cards, each with delightful artwork. Especially the panorama cards that create paintings of beautiful vistas. Your currency is cool chipboard coins with the middles punched through.

As I was admiring the board, our game night host, Becca, noted how nice the board was. It didn’t “feel cheap.” Gamers pump a lot of money into their pastime, and there’s nothing worse than a great custom game that has a flimsy board. One that can pick up with a gust of wind or come undone with a bump of the table. Tokaido definitely did not suffer from that–very hearty, very stocky–and should be considered a gold standard in board game design.

All in all, this game is a must have. Very fun, I will be playing again. And if it was only in my collection for the visuals, it would be money well-spent.

What did you play this weekend? Remember to join other players at your virtual water cooler Monday morning, using the hashtag #WhatDidYouPlayMondays


Creative Retail Packaging: The Case of the Cardboard Box

Creative Retail Packaging Strikes Again!


Retail box packaging doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, creative retail packaging can make an ordinary product extraordinary. Or at least make it a heck of a lot of fun.

Once upon a time, on a routine visit to a clothing store, I happened upon an endcap sporting a collection of corrugated cardboard boxes. Simply shaped, elegantly printed. I was so charmed by the custom boxes, I almost forgot that the contents were two plain drinking glasses of which I own plenty too many.

A pint glass and a shot glass were the contents, held safe by the durable cardboard. Nothing printed on them, nothing special about the glass. Plain old glasses. But the packaging was so smart, so funny, that I was inspired to photograph it.


The glasses were the necessary components for making a boilermaker (minus the alcohol, of course). Also called “bomb glasses,” they are really just two everyday items but. once filled with beer and whiskey, are dropped into each other to create a powerful shot. But it wasn’t the glassware that made this product interesting. It was the custom printed boxes that really stole the show. Adorned with several different fonts spouting witty phrases. I turned the box over and over in my hands, reading and re-reading all the catchphrases and witticisms. Honestly laughing out loud. By far one of my favorite drinks, I wanted this product just for the souvenir status. Place it on a bookshelf, or a mantle. I was certainly in no need of plain old glasses.

I still think about this product when I think about creative retail packaging. Seems like the pinnacle of taking something simple–something everybody probably owns–and making it a must-have. What those display boxes represented was the coupling of smart writing and clever packaging. Someone, somewhere, took a standard cardboard box and a pair of drinking glasses and made them something memorable. Repurposed them almost. I try to consider myself above marketing tactics, but…that one got me. Hook, line, and sinker.

Undeniably creative retail packaging. The product you just have to take home with you. That’s the power of presentation packaging

Labyrinth : A #WhatDidYouPlayMondays Playthrough

For a long while I’ve wanted a watercooler topic to call my own. You know, something everybody is buzzing about Monday mornings. But since I’m not really up on real-time TV shows and sports is another language to me, I’ve struggled to find something to make a tradition out of.


That’s why I gravitated so quickly to the #WhatDidYouPlayMondays hashtag on Twitter. Pioneered by Geeky Goodies, the WDYPM movement encourages board gamers to post about what games they played over the weekend. Board and tabletop games are already great for increasing social interaction, but WDYPM takes it to the next level, connecting gamers around the world. A virtual watercooler for sharing your weekend gaming experience.



So What Board Games Did I Play this Weekend?

It was a pretty busy weekend for me, but I did get to play a few different board games, including two I’ve been meaning to check out for awhile. The one I want to zoom in on is Ravensburger’s Labyrinth, designed by Max J. Kobbert.


Labyrinth has been around for awhile and for a good reason: it’s simply a great game on all points. Easy to learn and deceptively strategic, Labyrinth proved to be one addicting board game. I was hooked from the moment I opened the box.


Like a good custom box should, Labyrinth’s packaging boasts colorful, kid-friendly graphics that will entice players of all ages. This version of the game has updated graphics and a beautiful turned edge box with a bright green dragon on the cover–definitely hard to pass up. It also sports the tell-tale Ravensburger blue triangular logo in the corner, which sends a message on its own. It was easier to invest in this game knowing it was from a trusted gamemaker. On the flip side–literally the flip side of the presentation packaging–the game includes a brief blurb about gameplay, a shot of the full board along with a few examples of cards. Along the side the game box has a contents list and an age range. The only thing I’d like to see in addition is a play-time gauge, but after playing this game, I understand how varied it can be with this particular game.


I was eager to get to playing. I had heard lots of good things about this particular game, and the unboxing only urged me on. I’ve never punched cards and tiles so fast. Even as I did, though, I was impressed by the quality of the chipboard tile. It’s impossible to get a true turned edge with punch out tiles, but the ones in Labyrinth are thick and sturdy and made of a very hearty cardstock. Definitely felt like I got my money’s worth right out of the gate.

0913151908a_1 0913151909

I’ve seen board games and I’ve seen tile games, but this is the first one that had both. Labyrithing includes a die cut game board with turned edges and tiles. In fact, the board itself has tiles firmly affixed to it. The combination of the two gives Labyrinth its unique play mechanic.


With one extra tile to be pushed into a row or column, a player is constantly rearranging and reshaping the maze that forms Labyrinth. It is so deceptively simple, yet subtly tricky, that I found myself plotting ahead as much as I found myself saying aloud Man, this is cool!



We weaved our detailed miniatures–very cool witches and wizards–through the ever-changing maze, claiming treasures and trying to cut one another off at every pass. While I lost both times (losing is just par for the course for me, as I’m sure you’ll find out) I still enjoyed playing. Turns were quick and active. A lot of the game was very head-to-head, which is important to a “loser” like me. Never did I feel like the big W was out of my grasp.


When it was time to pack up, I was curious how Labyrinth was going to pack up in the game box. After all, the game components–save for the minis–were all punch-outs. But this game was a custom packaging dream.


The game box boasts a black custom thermoformed tray with slots for the cards and tiles and even the miniatures. The color adds a sense of class, while the tray itself made for a clean organization for all the pieces. There’s nothing worse than having to take a beautiful and intricate game and basically just throw it in the box willy-nilly. Luckily, Labyrinth’s custom presentation packaging doesn’t suffer that fate.



Then I noticed what the recessed cavity was for: there’s an extra slot to snugly fit the gameboard into the plastic tray. As both a packaging fan and a condensing aficionado, this custom game box took the cake. While it didn’t pass the “Turn Upside-Down Test” it did come closer than most games.


0913152015acustom plastic tray for gameboard

Bottom line: Labyrinth is a great game for the whole family, or even for a couple short on time. They can’t all be 5-hour epic gaming sessions, folks. Let’s be honest. The presentation is very polished (due in large part to the custom plastic tray) and the rigid chipboard used here doesn’t have that “cheap feeling” that plagues a lot of games in this age of mass production. And everybody loves a good fantasy theme.





Keep up with me and everybody using Geeky Goodies’ #WhatDidYouPlayMondays hashtag, and be sure to remember Sunrise Packaging, Minnesota’s own presentation packaging experts, when it comes time to print and package your custom boardgame.


Who’s “Deboss” When It Comes to Embossing and Debossing?

What’s the Difference Between Embossing and Debossing Really?


Embossing and debossing seem to be two terms that tend to bleed together. Both are artistic preferences for printing on custom boxes, sure, but what is the difference exactly? And when should each technique be used?


Both techniques use custom dies of various materials (most often magnesium, copper, or brass). These dies use combinations of heat and pressure to form the image or custom lettering for packaging pieces. Additionally, both embossing and debossing make for a textured brand that can be felt. So far they sound pretty similar, right? So what separates them?


Embossing and Debossing: The Dividing Line



Admittedly, the difference between embossing and debossing is pretty subtle. When embossing a custom packaging, the “background” is depressed. It’s not as sad as it sounds. Basically, you’re taking the letter or your custom logo design and making it stand out–literally! The relieved backdrop becomes the canvas, much like how a body of water might bolster an island. Make it pop.


High Quality Embossing for Turned Edge boxes



If you want to get technical, debossing is the opposite of embossing. Although similar, debossing is the more traditional form of impact printing. With this process, a heated template stamps the lettering into the packaging, making a concave impression. This technique can either be blind, where the impression is colored in by its own shadow and depth, or registered, where it is filled in with some kind of ink. Of course, when you get into the realm of registered debossing, you also have to mention….


High Quality Debossing for marketing kits


Foil Stamping

Ha! The twist ending you never saw coming. Well, maybe you did. Foil stamping is a form of registered debossing where a shimmering foil is pressed into the lettering for a stunning and unique presentation. Metallic lettering on a stark background is often more eye-catching than even the most wild of graphics.


High quality foil stamping for sales kits


Whatever your packaging project–a high end presentation box with turned edges and tuck tabs, or an custom easel binder with thermoformed trays–embossing and debossing, along with foil stamping, can be added to most custom box designs. But (if you couldn’t tell from the above info) there are plenty of variables involved. When you’re considering those make-or-break details, it’s important to check with the experts. Minnesota’s own Sunrise Packaging should definitely your go-to for all your custom boxing needs.

The Future of Medical Device Packaging

New Research is Forecasting the State of Medical Device Packaging Through 2020


According to a press release from PR Newswire, the custom medical packaging industry is set to grow. In 2014, medical devices packaging accrued $21.64 Billion. By 2020, analysts are projecting it will rise to an industry total of $30.5 Billion.

Key=Surgical-medical-sales-KitWhile markets typically grow, this particular report spells relief for presentation packaging companies. Why? Because the medical industry was set to cut back on its packaging budget in order to favor R&D funding. While this is also important, one can’t really sacrifice quality when it comes to medical packaging and custom medical kits. With so many precise components and specific instructions, custom medical kits need to be as organized and clear as possible.

More than just an aesthetic, industry standards require medical devices packaging to to meet certain compliances. Tamper-proof or child-resistant. Coupling a high-end presentation kit with custom thermoformed trays and compartments, for example, is one way to fulfill these requirements. And the room for innovation keeps growing, perhaps adding to the growth factor.

Key Surgical medical device packaging Open

Compliance packaging is vital to the medical industry. It doesn’t just apply to custom medical sales kits, but to medication as well. Pharmacy Times draws attention to a study that suggests a large portion of patients are not taking their medication as prescribed, which will most likely cause an increased desire for clarity for compliance packaging.

You may wonder what compliance packaging for medications has to do with medical packaging and custom medical kits, but those worlds may be colliding faster than you think. An anti-overdose drug will be stepping up production to combat the rise in drug overdoses, and may soon be carried by first responders in various forms for administering. Specialized delivery will require new devices, and thus specialized packaging. New devices and custom medical kits will give the respective industries a rise; a fortunate side effect of an unfortunate problem.

Key Surgical diecut Foam inserts_medical sales kit_medical device packagingThat’s one of the double-edges of the medical industry. Growth might be good for the industry as a whole–the medical device packaging industry–but sometimes it is at the behest of a sad statistic. Undeniable, however, is the need for high-end presentation boxes, medical sales kits, and proper medical device packaging that will meet these high standards, be functional, and present the products clearly and accurately.



As always, Sunrise Packaging is committed to delivering custom medical sales kits and launch kit boxes that fit the needs of any product or project.

Video Game Packaging Steps Up with Collector Editions



Image: Bethesda

Video game packaging appears to be on the rise. And not just the conventional plastic-case-that-holds-the-disc-and-manual. I’m talking upscale, high-end presentation packaging. The same kind we know (and love) around here at SunPack.

Perhaps it’s the fairly limited rollout of games for the latest generation of gaming consoles that is causing video games to up their packaging ante. It’s no secret that the amount of games for PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U is low. Or maybe it’s just that video game packaging is taking a page from the book of presentation packaging. High-end presentation kits add value to any product, even video games. And that added value means a higher price tag. Which is why we’re about to see a lot more “Collector Editions.”

It all comes down to how to sell something for more. Items like video games can be difficult to upsell. What can you add to a video game to increase sales? In the past companies have tried to use downloadable content (DLC), such as a cool in-game weapon or costume. But digital content can be a tough sell. After all, there’s nothing to physically hold in your hand. Video game buyers still go back to the inclusives, the SWAG. They want stuff.

Hence the popularity of Collector’s Editions. Let’s cut to the chase: they are a product launch kit at their core. It starts with a custom box that can look like almost anything: a treasure chest, an ammunition locker–something iconic to a specific game. Inside is the game, of course, but with a die cut foam insert you can include almost anything. A figurine of a favorite character. Dog tags or keychains. A bonus disc or a flash drive. This organized, creative presentation kit can be the difference between someone paying MSRP for a game…and someone shelling out the big bucks.


Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of these upcoming video game launch kits.


Elite: Dangerous

elite dangerous launch kit

Packaging News reports that this crowdfunded game will come in a launch kit that includes a paperback book, a badge, and a t-shirt!

Xenoblade Chronicles reports that Wii U’s Xenoblade Chronicles is getting a presentation packaging boost including on of our favorites: a custom USB drive! That includes the soundtrack! Genius!

Street Fighter V

According to Crunchyroll, Street Fighter is getting what looks like an e-flute box housing the game and a custom statue for its Collector’s Edition.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Gamespot recently posted that the highly-anticipated installment of the Deus Ex line is getting a custom launch kit with a combination of digital and physical SWAG with its “Augment Your Preorder” campaign.

Augment. That’s an interesting word. But it’s a word that presentation packaging knows well. With something as elegantly simple as a box, you can make a product go from utilitarian to heirloom. Shelf fodder to keepsake. And gamers are paying for these augments, these upgrades. Go ahead. Check those preorder prices and tell me that high end custom packaging doesn’t add value to a product.

New Minnesota State Fair Attraction Highlights Post-Consumer Plight

The famous Minnesota State Fair opened its gates last weekend to the record-breaking masses.


Each year, the celebration seems to get bigger and bigger, hooking celebs, musicians, and national attention.

As part of our yearly tradition, I took my dad to the MN State Fair on Monday. I always love the first Monday–even though it’s almost always a scorcher. As in years past, I ate the same foods, sampled new ones, and pretty much stuffed myself silly. That’s where I live when it comes to the Fair. It’s not a success unless you have to be rolled to the parking lot.

One experience I did have that was new was noticing all the packaging. Since I’ve been writing about custom packaging, I can’t help but notice it. They always say it’s everywhere you go–but it really is. The Minnesota State Fair is known for its games, rides, music, food, and farm animals, but it’s arguably one of the biggest trade shows in the land. From the Education Building to the vendors set up in the Grand Stand, everyone is showcasing their wares, so to speak. I didn’t have a point of reference before, but now I’m noticing corrugated e-flute launch kits left and right. I’m seeing printed SBS paperboard where I used to see a novelty fan. I’m seeing diecut foam and turned edge setup boxes around every corner. The Minnesota State Fair must still remain a major hub of business.

But one of the new attractions this year really spoke to me: The Eco Experience’s “Bagnado.” The Eco Experience has always been one of my favorite attractions at the Fair. It strikes the right chord between informational and fun. This year, they’ve ramped things up with the Bagnado, a 25-foot tall plastic tornado, representing the grocery bags and packaging that are tossed away daily. In Minnesota, that number averages about 12 pounds of packaging per second!

That’s why I’m proud to be associated with Sunrise Packaging. Sure, we have eco-friendly products like corrugated cardboard boxes–even eco-friendly binders and name badges printed with soy-based inks! But on the other end, we specialize in packaging that you can keep. That you can reuse. Presentation packaging is reusable packaging. Custom boxes, laminated with aqueous print coatings are designed to stand up to the effects of repeated, everyday use. That’s more than you can say for the plastic bag, which sadly, is intended to be thrown away.

Packaging is a necessary part of our world. Business, retail, storage–it all needs packaging. But packaging you can keep, that you want to keep? That’s the bonus of presentation packaging.
Long story short, if you’re visiting the Minnesota State Fair this year, be sure to stop by the Eco Experience to learn other tips about reducing waste and reusing your post-consumer materials.

Functional Flair: The Name Badge You’ll Keep


When you were a kid, did you ever get that little pair of wings for being a “good passenger” on a flight? Or a few years down the road, did you save the name tag from your first job? Personally, I used to work for a video store and I coveted the name tags that featured upcoming movies.


Or maybe you just attended a conference–and maybe, over the course of the few days, your name badge became a part of you. It was certainly part of your outfit. For those few days, it was even more important than your jewelry, or your watch. Maybe it got you a free drink at the hotel bar after the meetings were done for the day. That’s a handy name tag.


All in all, you and your name badge got pretty tight, didn’t you? And when you got home, you just couldn’t toss it. It wasn’t just a name badge, it was a badge of courage.

custom name badges, custom luggage tags, custom tags

No matter what the event, a reusable name tag is a souvenir. A reminder of an event, no matter how mundane. But even the mundane can be a fond memory. And a good, durable name badge can bring you back.


Maybe I’m waxing nostalgic a bit, but there is something rather charming about a name badge, isn’t there? It’s your flair–your personality–summed up on your shirt. Often times it’s the first thing that defines you at a retreat or convention. It’s the difference between someone addressing you by your name and being thought of as You Look Like a Bob.


Point is, a name badge usually becomes a keepsake. So why not make it a memorable one?


A laminated quality name tag sends a message to your conference-goers the minute they check in. What are we in for? What will we come away with? What first impression is being made from writing your name on a sticker with a Sharpie?


Or use a custom name badge to send your employees into a conference or expo with a message. Matching employee name badges build a sense of teamwork and loyalty. And, on the functional side, they’ll be able to quickly recognize one of their own.


Take a page from the book of luxury packaging: full color name badges stand out. Your employees represent your business, but so does your name tag. Add your company logo. Add dates to personalize it even more. A sturdy magnet backing ensures the badge stays on and won’t damage clothing like pins–that sends a message too. Turn that weekend business retreat into a gift, rather than a burden.


Affordable, custom imprinted name badges are just the start. Heavy duty luggage tags can add that flare to your luggage or lanyard. Make your bags easily identifiable at the baggage claim, or during the bustle of checking the overhead compartments when the flight lands.

Functional flair. That’s what you get with Dura™ reusable name badges.

durable, magnetic, reusable name badge presentation packaging custom name badges and ID tags, luggage tags, zipper tags

6 Eco Friendly Ideas for Post-Consumer Corrugated Cardboard



So What Do You Do with Your Custom Corrugated Boxes After They Serve Their Purpose?


Recycle them, of course. That’s obvious. We all know that generating post-consumer waste is nearly unavoidable in the retail market, but corrugated cardboard is an eco friendly post-consumer fiber that is easily recycled. And it’s place in retail as light-but-durable packaging is widely celebrated.


But how are you going to recycle it? I’m not talking about the route you take to the recycling center. I’m talking about the step in between. You know about that step, right? The part where your post-consumer corrugated cardboard becomes the key to crafting? The doorway to imagination? I mean, you’ve heard about that, right?


Custom corrugated boxes are eco friendly. But they’re also kid friendly. You’ve seen it before: some birthday or Christmas where the box gets more mileage than the toy inside. Kids love cardboard. Parents: don’t be discouraged by this–embrace it! Get that kid a box and let them go hog wild!


Recently, I wrote about how corrugated cardboard has been vital to prototyping my own board game. Yes, the cardboard box has become coveted in my household. Brown Gold, we call it. But it got me thinking: there’s a lot of awesome ways for kids to use corrugated cardboard boxes that can be quite beneficial to their creativity (and the environment). Here’s a few, just off the top of my head.


Make a Puzzlepost-consumer corrugated cardboard for custom board games and puzzles

Puzzles are one of the most timeless toys in history. Going to the store to pick one out is fun…but how about making one? Take a piece of corrugated cardboard and either draw right on it, or glue on a picture. Flip it over and sketch out the pieces. The cutting part might need a little supervision–or maybe an adult with an Exacto knife–but at the end, you’ll have a thick, sturdy puzzle made to your exact specifications. Definitely a good project for a rainy afternoon.

Make a “Layer Sculpture”

Keep those scissors handy. Break down some corrugated cardboard boxes and cut out a base for your sculpture. Essentially, you’re going to become a 3-D printer, crafting your little statue layer by layer from the ground up. Stencil out the next piece so that it fits within the confines of the base, and so on and so on. Eventually with a little stacking and glue, you’ll have a layer sculpture. A castle spire, the Statue of Liberty. You can even make yourself that Academy Award you’ve always deserved.


Make a Giant Interactive Board Game

Now this use for corrugated cardboard will really get you moving around! Breakdown a repurposed cardboard box or two. Or three, or four, or five. (A good old B-Flute RSC Box would be perfect.) Use the flaps as spaces for a giant board game. Get out the markers and crayons to add rules and regulations to the spaces. Collect 200 Pennies or Win a Candy Bar or whatever! Half the fun of making a board game is making up the rules. And making a giant, fully-interactive board game that can go around the house, through the yard, or all of the above will definitely getting the creative motors running. And don’t forget the giant cardboard box dice! 


Make Room!

Sure this is fun for kids, but it’s also good for parents, right? Use some repurposed cardboard boxes to create a den of storage cubbies. Or turn existing shelving a little more personal and private by creating custom drawers for each member of the family. Everybody needs more space. Stack’em up and see that precious floor space you’ve been missing!


Make Stencils

I use this a lot in my board game design when I need to draw a particular shape or symbol over and over again. Take a sturdy piece of corrugated cardboard and cut out a cool shape. Now you have a template for drawing shapes again and again, and the best part is they’ll be personalized to what you like drawing! Maybe you’re a 5-leaf clover fan, or partial to crescent moons! The options are endless!


Make a Robot

box bot, eco friendly idea for post-consumer corrugated cardboard



I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t suggest making a robot to someone. But a custom box made of corrugated cardboard makes the perfect robot parts. 5 or 6 of them stacked together make for all the components of a robot. With very sizes and shapes of boxes, you can make a pretty unique bot. Make it a mini, or life-sized. Just try not to give it artificial intelligence–I’ve heard that ends poorly.





Whew! That should hold you for awhile, right? Two rainy saturdays, at the very least. These ideas are all fine and well, but it’s important to remember what it means for the environment. Every time you get a little more use out that custom packaging or corrugated box before the recycling bin, you’re contributing to the fight against post-consumer waste. Granted the eco friendly nature of corrugated cardboard plays its part in that battle, but why not get something creative out of the deal while you’re at it? After all, it’s a lot easier to utilize something than figure out how to properly dispose of it.