Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

For good reason, retailers and companies are increasingly concerned with the re-usability of packaging. Using materials that can be recycled and reused is not only good for the environment, but a selling point to eco-conscious customers. Recycling thermoformed packaging is one reason Sunrise Packaging loves promoting our thermoforming processes, but not the only one.

We turned to the current industry analysis and trends on industrial thermoform packaging material market to find out why this style of customized inserts and packaging is rapidly increasing in popularity.

Reasons to Love Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

It’s good for the globe.

Recycling plastic leads to a robust second life for a variety of products (see what kinds of plastics can be recycled). With the majority of thermoformed materials meeting the requirements for recycling initiatives, it allows consumers to buy with confidence. On a grander scale, it reduces greenhouse gasses and pollution, as well as the waste filling up dumps and natural environments. 

It’s good for the consumer.

And in more ways than you might think. It takes less energy to make products from recycled plastic than it does using virgin materials. It saves on oil, which in turn makes more oil available for heating homes and other uses. That’s just one example of how recycling thermoformed packaging helps the collective and not just individuals.

It’s good for your organization.

Thermoforming has a lot of advantages. It’s ligthweight but solid. It’s environmentally-friendly while providing stiff storage for products. Additionally, more and more products require the versatility offered by custom plastic packaging. Wood and glass can’t promise a moisture-free, odor-free environment that also blocks light. Oh, and while keeping weight and shipping costs down. 

Upcycling For The Greater Good

Upcycling‘ is becoming an increasingly popular term to further clarify recycling. It means taking a product and reusing it for a new purpose. But in such a way that creates a product of higher quality or value. It’s not exactly a new idea–there must have been some inventive upcycling going on through the Great Depression, right?–but it’s gained traction in our eco-friendly society. 

Choosing packaging that can be re-purposed is more than just a fiscal decision. As people become more educated about making choices, trends show that the demand for recyclable packaging will grow. Get ahead of the game by working with Sunrise Packaging to create recyclable thermoformed packaging!

2017 Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging Trends

Trends come and go, and this is especially true of the ephemeral world of fragrance and cosmetic packaging. Certain features and styles--cigar style boxes, magnetic closures, custom setup boxes, etc.--tend to be more prominent in some years than others. Cosmetics and fragrances are a dynamic division of packaging; they're subject to the whims of the fashion world, but loyal customers tend to be drawn to both respectful tradition for the past while enjoying modern innovation. What would Chanel No. 5 be without its stark, elegant style? It's a tall order for any designer to incorporate all these elements. 

However, there are some constants in this ever-changing industry as identified by Cosmetics Design. These guidelines aren't specific only to fragrance and cosmetic packaging, but could be incorporated into the style of any industry that desires their packaging to be creative yet artful and address commercial interests. 

Fragrance & cosmetic packaging

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging as Art

According to the Pratt Institute 2016 recipient for fragrance packaging design, FangYi Chu, the most important aspect of design is storytelling: 

Through the creative direction, including logo, fonts, and color, the story can be displayed to everyone.

In this sense, custom packaging should endeavor to embody a narrative that speaks to customers. 

Resourceful Innovation & Packaging

Concerns have arose across customer bases when it comes to sustainability. Buyers are becoming hypersensitive to sustainable sourcing and eliminating waste, yet desire usable and functional packaging that is also aesthetically pleasing. At Sunrise Packaging, we can utilize recycled materials for boxes as well as employ other eco-friendly techniques in finishing as well as other stages. 

Cost-Effective Packaging

"Cost-effective" encompasses many things. Obviously, cost is one part of it. It can reflect size, meaning that customers are finding value in smaller cosmetic packages which makes them easier to carry for travelling. All in all, as Cosmetics Design points out, it means a smaller commitment from the customer. The increased ability of customers to peruse the world via the Internet means that they don't only have to buy from big name retailers who carry big name cosmetics and fragrances. They can purchase from anywhere, and the selection means that customer loyalty can easily shift. It's an opportunity and a detriment to the market. In this sphere, creative fragrance and custom cosmetic packaging could make or break whether a customer returns or not. 

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging

Trends are usually cyclical, but when it comes to hyper-stylized industries, those trends take to take on new twists. With some foresight, designers can find inspiration while retaining classic elements. 

For more information on the topic, refer to:

2016 fragrance packaging trends that will still matter in the New Year

By Deanna Utroske, 21-Dec-2016

Novelty beauty packaging comes and goes, but a few trends Cosmetics Design covered this year will carry over into 2017—for fine fragrance and perhaps some other categories as well.

Design a Conference Badge that Doesn’t Suck

Conference organizers always try to find ways to make their events unique and memorable, but there are some things which should be standard. Attendees, particularly those who might have had to deal with unpredictable flights or transportation/hotel issues, will always appreciate a streamlined check in process. It's a process where Occam's Razor is well-applied: the simpler, the better. This definitely goes for conference materials, like the conference badge. 

Some conference materials are necessary evils: the plethora of paper collateral from sponsors, the (usually) hideous conference bag, and sometimes a conference tee designated to become bottom-drawer filler. Or, if you attend a lot of technology conferences like I do, it's worn daily by some of the less hygienic attendees for the conference duration. All things considered, most of these materials are expendable. It makes sense to refocus on the one thing that attendees will use and reuse: the conference badge, or name badge. Here are some tips to create a badge worth its salt. Or at least worth the irritation of remembering it daily. And, when the conference is over and the badge has served its purpose, Sunrise Packaging conference name badges are eco-friendly and completely biodegradable!

What Do Attendees Want in a Conference Badge

Choosing the style of a conference name badge can depend by industry. Tech conferences, which tend to be slightly more informal, typically use lanyards with the badge hanging around the midsection. If this is the route you want to go, be considerate of the variety of shapes your attendees come in (male, female, proportions, etc). Choose a lanyard with adjustable sizes so they can choose where it should sit. 

conference badge with name, social identity

If the conference is an industry which tends to be more formal, consider a simpler conference badge that's more of  a traditional name tag with magnetic backing. There's little more annoying than putting holes in an expensive blouse or suit. Not to mention that it might hurt the fabric. Name tags also tend to be a little more discreet and elegant. 

Design Around Attendee's First Names

What's the purpose of a conference badge? To identify the attendee as an attendee and to share their name/affiliation with folks. If space is at a premium, consider cutting last names. Some attendees also might not feel comfortable sharing their full name with rooms of strangers (networking aside). Access Event Solutions recommends the following hierarchy: 

First Name (largest font)
Last Name (slightly smaller font than first name)
Company name/title (slightly smaller font than last name)
Other information (you get the drift)

What Else Might Attendees Want in a Conference Badge

If you go the magnetic, name tag route, you're probably maxed out on space after the above. However, if you go the lanyard route, the back of the conference badge is a great spot for additional information, like: 

  • Conference schedule.
  • Wifi access information.
  • Conference hashtags/notable social channels.
  • Sponsor information (understandable to *want* to put it on the front, but lets be real: no one wants it there)
  • Embedding RFID or NFC technology within the layers of a conference badge substrate. Attendees can scan their badge to win prizes, session room counts, supply contact information to enabled vendors...the possibilities are endless.

For maximum readability, print information on the back of a lanyard upside down!  

Make a Conference Badge Attendees Want to Keep

Name tags might not serve many purposes after the conference, unless they're well-designed and not obtrusively tied to the event. Keep your conference badge design simple, and attendees will appreciate the streamlined effort. Particularly if they're already a little jet-lagged. 

Out-Of-The-Box Custom Boxes

Custom boxes or packaging are the best way to catch the eye of a customers. If your product is new to the market, unique packaging is practically a necessity. We offer a variety of cool packaging concepts, but some places take it to another level. Sometimes eco-friendly, always creative, these packages are the serendipitous results of marketing and manufacturing.

Full disclosure: we can’t personally make any of these boxes (and trust us, you don’t want to suffer through our baking skills). Sunrise Packaging focuses on custom rigid boxes, designed to high standards with luxurious finishing touches. While the products below definitely bring a unique vibe to presentation packaging, Sunrise products always convey luxury.

Our favorite out-of-the-box custom boxes are…

  1. The Pizza Box Pizza
    Vinnie’s Pizzeria in New York is reinterpreting sustainability. Their pizza box pizza is, literally, a pizza within a box made of pizza. You can eat your box, then eat the pizza. Our only question: do you get to choose the flavor of the box? (UPDATE: the flavor is non-negotiably their personal Sicilian style).

    Custom boxes made of pizza

    Courtesy of Vinnie’s Pizzeria

  2. Come Home Gazpacho Andaluz
    The quandary of how to carry multiple bottles easily and without occupying both hands has been tackled in the liquor world, but not so much in other food and beverage arenas.  Gazpacho Andaluz answers that question with this box. It’s a one-handed operation with proper weight distribution. We’re loving the minimal, yet iconic, design. Sunrise doesn’t use these types of materials.  Our focus is on higher-quality and resistant types of packaging, but this is definitely a custom design.

    Custom boxes holding gazpacho

    Courtesy of Come Home

  3. Nude Jr. Strawberry Milk
    Milk comes from cows. Strawberries come out of the ground. Put them together, and the packaging is what you get. If drinking out of a strawberry-inspired udder is weird, don’t worry. The opening is at the top.  While Sunrise does do custom plastic packaging, this isn’t one of them.

    Custom boxes and packaging for strawberry milk

    Courtesy of Nude Jr Strawberry Milk

  4. Sapore di Nonna Pasta
    Pasta. One of the few foods that’s completely scalable in how it’s prepared, and enjoyed equally by poor college students and those in higher tax brackets. It’s delicious.  Not in our wheelhouse, but fun. This product includes pasta and the spices to enhance it, but here’s the catch: it’s actually an invitation to Sapore di Nonna’s launch party.

    Custom boxes and packaging for pasta and invitation

    Courtesy of Breno Cardoso

While all of these custom boxes are unique, there are several other aspects that went into their creation and design. Each one houses not only a product, but embodies the brand as well. The best custom boxes are the result of collaborations, both internally and with vendor selected to create it. As one of the premiere creators of custom boxes and packaging in Minnesota, Sunrise Packaging works closely with clients to develop quality products that reflect the organization.

Sunrise Packaging works closely with clients to create memorable experiences.  Rather than the above, though, we use other methods. Like foil stamp packaging, thermoforming, and turned edges, to name a few. What do you want to convey with your packaging?

How a Custom Wrap Affects Customers

SoftTouch


The heart (or maybe the skin) of luxury packaging is the custom wrap material. From plain paper adorned with digital print to exotic textures and patterns meant to replicate snakeskin or cheetah spots, the appearance of a box is first and foremost the eye-catcher. I like to think of the custom box material as the first line of advertising. If you can’t stand out on the shelf, how are you going to compete at the brick and mortars?

Tactile and Tactical

If the look is the first line, the feel of custom packaging is the second. But this tactile phase in the retail battle is arguably the most important. There’s something about actually holding a product that really turns things up to 11.

I used to work at a big-chain retail store. We’d often had “contests” which were more like daily sales goals for a specific product. If it was some sort of plush or pillow, I knew it was game over. All I had to do was hand the product to somebody, let them walk around the store with it, and by checkout time, they just had to buy it. Why? Because you just can’t help grow attached to something you’re holding onto. But if you don’t have a sales floor extraordinaire like myself hoisting your product into the empty arms of consumers, then you have to go for the next best thing: the two-punch combo of attractive and tactilely-pleasing packaging. The custom box that you just have to pick up, and that you just can’t put down.

Sure, it all boils down to the product within, but you can’t deny the power of a first impression. It’s just as true for luxury packaging, if not moreso.

Packaging manufacturers are always looking for the next big trend in materials, textures, wraps, and designs. And we love a good challenge. The old “form follows function” has given us some very distinct/cool/practical/innovative box designs. But inventing a texture is even trickier. A recent story from Packaging Europe tells the tale of a how a company’s request for a very specific paper lead one of the oldest paper mills to create one of the newest trends in packaging.

Are You Swayed by Suede?

James Cropper, a “luxury paper” company, was asked by Spain-based LOEWE to create a paper with a feel of suede for their new product packaging. Carvetian Suede–so named for James Cropper’s historical stomping ground–is a textured paper that mimics the feel of suede. Not only does it feel like the classy material, but it improves upon it by being biodegradable. James Cropper uses at least 40% recycled materials to create this exotic custom wrap.

Carvetian Suede custom wrap material by James Cropper

Maybe you don’t have to wrap your box in suede, but the lesson here is to always be mindful of your product packaging. The luxury in “luxury packaging” shouldn’t be mistaken for frivolous or exorbitant. What it’s really about is showing your customers you believe in your product, that you value it. And, perhaps more importantly, that they will too.

Image: jamescropper.com

Premium Packaging Just as Important for E-Retailers

customized magnetic boxes with turned edges and soft touch lamination,

We’ve made a case or two (or three, or five) for how important presentation packaging is to the retail market. Custom retail boxes adorned with the trappings of luxury packaging are the eye-catchers and head-turners of brick and mortar stores. Think about it–how many times have you been drawn to some creative or colorful packaging only to find out it’s something you’re not in the market for. But maybe you became in the market for it.

That’s how it works. At Sunrise, we consider premium retail packaging is the first line of offense in a good marketing strategy. (It’s also the first line of defense in theft-protection, if you want to get technical.) Wow your audience at the very first site.

This is great for physical locations, but what about the Web? E-retailers (think Amazon) have stuck mainly to simple corrugated cardboard packaging. After all, a box for shipping just needs to be functional, right? Not according to a new article from Independent Retailer urging eTailers to “ditch the brown box.”

Dotcom Distribution’s Maria Haggerty’s stance on internet retailer packaging is fueled by points similar to the case for standard retail packaging. The main point seems to be that no matter the source, packaging for e-retailers needs to fulfill the same goals. Turn heads and catch eyes. Add value to the product within. Make you as a consumer feel good about your purchase. Even when you know what’s inside, there is something sort of empty about tearing into a plain cardboard box.

Haggerty goes on to mention how important premium packaging is to social media. From unboxing videos to packaging damaged in shipment, retail packaging makes its way into social forums. When a box is beat up in transit, most of the time folks will take to social media, telling their story and even posting pics to Facebook, Twitter, etc. Haggerty believes this tradition of only posting the bad can be combatted by high-quality and highly creative packaging. Something that’s worth posting just because it’s beautiful or cool. It’s true that people generally find it easier to complain than to boast about products and their packaging, but high-end luxury packaging could be a turning point for that sentiment.

“Forty percent of consumers said branded packaging makes them more likely to share a product image or video on social media, and consumers are 1.5 times more likely to share pictures of gift-like boxes than traditional brown boxes on social platforms.” – Maria Haggerty, Dotcom Distribution

It’s tough to take a side on this one. On one hand, we couldn’t agree more that custom boxes and presentation packaging are a crucial element to sales and marketing a product. On the flip side, it’s hard to deny how perfect corrugated cardboard packaging (aka the old reliable brown box) is for shipping. Ships in flat-packed bulk to start, cushioned along the way, and ends up being recycled thanks to its naturally eco-friendly nature.

Of course, there are middle of the roads to this issue. Our instant rigid boxes, for example, ship flat, but have all the adornments of luxury packaging. E-flute is a corrugated product that can be nearly as flashy as chipboard. And if you’re looking to keep packaging green (a selling point in of itself) there are options such as soy-based inks and aqueous coatings.

Instant Rigid Box_premium packaging trendsElf3

What it comes down to is that packaging can make a product appear to be a gift–even if it’s a gift to yourself–and there’s a certain pride and joy that comes from opening a gift. The retail arena knows this, and it’s time the e-retail business catches up.

Adventures in Cardboard

2-bryant-castle

Remember the good ol’ days of local kids getting together? Having an adventure? Using their imaginations instead of plugging into the nearest tablet or computer? Being outside for a change?

It seems like an eternity between the days when kids were begging to go outside and play, gathering up props and materials that would become swords and costumes. And it’s not just on the kids’ end–parents find it harder and harder to be able to facilitate these adventures what with work schedules.

Fortunately, there’s a group that’s doing something about it. And they’re doing it with cardboard.

lillianworkingIt’s called Adventures in Cardboard, an organization that aims to end “nature deficit disorder” by hosting workshops and events for youth from around the Twin Cities area. A large part of these workshops consist of activities like Arms & Armor and Giant Castle in which corrugated cardboard plays a big part. Boxes are turned into swords and armor. Spires and helmets. Local playgrounds are decorated with OCC (old corrugated cardboard) to create giant castles. The kids don cardboard armor and play out adventures, flexing both their imaginations and art skills.

Corrugated packaging like cardboard boxes is ideal for things like this. Pinterest is filled with ideas for cardboard box art, crafts, even furniture. What makes it so great is the low cost and the fact that it’s eco-friendly. It’s 100% recyclable nature makes it the perfect material for an organization like Adventures in Cardboard to use. On top of these features, history shows us that there’s just something about cardboard that unlocks the imagination. It’s something everyone seems to have access to and is great for so many versatile uses.

These same reasons make it great for custom boxes as well.

Currently, Adventures in Cardboard is running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a sort of scholarship which would allow even more children to attend. Children that normally could not. Visit the link above for more info, and check out Sunrise Packaging’s blog for more ideas on what to do with corrugated cardboard.

Images: Julian McFaul/Adventures in Cardboard

Breaking News for the Future of Corrugated

custom corrugated boxesThe Corrugated Forecast is Looking Bright

According to a press release earlier this morning, the corrugated packaging market is projected to increase by 5% from now until 2020. 5% may not seem like much, but when the industry was already valued at 150.1 billion in 2014…well, the technical term is a “boom.”

But why? Why would the oldest, most basic form of packaging be forecasting such big numbers in a world of smart packaging and luxury customizations?

Maybe because cardboard is timeless. Almost literally. A classic packaging product, corrugated cardboard is still the most functional. Thanks to its fluted walls, cardboard boxes provide lightweight-but-durable cushion for a variety of products big and small. It can be printed upon for clarity of product. It ships flat, which is a huge space (and money) saver. Thankfully, it’s also eco-friendly, being recycled itself and recyclable in turn. Yes, corrugated cardboard really is a miracle material when it comes to custom packaging.

But, seriously, why the boom?

It’s hard to believe in a world of smart packaging–interactive, trackable retail boxes–the cardboard box could even compete. After all, in their basic form, corrugated cardboard boxes are sort of the ugly duckling of packaging. However, it’s hard to compete with its shippibility. For starters, it ships flat and in bulk which is nearly priceless to business owners. Once assembled and filled, that same lightness that makes it cheap to ship incoming keeps shipping rates low on the outgoing.

Tuck TabOne Piece Folder

And, if you hadn’t noticed, e-commerce is booming like never before. There’s your answer: corrugated packaging is riding the wave of internet sales. Think Amazon. Think Loot Crate. Think any of those ______-of-the-Month clubs. Everything from craft beer to razor blades have a monthly shipment service these days, and corrugated cardboard packaging is keeping the bulk of these products safe in their travels.

While many online subscription clubs have embraced the eco-friendly look of cardboard, they are not without personalization. Many of these companies rely on YouTube unboxings for their advertising. Often times, companies like Loot Crate and Nerd Block will send out sample products to be opened live in YouTube clips–a hybrid of testimonials and demonstration videos. That on-the-spot Christmas Morning feel of seeing the products opened for the first time really makes the packaging the star of the show–or at the very least, the opening act. Now more than ever, custom cardboard boxes for retail need to be unique and visually appealing. Will presentation packaging see the same boom?

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.

6 Eco Friendly Ideas for Post-Consumer Corrugated Cardboard

 

cardboard-boxes1

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.