by Tara Tiger Brown

December 26, 2014

Back in my homeland of Canada we celebrate ‘Boxing Day.’

It's origins date back to the 17th century when it was about giving to those in need, but today it is just an excuse to go shopping. In case you are all shopped out, I bring you a list of creative things to do with leftover holiday boxes.

1. Build your own games

Bored of playing the same two board games in your closet? Design your own games! This is a super fun family activity to do. You can make mini golf, pinball and so much more.

2. Cosplay as a robot

If you have never cosplayed as a robot, now is the time to do it. Find a super giant box that will fit over your entire body or one box for your head and one for your body. Be sure to cut out eye holes so you can see and you’re all set. You can really get into it.

3. Mount a moose head

Did I mention that I’m Canadian? Well, then of course I have to share a project with a moose. 

4. Operate a robotic arm of your very own

Of course you need to build yourself a giant computer-controlled robotic arm. I am especially fond of this one because it reminds me of the Canadarm on the International Space Station.

5. Build a spaceship that really flies

Manually flying space heroes with bicep power can get really tiring (my 6 year old tells me this all the time), so how about adding some motors to a cardboard spaceship and letting a battery power them across planet casa? We flew NASA Barbie and Niles from One Direction across my house. I don’t know why I didn’t think to add a second line and turn it into a race </hint>.

6. Win the cardboard challenge

Start prepping for next year's Cardboard Challenge. Participants around the world make everything from arcades to houses to masks to fantastical creatures. Start prototyping with your leftover holiday boxes and prepare to wow them.

7. Relax​

Feeling tired after the holidays? Make a chair, put your feet up, and relax for a little bit.

8. Set design for 'Kitten Fury"

I just watched 'Fury' so this one caught my eye. I'm not condoning anything, it's just a kitten in a cardboard tank!

9. Wear a Minecraft Steve head

I’ll admit it, I paid $20 for a pre-made Steve head. Don’t be like me, make your own because Minecraft is about crafting and not consuming.

10. Get designy and make a desk lamp

I especially like how this DIY'er talks about making her gluing experiences more pleasurable. I am so with her. Glue is almost as bad to deal with as glitter.

11. Tidily store your electronics

A storage container for electronics made of, yep, you guessed it, cardboard. I’m pretty excited about this one because Luz and I have been trying to think about how the boxes that we send the kits in can be integrated into the projects.

Bonus round​

Truth be told, one of my favorite past times is to watch one of the most famous cats on the internet, Maru, dive in and out of boxes.

I would love to hear how you are upcycling your boxes this year. Please comment below!

About the author 

Tara Tiger Brown

Tara Tiger Brown is a technologist and author exploring the intersection of the environment, education, and wellbeing.

As founder and CEO of KitHub, she develops STEAM education programs focused on hands-on learning and environmental monitoring.

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