Shoeboxes. They protect our precious shoes from the time they’re manufactured and shipped to the retailer until the moment we get them home. Then most of us end up tossing the box in the trash or recycling it to save space in our closet. But what if there were a way to upcycle your shoeboxes?
Why Upcycle Shoeboxes?
You might be thinking, “Well, I don’t buy that many shoes so it’s not that much waste compared to other areas of my life.” Consider this: According to a Glamour magazine article, the average woman spends $25,000 on shoes in her lifetime. That huge figure buys her an average of 469 pairs of shoes throughout her life.
Close your eyes and visualize 469 shoeboxes sitting in front of you. Then picture yourself carrying all of those boxes out to the trash. That’s a lot of waste, right?
Of course, we know that you would recycle those boxes, not throw them in the trash! But reusing things is even better than recycling. And there are so many ways you can upcycle shoeboxes into useful new things! They’re especially great for inventive storage solutions for your home and office.
So, if you’re looking for a new upcycling project, check out this list of ways to upcycle shoeboxes into beautiful organizational tools. You just might find a project (or several) you fall in love with!
1. Ribbon Organizer
If you’re the crafty type, you may have a lot of ribbon lying around. I know all too well how easily it unspools and becomes a huge mess. This shoebox ribbon organizer is the perfect solution to your ribbon storage challenge.
2. DIY recharge station
The concept for this upcycle project is very similar to the ribbon organizer project. You can turn a shoebox into a handy recharge station. You won’t have to worry about where the right charger is because you’ll have them all neatly organized in one place.
3. Pretty storage box
While this tutorial uses a tissue box, you could make a pretty storage box even more easily out of a sturdy shoebox. If you’re a KonMari Method follower, this box would be great for organizing your sock drawer or other spaces that need dividers!
4. Decorative wall shelves
Wall shelves from shoeboxes? Well, you can’t store your books in them, but these shoebox wall shelves are great for displaying lightweight decorations and can add a pop of color to your room. All you need is a few shoeboxes, a little spray paint, decorative paper, scissors, a glue stick, a screwdriver, and two screws, and you’ll have everything you need to make pretty, yet affordable, decorative wall shelves.
5. Fabric desktop organizer
Do you have trouble keeping your desk nice and tidy? How about making a desktop organizer from a shoebox and some pretty fabric? The great thing is you can choose any fabric to match your décor. This makes a great organizer for cosmetics, too!
6. Chalkboard painted shoebox lids
Do you need an easy place to leave messages for your family when you’re in a hurry? Instead of spending a bunch of money on a new whiteboard or chalkboard, consider making your own chalkboard painted shoebox lids. You can use them to write notes or as creative wall hangings for your home.
7. Cable and cord organizer
Do you have 5,000 cables lying around your home? Do you have trouble finding the cable you need when you need it? Then it sounds like it’s time to get organized! You can make your own cable organizer using a shoebox and toilet paper rolls. This DIY project works perfectly to keep all of your cables organized so you can find them quickly when you need them.
8. Viewable shoe storage
Using shoeboxes to actually store shoes doesn’t sound so inventive, but this idea for making viewable shoe storage from normal shoeboxes is! Instead of piling boxes of shoes in your closet where they are “out of sight, out of mind,” now you can see exactly what you have so a pair of shoes won’t get lost in the clutter. All you need is a shoebox, a piece of PET plastic, and some double-sided tape.
9. DIY earring organizer
Tired of trying to find the missing earring when you’re in a rush in the morning? It can be easy to misplace an earring when they’re all jumbled together in a jewelry box. You can stop the madness by making your own earring organizer from a shoebox. Just poke some holes in the lid, and you have the perfect place to mount your earrings so you can always find the ones you want.
10. Seed organization box
Do you need an easy way to organize your seeds while you wait for spring to roll around? Just make your own seed organization box out of two shoeboxes. It’ll keep everything tidy in one place and you won’t find any more spilled seed packets around (not that I’ve ever experienced that!).
11. Two-tiered sewing kit
Having trouble keeping your sewing supplies organized? This DIY two-tiered sewing kit will keep them handy. You’ll need a shoebox and other upcycled materials from around your home, as well as some pretty paper, to bring your sewing kit to life.
Feature image credit: AllWomensTalk. Originally published on September 27, 2016, this article was updated in November 2020.