What to do with all that post Christmas wrapping madness!
Ok let’s talk cardboard. Around here it is a thing to be treasured and USED!
First of all we love it in the garden. It often goes down first when a new raised bed is made. This helps suppress the weeds and eventually just turns into garden dirt.
Another fun and unexpected way we use cardboard is simply laying a big chunk down in the chicken coop. This encourages all manners of creepy crawlers and after a week it is so fun for the kids to pull up the cardboard and watch the chickens come running…like they can smell the worms ha ha. Then you can keep repeating or just throw it in to the compost bin.
Ok, but you came here for crafting. This year we decided to do a little making with some of our leftover cardboard. The possibilities are endless of course and I’ve found kids usually don’t even need prompts with cardboard. Something innate inside them lights up and ideas immediately start firing. Of course with each age the outcome and supplies needed differ.
With a toddler they just need a box. A box. But we know this, so to spice it up just add in a canvas drop cloth or old bedsheet and some non-toxic paint. I love making my own paint for this purpose using pigment froms https://www.naturalpigments.com/. This is what I typically use in my classes. Bonus for homeschool parents is you can build a whole lesson around where pigments/color come from and the kids love making paint!
With the older kids I love just throwing all manner of random things for them to attach via glue or wet paint to their towers, tv’s and crazy creations. Think flowers, feathers, sticks, wool, acorns, and of course washi tape : ).
We also tried out a new idea this year by making a cardboard ornament decorated with wrapping from this year. I’m not sure about most folks but I usually have a theme every holiday season which can be as simple as a color scheme or as complicated as “folk art Christmas”. So each year we have different wrapping paper and different ways we’ve hand wrapped and decorated the gifts so an ornament that encapsulates that really means something special to our particular family tradition. For example one year we let fiber be our theme so we decorated the tree with the worlds longest finger knitted garland in the softest chunky cream color. So for an ornament we might cover a cardboard cut out of a sheep with fun yarn, each kid could have their own unique sheep to make and pull out year after year remembering what their younger hands made together with their siblings. The possibilities are endless and I am loving this new way to incorporate our wrapping leftovers with new traditions that melt so easily into our existing ones.
If the crafty cardboard idea is sparking something in you I recommend you check out https://www.artbarblog.com/. Barbara is a superstar on using things we all have around the house to foster creativity and deepen imagination.
And at the end of the day if it all seems too much just add your cardboard to all those fall leaves in a contained pile and wait a season or two for soil magic to happen ( wink!).