Like many of you, I hate throwing away those sturdy boxes that clementines come in. It's not often that you find products packaged in wood boxes, which seems nostalgically along the lines of tea and biscuit tins. But if you go through as many clementines in the winter as we do, these boxes can quickly overwhelm your kitchen.
We have a high chair with a shelf underneath the seat, which is great for storing bibs and cloths for wiping up messes. However, the shelf itself was starting to become a mess with fabric and dishes.
Although pretty in their own right, sometimes you might want to dress up a clementine box. You can paint them or decoupage them with wallpaper or scrapbook paper. I took a box and glued some striped paper onto the sides using Mod Podge, an acrylic-based glue that's great for decoupage.
To decoupage, you just spread the Mod Podge or glue on the side of the box, lay the paper down (first cut to size of course), and then put a layer of glue/Mod Podge over the paper. This creates a smooth surface that is somewhat protected, unlike plain paper.
Because the box has some large staples on the side that hold it together, I had to cut some slits at those spots so the paper didn't bubble up. Then you just smooth those areas down when your gluing. Mod Podge takes very little time to dry, so I had my box in place within the hour.
Here are some other ideas to reuse your boxes
1. Use them for all kinds of storage throughout the house (duh!). An entire shelf of these painted or decoupaged in coordinating colors would look great. They stack nicely too.
2.. Make a window sill herb garden by lining the box with plastic and sitting some small pots inside the box. Tie some twine or garden-esque ribbon around the box for decoration. There's a nice photo here. You could also just add dirt to the box itself and plant some things.
3. After decorated, use it as a shadow box on your wall or for a classroom project like a diorama.
4. Use it for packaging a gift, like a kitchen gift box with a dish towel, a bottle of wine, or some cookies.
5. Turn it into a doll bed by adding a cushion and a tiny blanket. Or just a cushion for a cat bed (my cat is too fat for this).
6. Use it in the pantry to hold sticky and messy things like oil, honey, and syrup so that the bottom of the shelf doesn't get yucky.
7. Fill it with deer moss or real wheat grass and use it as a centerpiece for Easter. You could nestle eggs in it too.
8. You could fancy-up one of these and store extra toilet paper in it, either on the bathroom floor or on the back of the toilet.
Feel free to add some of your own ideas in the comments. I'd love to hear them.