Are the Cardboard Boxes That Cool Things Come in More Fun Than the Things Themselves?

When we were little and something came in a huge box, chances are we would desperately attempt to persuade our parents not to throw it out (even if they then did so at a later date when they thought we wouldn’t notice). While, for most of us, the gleeful obsession with boxes as opposed to things wanes with age (they are things, at worst, to be thrown away, or at best recycled), there’s no denying the near universal lure that boxes hold for kids and pets alike. However, while you may insist that you’re more interested in the alleged best LED TV you bought rather than its erstwhile packaging, just stop for a moment and consider all the fun things you could be doing with it…

Make a house

Arguably, this is the classic use for a big cardboard box. Generally this requires very little alteration of the box itself (assuming it’s relatively cuboid, anyway), except perhaps the drawing on of some actual decoration. Cutting in windows is optional (though you may want a torch to hand if you don’t and don’t plan on using the top of the box as a skylight), but you will probably have to at least employ the scissors long enough to cut a door (unless you’re using the box flaps, of course).

Make a box fort

Probably one of the most common uses for a quantity of large boxes, and one that is even indulged in by the cast of popular TV show Friends at one point. Provided you have more than one big box, you can use your expert crafting skills to erect a potentially rather complex construction. This is also great if you have to sleep outside for any reason, for example staying outside in the cold for the night in aid of a homeless charity or queuing up outside a shop for a day or two to make sure you get a copy of that game you really, really want.

Make a robot costume

You may laugh, but I’ve seen a surprising number of awesome fancy dress costumes made entirely out of cardboard boxes. Robots, for obvious reasons, appear to be the most popular option; boxes are by their nature blocky, and with a few subtle alterations you can easily make yourself some epic-looking robotic armour. Simple little touches such as lining the edges of your costume with black and white striped hazard tape or sticking on some battery-operated LEDs can actually turn into something quite impressive.

Make a space ship

What more could a child (or those young at heart) want than their own spaceship? A good sized box with a window cut-out enables the captain to survey the depths of the galaxy from the bridge of his star cruiser as he boldly goes forth to fight the evil alien forces. Some good quality lasers and torpedo launchers are essential to get the battle won quickly, and in time for tea.

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