12 Ways To Upcycle Shoe Boxes

Upcycled shoebox into ribbon organizer
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Shoe boxes. 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 shoe box in the trash or recycling it to save space in our closet. Have you ever thought about how much waste that creates? What if there were a way to upcycle them?

Upcycle shoe boxes, a waste?

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 shoe boxes sitting in front of you. Then picture yourself carrying all of those boxes out to the trash. That’s a lot of waste, right?

Fortunately, there’s really no need to throw away shoe boxes. There are so many ways you can upcycle them into useful new things! Shoe boxes are especially great for creating inventive storage solutions for every area of your home and office.

So, if you’re looking for a new upcycle project to work on, check out this list of ways to upcycle shoe boxes into beautiful organization tools. You just might find a project (or several) you fall in love with!

1. Ribbon Organizer

If you’re the crafty type, you probably have a lot of ribbon lying around. I know all too well how easily it unspools and becomes a huge mess. This shoe box ribbon organizer is the perfect solution to your ribbon storage challenge.

Upcycled shoebox made into ribbon holder

A shoebox ribbon organizer is the perfect upcycle solution to your ribbon storage challenge. Image Credit: JustCraftyEnough

2. DIY recharge station

This upcycle project uses a very similar concept as the ribbon organizer. You can turn a shoe box into the perfect 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.

Upcycled shoebox - power cord organizer

Upcycle your shoe box into the perfect recharge station. Image Credit: Tasha Chawner

3. Pretty storage box

While this tutorial uses a tissue box, you could make a pretty storage box even more easily out of a shoe box. This upcycle project is perfect if you’re looking for new ways to organize your home. If you’re a KonMari Method follower, this box would be great for organizing your sock drawer or other spaces that need dividers!

Upcycled Kleenex Box

This upcycle project is perfect if you’re looking for new ways to organize your home. Image Credit: Southern Flair Crafts

4. Decorative wall shelves

Do you need a way to increase storage affordably on your walls? How about making your own decorative wall shelves from shoe boxes! All you need is a few shoe boxes, 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.

Wall art from upcycled shoeboxes

How about making your own decorative wall shelves by upcycling shoe boxes? Image Credit: Creme de la Craft

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. You can use this desktop organizer to keep your cosmetics organized, too!

6. Chalkboard painted shoe box 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 Shoe Box Lids. You can use them to write notes or even to create new decorative wall hangings for your home.

Chalkboard Painted Box Lids

Instead of spending a bunch of money on a new whiteboard or chalkboard, consider making your own Chalkboard Painted Shoe Box Lids. Image Credit: Show And Tell U

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 shoe box 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 shoe boxes to actually store shoes doesn’t sound so inventive, but this idea for making viewable shoe storage from normal shoe boxes is! Instead of having shoe boxes piled in your closet where the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play, 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 shoe box, a piece of PET plastic and some double-sided tape, and you’re set!

Upcycled shoeboxes into viewable storage

Upcycling shoe boxes into viewable shoe storage is easy to do. Image Credit: IKEA Hackers

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 stored together in a jewelry box. You can stop the madness by making your own DIY earring organizer from a shoe box. 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!

Upcycled shoebox: Earring organizer

You can stop the madness by making your own DIY earring organizer from a shoe box. Image Credit: Smart n Snazzy

10. Seed organization box

Do you need a great way to organize your seeds while you wait for spring to roll around? You can easily make your own seed organization box using two shoe boxes. 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!).

Upcycled shoebox: Seed organizer

You can easily make your own seed organization box using two shoe boxes. Image Credit: A Piece Of Rainbow

11. Paper organizer drawers

Most organization drawers you can buy these days are made from plastic. If you’re trying to minimize plastic waste in your life, consider making your own paper organizer drawers using shoe boxes. This DIY project is a beautiful way to organize any number of types of papers — from pictures to scrapbooking supplies to bills that are due. And, you won’t be adding more plastic to your home by making your own.

12. Two-tiered sewing kit

Do you have sewing supplies lying around in multiple areas of your home? You can gather them up and keep them organized with this DIY two-tiered sewing kit. You’ll need a shoe box and other upcycled materials from around your home like juice boxes and other unneeded boxes as well as some pretty paper to bring your sewing kit to life.

What’s your favorite DIY storage upcycle project using shoe boxes?

Feature image credit: Faithtap

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Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.