Who doesn’t love ordering a pizza? From choosing the toppings to enjoying the warm, gooey slices and (best of all) avoiding having to cook a meal, it’s a treat the whole family can get behind.
The only downside to ordering pizza is the box. Because once you’re finished with your pizza, that’s what you’re left with — a giant piece of cardboard that only gets thrown out. If you’re a responsible recycler, and if you try to be conscious of the amount of waste produced by your household, this huge pizza box can seem like an enormous waste.
But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if we told you that there’s a whole host of fun pizza box crafts and activities you can do after your pizza is gone? That’s right, today we want to walk you through some of the most fun DIY pizza box projects out there, helping you get a second use out of your pizza box while also learning a fun new craft.
The Importance of Recycling
These days, almost everyone is aware of how important it is to recycle. After all, anything you put in the garbage can is destined for a landfill, and landfills cause a whole host of problems. On a superficial level, they’re unattractive and can present a large, ugly spot on an otherwise beautiful space while also releasing huge amounts of garbage smell in the air for miles in every direction. But there are even more serious problems as well.
Landfills are responsible for releasing greenhouse gases and other harmful toxins into the air. These gases trap heat inside our atmosphere, causing increased extreme weather patterns, higher temperatures and a whole host of other alarming effects.
Putting recyclable items into your local recycling bin is a great first step, but it isn’t always the solution we wish it could be. In some cases, this recycling doesn’t make it all the way through the process of being re-used. Even if it does, most recycling companies and plants don’t accept pizza boxes.
So what’s the environmentally conscious and responsible citizen of this planet to do? It’s simple. Take matters into your own hands, and try one of these fun and easy pizza box DIY projects.
What to Do With Your Leftover Pizza Box
Grab your friends and family, and see how many of these crafts you can complete. Oh, and the best part? You get to enjoy the pizza out of every box first.
1. A Cat Bed
Cats love boxes of all sizes and shapes, and your kitty has probably been eyeing that pizza box ever since it came in through the door. Why not save on buying an expensive cat bed that she’ll only abandon in favor of the nearest box anyway, and just give her the box to start with?
There’s no folding or cutting required for this option, though you might want to tear the top off to get it out of the way of your four-legged friend’s napping. For a little extra comfort, you can even grab your cat’s favorite ratty blanket to cushion the box with.
2. A Kid’s Art Easel
Art easels can be expensive, and they’re the kind of thing many kids will use once or twice before abandoning and forgetting. If your child is feeling artsy for the day, or even if you just want to try something out on this highly disposable easel before investing in something more permanent, it’s the perfect opportunity.
Start by creating a fold in the lid about a quarter of the way down the lid from the hinge. Bend this new seam so that the front three-quarters of the lid fold up at an angle, then meet this angle with a sheet of cardboard so that the two form a teepee-like shape. Connect these pieces of cardboard with tape, glue, hinges, binder clips or anything else you have that will do the job.
Lastly, notice the flat surface that’s formed by the quarter of the lid that remains before your artificial seam. This space is a perfect place to glue or tape a row of bottle caps or plastic lids, which can hold your child’s paints.
3. A Table Soccer Set
This one’s great fun to share with the kiddos, but it’s almost as much fun for adults. To start, you’ll need a pizza box, green construction paper, white paint, two pipe-cleaners, a small white pom-pom and two straws.
The construction part of this project is easy. Simply flatten both sides of the box out, then stand all the tabs and edges up. Doing so forms your “field” as well as convenient edges to keep your ball on the field instead of falling on the floor. You may need to employ a stapler, glue or tape to keep these edges together.
The decorating part of this project is where you can really go wild. Secure your green construction paper along the inside of your field to form the green turf, and use your white paint to draw in the center line and other field markings. The pipe-cleaners can be bent and shaped to form two goals. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even cut logos and labels out of cereal boxes, mac-and-cheese containers and anything else you have lying around. Then, tape these items along the field walls to make “advertisements.”
To play, you’ll use your white pom-pom as the soccer ball. Two players can each use a straw to play the game. Players will blow through the straws to attempt to move the pom-pom back and forth across the field and into their opponents’ goals.
4. A Laptop Stand
This one’s simple. Start by flattening the box out completely, including all the tabs, sides and flaps. Then, fold it back together so that it forms a gentle slope. At the bottom of the slope, you’ll want to fold a small edge up to prevent your laptop from sliding off. There should even be a hole at the back that you can easily pass a charger cable through.
5. An Outdoor Homemade Bird’s Nest
Is anyone in your household into bird-watching? If so, why not give the birds a reason to hang out at your house? By re-purposing your used pizza box, you can create a homemade nest for your birds on your porch or anywhere else you think would be a great home for your feathered friends.
For this project, you can either leave the lid attached and prop it open or tear it off altogether to assure it won’t blow closed in the wind. Then, all you need to do is collect sticks, leaves, straw and similar items. Pile them into the pizza box, and artfully arrange them into a nest-like shape.
From there, find the perfect spot to place your new bird’s nest. Ideally, it’ll be a place within view of your windows. Try a secluded corner of your porch, out on a garden bench or someplace else that’s off the ground and won’t be disturbed too often. You might sprinkle a little birdseed around it to entice the birds. Then, it’s time to sit back and wait for a bird family to come live in your luxury nest.
6. Wall Art
Take your home décor to a whole new level with this fun and easy pizza box art. The end result is gorgeous, striking and unique while also being easy enough for anyone to do.
Simply fold the pizza box back together into its original square. You may want to add a few staples to ensure that it stays shut and all the flaps stay enclosed. Then, it’s time to go shopping for some wallpaper or fabric — whichever you prefer. You’ll use this fabric to cover the pizza box, at least on one face and along the sides. This covered box will then mount on your wall and make a lovely statement piece.
Keep this project simple and small by covering only one pizza box, or expand the scope of it by covering multiples. These boxes can even be arranged on the wall in different patterns to form small pieces of one larger work of art. If you’re using more than one pizza box, feel free to mix it up by choosing different papers or fabrics, perhaps with coordinated colors or patterns. Or go monochromatic and use the same paper for all of them — it’s all about your tastes!
7. A Marble Maze
For hours of fun and frustration, try turning your used pizza box into a marble maze. For this project, you’ll need to cut the lid and the base of the box apart.
Once the lid is removed, stand all the edges up around the base so that it forms a square surrounded by walls. Eventually, you’re going to place the lid inside so that it rests an inch or two above the base instead of directly on top of it. You may need to trim off a tiny bit around the edges so that it fits inside the walls around the base.
Before the lid goes into the box, you’ll need to create your maze on its surface. You can use strips of cardboard or even popsicle sticks. Lay them on their sides, lengthwise, to create barriers and lanes for the marble to travel on. This design can be whatever you want, and it can be as simple or complicated as you desire. Finally, punch holes in the floor throughout your labyrinth to add an extra level of danger and excitement.
Once this maze is complete, it’s time to secure it inside the box. Then, all that’s left to do is to enjoy your very own homemade marble maze.
8. A Tic-Tac-Toe Board
Turn your pizza box into a giant, reusable tic-tac-toe board with the help of nothing but a little colored felt. This project requires minimal construction and is great for hours of reusable fun without using up sheets and sheets of paper.
Cut a square of white felt the size of the interior of the pizza box, and glue or staple it in the bottom. Then, use brown or black felt cut into strips to form the borders between the squares. Then, most importantly, you’ll need to cut out X’s and O’s of an appropriate shape and size to fit into the squares. For an extra visual distinction between the two shapes, use a different color for each one. For example, you might make the O’s red and the X’s yellow.
Once all your shapes are ready, it’s time to gather your friends and family for a tic-tac-toe tournament. The winner buys the next pizza!
9. A Giant Battleship Game
Who doesn’t remember playing Battleship as a kid? If you lost your copy of the game but are itching to play — or if you just want to play a giant version — we’ve got the solution for you with this pizza-box edition.
Grab a Sharpie and a ruler, and draw out the grid on the inside of both the base and the lid, labeling the edges of your grid with the appropriate letters and numbers. Because this is a two-player game, you’ll need to do this crafting with two boxes. Prop the boxes back to back with the lids open, and you’ve got a perfect setup.
When it comes to your pieces, you can use anything lying around the house. Try pieces of candy, action figures or even crumpled-up wads of paper. If you’ve got a party of all adults, you can take things to the next level and set up shots in place of your ships. Every time your opponent hits that square, you’ll drink the shot. For a more kid-friendly version, try pieces of candy, like M&M’s or Hershey kisses.
10. An Art Canvas
Whether you’ve got a houseful of kids to entertain or a group of adults looking for an afternoon of messy, artistic shenanigans, this pizza box canvas makes for a terrific day of fun.
Close up the box, and staple it shut if it seems like it’s going to be wobbling around. Then, turn it over so that you’re faced with a clean canvas. This idea works best with white pizza boxes, though you can certainly give it a try with other colors. Give each person in your group a pizza box canvas, and let everyone set to work creating their masterpiece. Let each person craft their own picture, set up a still-life or have someone pose, and have a contest to see who can best capture the image in paint.
11. A Wall Clock
No, this clock won’t actually tell the time, but it’s a great tool for any kids who are just learning how to read a clock.
Simply cut a circle out of the cardboard box, paint it a solid color, then draw on the numbers in big, colored print. Cut out two cardboard hands and pin them at the middle so that they can spin around the face. Be sure to mount the clock low enough on the wall so that your child can easily manipulate the hands.
Visit Giordano’s for Your Next Pizza Today
You can’t very well make a pizza box craft without the most important supply — the pizza box. To get one, you’ll need to order a delicious pizza from your favorite neighborhood pizza parlor. If you’re planning to order a pizza tonight, we invite you to consider our classic deep-dish pies here at Giordano’s. We’re based in Chicago, but we also have many other locations across the country — maybe even near you.