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Recycled corrugated packing material pillow boxes

January 20, 2012

This is a pillow box. Cute, eh?

I am always getting packages full of packing material I just KNOW has a higher purpose. I’ve had a roll of this corrugated packing  material staring at me for a few months:


Yep. That's corrugated packing material. I cut it into a square to pose for this photo.

I finally found its purpose: pillow boxes for treats for Little Man’s preschool class. I feel pretty brilliant about this. (The brilliant part actually comes later, though. Hold on to your seats.)

Step One: Cut the corrugated packing material into a square or rectangular shape. My square here is about 5″ by 5″. Or maybe it’s 6″ x 6″. It doesn’t really matter unless you’re creating pillow boxes for something specific, in which case I have absolute faith in you to figure out how big to cut your corrugated stuff. Experimenting is fun!

Step Two: Create a tube out of your corrugated. I used packaging tape for this. It seemed appropriate, since I’m dealing with packing material. It’s a mailroom kind of project.


Put some tape on the inside of one of the sides parallel to the corrugation.


Now, it's a tube. Behold, the miracle of sticky tape.

Step Three: Put the seam side down and squish the tube.


Seam side down: check. Squishing: check.


Squish that sucker all the way flat.

Step Four: Prepare yourself to be amazed.

Are you ready?

As any good origamist knows, the key to a good fold is a good score. You must score the corrugated cardboard in a curved line in order to be able to create a neat curved fold. You can’t have a pillow box without a neat curved fold. It’s just physics. If you’re making pillow boxes out of cute cardstock or something, you’ll need a scoring tool and something curved to guide your scoring tool.

But if you’re making pillow boxes out of recycled corrugated packing material, all you need is a drinking glass. (Or maybe a canning jar.) (That’s the brilliant part, in case you missed it.)


Put a glass upside down onto the end of your tube, make the tube edges intersect with the perimeter of the glass, push down hard, and twist a little. Do this on both sides of both ends.



Step Five: Fold on the scored lines.


Fold. I really have nothing else to say about that.

Step Six: Put something in your pillow box, embellish it however you like (if you have a glue gun and some buttons, you know what to do), and tie a ribbon around it. DONE.


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