That’s A Nice Box….


One of the “nice” reused boxes the perfect size for eight skeins of wool.

I have a bag full of bags and a box full of boxes.

For years I saved paper bags for the Open House.  Especially shopping bags, but all kinds and all sizes, neatly folded and stuffed in the biggest bag of all.   Now that I’m not planning on selling art at the Open Houses anymore, I’m not sure what I’ll do with that bag of bags.

They sit in my closet, waiting to find their purpose.

I started saving boxes when I began selling the other artist’s work, from the Open Houses, online.  Throughout the year I’d save the Amazon boxes  that came to our house filled with whatever, that were just the right size for one of Jane’s pincushions or Suzy’s shawls.

I never thought to reuse boxes for shipping my own work.  The boxes I needed were basically all the same size, big enough for a quilt or pillow.

The first time I saved a box for my own work was a box long and low enough to fit one of my folded Fabric Paintings.

Lately thought,  I’ve begun to see boxes differently.

As the packages came to the house more and more frequently from Amazon, I would pause before breaking down the empty boxes and storing them in the Laundry room till Saturday when we would bring them to the Recycling Center (aka the dump).  In that pause I began to see how the box was just the right size for a quilt.  How it could perfectly fit eight skeins of wool or two pillows.

And for the first time, I wondered why I was buying boxes when they were being delivered to my house almost every day.  If I can repurposing  fabric, why wasn’t I reusing boxes.

Part of the reason is when I first started my business I wanted to make sure my packaging looked professional.  I didn’t want someone getting one of my quilts in a crappy looking box.

I still don’t.

When I reuse a box I remove all the old labels and tape which often tears the cardboard.   But instead of trying to make the box look new, I thought why not work with what I have.

So now I’m decorating the reused boxes with stickers and tape.  I can imagine adding markers to the mix too. I’m seeing it actually makes the package more interesting to look at instead of ordinary and expected.

It becomes special and unique.   The packaging almost becomes an extension of my work,  or is in keeping with my philosophy or repurposing and recycling, anyway.

I still may have to buy some boxes from time to time. But I’ve always been the kind of person who looks at a box and says, “That’s a nice box” and wants to save it.

Now I have a reason to save that “nice” box.


8 thoughts on “That’s A Nice Box….

  1. Another way to hide some of the damage done when removing old tape and labels is to use brown packing tape, rather than the clear tape…

    1. Ah David, I see you’ve thought about this too. IT’s a good idea. I’ll have to use up my stash of clear tape first. I’m thinking of adding tiny scraps of fabric or thread under the clear tape too.

  2. ” …It becomes special and unique. The packaging almost becomes an extension of my work, or is in keeping with my philosophy or repurposing and recycling, anyway. …”

    This says it all. Art on the inside, art on the outside. Perfect! Mother Earth agrees with you Maria.

  3. I do a lot of selling on eBay, and have found that it’s good to have both clear AND brown tape on hand. You will find uses for both. And yes, like you, I use recycled boxes (and that brown paper that some companies use for stuffing, as well as bubble wrap) to prepare my shipments, and I do like to make my shipping packages look as professional as possible. I prefer to use clear tape, but I use the brown tape wherever it serves the purpose of covering something unsightly on a shipping box.

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