This blog is about a topic that I never thought about until I went to clean out my basement.


I have quite a collection of puzzles at this point. Some are sealed in their boxes to be completed. Some are done and are boxed to be done again. But then, there are the large number of puzzles that are completed, glued, and hung on my walls. I will never do them again and don’t need to store them. As a result, I have a towering pile of empty puzzle boxes in the basement, and I was wondering what us crafty puzzle people do if we do not recycle them.

I asked the question online and found that while most people recycle them, some don’t. Here are some original ideas to use your empty boxes:

Sorting Tray: Use them as sorting trays, especially for larger puzzles. The standard trays are small, and you would need so many! I use 6 trays for 1000-piece puzzles. The empty boxes – lid and bottom – are perfect to sort a lot of pieces.

Cat sitting boxes.  I liked this fun idea. If you have a cat, then you know that they are puzzle magnets and will sit on top of your puzzle while you are working on it. This gives them their own place to sit and “supervise”.

Organization solutions – anyone watch the Marie Kondo series or read the books on clearing out clutter? The boxes can be used to store change, matches, scarves or rolled up neckties. Presumably, you have a box with an image that you like, or you wouldn’t have the puzzle in the first place, right? Use the boxes for storage and display the image again to enjoy.

Puzzle catalog. You can either save the whole box, or just cut out the image. Label it with the date and time you completed them.

Gift boxes. With the holidays upon us, why not use your favorite puzzle image to wrap a gift? A book, gloves, shirts, pajamas, even gift cards, can be wrapped in a pretty box and then the box can be used again by the recipient.  

I recycled most of them, but I did save my favorites so I can use them again someday. If I love an image, I want to see it again.

What do you think of these ideas? Let me know.