Why not just toss all those empty matzo boxes -- the ones that always seem to pile up during this time of year -- into the recycling bin? Do something different instead this Passover. Make any or all of these eight creative super quick projects repurposing all that Pesachdich cardboard clutter. In fact these ideas are so simple your kids will probably enjoy making these DIY art projects either on their own or with your help and supervision, depending on ages and abilities.
|Image from JudaiKitsch|
The inspiration for this post comes from the mountains of matzot boxes at our house right now as much as from this Manischewitz Matzo Meal Box Passover Purse encrusted with matching colors of seed beed. This project, from the Jewish arts and crafts book JudaiKitsch, by Jennifer and Victoria Traig, has been in my personal library since it was first published back in 2002. This beautiful handbag can be made as shown with a matzo meal box or it can easily be adapted and crafted from a standard square matzo box which is about double in size, instead, following the same directions.
|Empty Matzah Box Crafts|
Added to this clever, fashion holiday accessory statement are seven of my own project ideas to make using empty matzah boxes. Even for those of you that are arts and crafts challenged, none of these crafts should take more than 10 minutes to create.
|Matzo Napkin Holder|
These handy cartons are the perfect square size for a Napkin Holder for your Pesach table, so why not make one? This is as simple as just trimming the flaps off the top end of the box. Then fill one half full with styrofoam packing peanuts or crumbled tissue paper and stand paper napkins on end inside. It will take you about 2 minutes total to make.
|Gift Box elegance emerges from an empty matzo box|
Matzah Gift Box
If you're going out for a meal during the holiday, say thank you to your host or hostess with a Matzah Gift Box that you first fill half way with packing material as with the napkin holder. Then add your sweet treats, tuck in some colored paper shred on top and give along with a nice bottle of kosher wine.
|Eco friendly cardboard box planter|
Eco Friendly Planter
Spring is here and it's time to start your tomato plants from seeds to be transplanted outdoors toward the end of May. To make this you'll carefully cut the front off the box, leaving approximately 1" border all around for strength. Then, securely tape the top box flaps shut. Finally, with the front cut out opening facing up you'll add potting soil and then plant your choice of seeds. Keep watering lightly and in a few weeks you should see sprouts popping out of the dirt.
|Family Photo Frame charms with a distressed box|
Family Photo Frame
This project, which will look nice either on your dinner table, kitchen counter or book shelf, doesn't involve any cutting at all. All you do is tape the box flaps shut. Then take a snap shot of your family and using a glue stick attach it to the front of the box, placing it strategically wherever you think it will look best. Done!
|Building Blocks so easy a child can make them|
You'll need some packing material to fill all the boxes you'd like to use for this. No cutting of the boxes is needed, all you do is use some packing tapes to seal the boxes after they're filled. Then watch your toddler stack these and knock them over again for hours.
Lace Up Toy
To make two lace up toys, cut the front and back off a box. Then using a single hole hand-held paper punch place holes about 3/4" inch from the edge and about 1" apart around the entire perimeter of each cut out square cardboard. Last, recycling an old shoelace, attach it to a corner hole and knot it so that when your child weaves the lace in and out of the cardboard it won't slip through. Believe me, I'd show you an example of this Lace Up Toy project, but my kids lost my own paper punch because it wasn't nailed down to my desk.
Cut both the front and back off a box so you have two squares of cardboard to create a pair of puzzles. Then all you have to do is cut each square in pieces, larger sizes for smaller kids and smaller, more oddly-shaped pieces for big kids. For toddlers I'd suggest just one puzzle for them to put together at a time, but for the older ones it would be more challenging if you mixed up the pieces of both puzzles you've cut up and then let them figure out what goes where.
Those empty boxes are just sitting there. What can you think of to make with yours?
|Matzo boxes seemingly piled as far as the eye can see|
Whether you decide to save your finished projects for next year or recycle them when you pack up all your Pesach dishes, pots and pans and other gear, you will certainly have fun and create lasting memories especially if you are engaging in some quality time with your children.
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