Dry pasta is packaged in a variety of ways. We tend to buy pasta in cardboard boxes, which then end up in the recycling bin. And so, as dedicated DIYers, we finally looked at our used boxes and wondered if there wasn’t something more useful that we could do with them. That was the moment it came to us: an alternative way to upcycle old pasta boxes!

With just a few tweaks and some minor adjustments, it’s possible to transform these empty containers into practical organisers for your desk drawers or any drawers around the house. And, of course, to make your DIY organisers, pasta boxes aren’t the only option. You can use any cardboard packaging for household products such as tea, cereal, biscuits, crackers, toothpaste and even feminine hygiene products, just to name a few!

So, let’s find out how to give them a second life!

Turn old pasta boxes into drawer organisers

What you’ll need:


Step 1: Design your compartments

Set aside a few old pasta boxes that best fit the space you want to organise and take a moment to plan your project out.  For example, if you would like to organise a narrow drawer that is rather long and deep spaghetti packaging may be better suited vs. penne boxes.

Measure the drawer and sketch out the compartments on paper

To measure the drawer and sketch out the compartments on paper, take a sheet of paper and pencil and sketch out an interior view of your drawer. Using careful measurements, plan the compartments you want to build and determine the number and arrangement of items to be stored. That way, before you get started, you’ll have a clear idea of the boxes you need and the approach you want to take.

Step 2: Remove surplus cardboard

After you’ve planned it all out, it’s time to trim your boxes based on the measurements you’ve determined.

Remove cardboard you don't need to upcycle old pasta boxes

To ensure your lines are straight, use a ruler or set square for added precision. This step will get you a clean result instead of lopsided compartments.

Step 3: Open the boxes

Cut off any surplus and carefully pull the boxes apart from the area where they’ve been glued together.

Carefully open old pasta boxes

That way, instead of having a 3D box that is hard to decorate, you’ll end up with a flat piece of cardboard, which is definitely more practical and easier to handle.

Step 4: Line the inside of the boxes

Next, line the inside of the boxes. For this step, we recommend using kraft paper. It’s very thin and will make folding and unfolding easier, especially when working on the inside of the box. That said, feel free to use other types of paper.

Line the inside of the boxes using white kraft paper

To carry out this step, apply the glue stick on the inside of the box and glue a sheet of kraft paper on top. With the scissors, cut the paper between all the flaps on your box and fold the remaining edges of paper inside to finish the job. Use the glue stick to secure these edges.

Step 5: Line the outside of the boxes

Once you’ve finished lining the inside of the boxes, put them back together by gluing the areas that were initially attached.

Reassemble the old pasta boxes boxes

Next, in order to upcycle old pasta boxes you will need to line the outside of your boxes with decorative paper as if you were wrapping a gift.

Upcycle old pasta boxes with decorative paper

If you want the paper to ensure the paper sticks to the boxes properly, use the glue stick again. You can also use Sellotape or any clear tape. To make your drawer more stylish, choose different decorative paper that matches, complementary colours or line all the boxes with the same paper. That way, your drawer will be both organised and nice to look at!

Step 6: Organise the drawers!

After you’ve made enough boxes to organise your drawer, you simply need to position them inside and fill them up with items.

Upcycle old pasta boxes to organise your desk drawers

We used the boxes to organise office stationery at our desks, but you can adapt the project to any kind of drawer and items. The boxes will help you create separate compartments for a specific category of objects. As a result, you’ll find it much easier to keep everything in order.

In short, you’ll discover a new, user-friendly and practical approach to keeping things tidy that is also affordable – you just need to reuse some old boxes you’d otherwise put into the recycling!

Did you enjoy How to upcycle old pasta boxes? Check out our 12 stunning upcycled mirror frames tutorial for more creative upcycling ideas for your home!

Looking for materials for your projects? Visit our ManoMano site for all your gardening & home improvement needs!

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