the wacky work of cardboard

It’s no surprise that here at Beyond the Box, we love cardboard. As well as being a fantastic sustainable packaging material, (as it is recyclable, renewable and reusable), cardboard is also  extremely versatile. And, as many brands and businesses become more environmentally conscious, you may have spotted cardboard or other forms of paper-based materials popping up in some unusual places…

As Heinz recently announced a rollout of renewable paper packaging by 2025, the first paper bottle of tequila soon launching, and Phillip Schofield will soon be taking over the world in cardboard , we wanted to share some our favourite wacky and wonderful creations made from cardboard.


cardboard tentsAttending a festival this year? Why not swap your usual humble abode for a cardboard tent? With around 250,000 tents left at festivals across the UK every year, cardboard tents offer a solution to one of music festivals’ biggest problems – waste.

Traditional tents are an affordable and durable choice of accommodation when attending a festival, but they are often disposed of or left behind at the end of the event. Made from polyester and nylon, these tents are difficult to recycle and can takes thousands of years to decompose.

Meanwhile, these cardboard tents are layered with a waterproof coating (they are still 100% recyclable), easy to pitch, fully recyclable and biodegradable if not packed up to take home – plus they’re darker than your standard tent, so you can fully enjoy your morning lie-in.

Cardboard tents are also easy to decorate, so you will have no problem searching for your tent after a jam-packed day (or night) of partying. And when you’re ready to go home, simply add to the recycling bin or even reuse for your next trip.


Who knew that cardboard packaging materials could make such a stylish interior? MIO has created cardboard separation walls, which can be used in several different ways: room partitions, decorative screens, colourful backdrops, or even entire rooms.

There are many benefits of using corrugated cardboard here. As well as looking the part, the cardboard used is locally sourced and made from recycled content. These free-standing walls can be added to your curb-side recycling, just like normal cardboard packaging, once you no longer need them. This means the paper fibres used to create cardboard can be re-used again and again.


The Tokyo Olympic Games were one of the highlights of 2021 and the first to match comfort with sustainability – with the Olympic village using lightweight cardboard beds for competitors to rest.

The bed frames were used as part of a recycling initiative, which saw the beds transform into various paper products post-games. This marked the first time in history that the Olympics and Paralympics used fully recyclable and renewable materials for their bed frames.

While the thought of a cardboard bed might not initially scream ‘comfort’,  incredibly they were able to support 440 pounds and were reported to be sturdier than wood. Athletes even took to social media to prove the strength of the beds.

Plus, earning an admirable fourth and second place on Olympic and Paralympic medal tables respectively, an unusual bed certainly didn’t seem to do our GB athletes any harm!


Ready for a showstopper of a creation? Car manufacturer, Lexus, created an origami-inspired replica of one of their vehicles using 1,700 individually shaped pieces of cardboard to celebrate everything that makes Lexus unique.

Fully fitted with a functional steering wheel, wheels and a waterproof exterior – all made from cardboard of course – the car also included an electric motor, so you’d have no problem getting to your final destination.

It seems that creativity knows no bounds when it comes to cardboard inventions. Maybe Philip Schofield is right – the world will be taken over by cardboard!

Looking for a few (smaller-scale) ways to get inspired by cardboard? The Beyond the Box website has plenty of options!