Make Your Old Boxes Look New Again With This Reader Tip!

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More Happy Friday

opened Amazon and Target boxes

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! 😍

This week’s Happy Friday post is all about saving on postage and shipping boxes – count me IN! Not only are these tips great for those of you who are constantly sending packages through the mail (eBay sellers, re-sellers, etc.) but they also work for anyone who sends gifts through the mail as well which I think we have all done a bit more of this past year.

And since we may be a bit plusher with boxes these days from all of the online ordering we do, we don’t need to spend money at Staples or other supply stores buying new shipping boxes 🙌 , however, it can look a bit tacky sending someone a gift in a toilet paper box. 🧻🤷‍♀️

This week’s Happy Friday reader, Tracey, has solved that problem for us! We can re-use our old boxes, and still make them look new and clean, and she’s offering us a way to save on postage too…

broke down boxes

Recently, I needed to mail a package of books to a friend who is collecting new and gently used books for her school classroom. The USPS has a great service “Media Mail” to save on postage costs, but you must follow the regulations; see their website for more info.

black mailbox outside with raised red flag on side

Although the USPS Media Mail instructions do not say that you can’t reuse a box, I thought a new box would let postal workers easily see the address and postage information. (Media Mail is subject to random searches too, so brown paper wrapping is not an option.)

We recently bought new faucets and the box was the perfect size for the books. Two minutes later, the box was inside out and was perfect for my needs. I didn’t even need any tape to reassemble that particular box.

opened Amazon, Target, and Pfister boxes and roll of tape

You can easily turn almost any box inside out for a cleaner look. Need a gift box? Just look in the pantry for the right-sized box and there you go! (My family has been known to do this many times although we don’t usually turn them inside out; the recipient instead usually thinks they are getting a box of cereal or crackers!😆) But if you want a cleaner look, it is quick and easy; all you need is a little time and some tape.

I’ve mailed many reused Amazon, etc. boxes without doing this with no problems, but it is an easy option if a cleaner look is needed or wanted.

Here are a few reasons for turning your boxes inside out…

  • A cleaner look helps postal workers see the address easily.
  • Recipients won’t wonder why they got a package from a store when they didn’t order anything.
  • Great for wrapping gifts with thin, see-through gift wrap.
  • Save money by reusing boxes as opposed to buying new ones.
  • The box can be decorated for the occasion (a fun project for the kids – decorate when unassembled and Grandma will love it!)

opened boxes and inside-out boxes side by side

Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Tracey! I can tell you right now that as I was reading through this my mind was blown.🤯  So simple, so obvious, yet I’ve NEVER even thought of this! It’s a great way to de-clutter all of our used boxes sitting in the garage, save money, and help the planet 🌎. Win, win, win! And the tip about saving on postage using the Media Mail service was an awesome bonus tip to boot!


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique tip to share?! Fill out our Happy Friday form. Every Friday, we post one submission by a Hip2Save reader (view past submissions) that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. If yours is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon eGift card!

About the writer:

Jessica holds a Business Degree and 10 years of writing experience from various deal sites including Hip2Save. Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn

Join The Discussion

Comments 17

  1. Barb

    I’m so confused, where are the directions on how to do this? Or a step by step example?

  2. Mell

    I was wondering where the directions on how to do this also read thru it didn’t see them can you have add the directions and show a example doing this too?

    • marie

      Cut all the tape on the boxes to disassemble them. There will be one side glued together that you’ll have to break apart. Then you reassemble with tape.

      • Momof3superkids

        They didn’t mention special directions because one only needs to flip/ turn the box inside out ( after cutting tapes etc) and tape it back again. The idea is to hide any names/ logos/ pictures that were printed on the original box.

  3. Amber

    After opening the top and bottom there’s usually one seam that’s glued or taped. When you undo it you’ll be left with a completely flat piece of cardboard. You put it back together then with the outside on the inside. I regularly do this with the Cheryl’s cookie boxes. They have such a pretty print inside.

  4. Laura

    Yes! I do this all the time, even when shipping items. I recently flipped an appliance box inside out to ship a 4 ft stuffed animal. Much cheaper than purchasing a large wardrobe box. Simply cut along one side with a box cutter, flip and retape. Easy peasy!!

  5. 5pink1blue

    I also reuse the bags from Gap, Carter’s, etc. when I need to ship a soft item. Turn inside out, attach a label and seal with packing tape.

  6. Stephanie

    Great idea! Thanks! I had to ship a bag to a customer and only an old Cheetos snack box fit. Lol! I’ll be doing this from now on.

  7. Pammie

    My local post man told me to grab paper grocery store bags and turn them inside out to wrap my books when using media mail. Genius!

  8. Gina

    Just wanted to add that media mail is for books, newspapers, and magazines ONLY. I sent my mom a box recently with several of those items in it, and added some puzzles, pens, crayons, and markers. We could not use the media mail option because of the additional items. That is why the post office opens the media mail boxes sometimes; to check and make sure that it is books, newspapers, and magazines only; in other words “media” only.

    • Chantel

      Many unscrupulous eBay sellers will try to send non book items media mail because it is so much cheaper. When shopping on eBay please pay attention to the shipping method listed. If you aren’t buying a book and it says your board game or electronic will ship for $3, then don’t buy from that seller. You are likely to have a whole host of problems like improperly packaged and damaged items because they aren’t a professional. I’m a seller on eBay. I’m also a buyer. I’ve been unpleasantly surprised many times on the buying side and have used those experiences to make my own business habits better. When in doubt message the seller to confirm what class they send their items. If they don’t respond then don’t buy!

  9. Momof3superkids

    Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only “cheapskate “ doing this! Why spend money on new boxes when we all have boxes from Amazon lying around?

  10. Rhoda

    This is such a good idea! I just showed my husband and we both give it 👍👍!

  11. Lisa

    It’s also environmentally friendly! Love this idea!

  12. Ann

    I’ve done this many times when I want to send items, especially when I only have a liquor box and any writing on the box advertising liquor is prohibited when mailing.

  13. snezhinka

    USPS would mail in Target, Walmart or Amazon boxes just as well, no need to flip. Media items include CDs, DVDs and record discs, FYI.

  14. LJfromNJ

    When I used to sell on ebay (many years ago) sellers would take brand new USPS boxes (that are free) and turn them inside out. You are NOT allowed to do this! I never did this, but I used to see people write about it on different sites and they would get in BIG trouble if caught. Just wanted to note this in case anyone got this idea, they may not realize it is illegal.

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