Cardboard strips interlock to create a grid with spaces.

How to Make Cardboard Ornament Dividers

by Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

Recycling thin cardboard to create dividers protects seasonal decorations for your family's enjoyment for years to come. Working with a storage container, such as your child's shoe box or a chocolate box, gives a head start when you measure the inside dimensions to create deep walls for a snug fit. Strips of cardboard with slits help interlock the walls for a grid effect from above, and create openings to place your decorations.


Measure the length of the inside of the storage box and record this measurement.

Measure the height of the tallest ornament and add 1/2 inch for extra space above the ornament. Record this height.

Mark these two dimensions on cardboard with a pencil. Cut the cardboard into strips with a craft knife. Place each strip in the box to make sure they fit snugly. These strips stand as walls for the ornaments.

Measure and mark the strip with lines to indicate the amount of space or the borders for each ornament. For example, if most of the ornaments are 3 inches wide maximum, mark lines that are approximately 3 1/2 inches apart to allow for the ornament plus packaging material to stuff each space.

Cut vertical slits only midway on each strip according to the marked lines. These slits face up in the storage box.


Measure the inside width of the storage box. Record this dimension. These strips also stand to create walls and a grid to hold the ornaments.

Mark the dimensions for the width and previously recorded height on the cardboard. Trim the strips according to these dimensions.

Measure and mark the lines to indicate the amount of space for each ornament. These lines are the cutting lines for the slits on the lower edge of the strip. These slits intersect with the slits of the longer strips.

Cut these vertical slits midway on each strip as marked with the lines.


Position the first long strip with the slits face up inside the box. Continue setting up the remaining long strips with the slits face up.

Insert the second group of strips with the slits facedown over the first set of strips to create a grid with deep walls. The slits allow the strips to intersect and fit more snugly in the box.

Cut a larger piece of cardboard to fit the box’s inner length and width. This cardboard fits over the top of the grid and is a divider between layers of grids.

Items you will need

  • Storage box
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Notepad
  • Cardboard
  • Craft knife or mat knife
  • Straightedge or yardstick
  • Adhesive tape


  • Avoid wrapping ornaments in newspaper to prevent the ink from transferring to the ornaments.
  • If your ornaments vary widely in size, try to group according to size, such as small, medium or large. Cut the cardboard strips to fit the length of the box. Cut cardboard squares or rectangles to accommodate the various sizes of the ornaments, then insert and tape these pieces to stand up between the strips. The spacing between the long strips likely is narrower or wider to accommodate the ornaments' or group’s dimensions.
  • Place a cutting mat underneath the cardboard to avoid cutting your work surface.


  • Keep cutting supplies away from children and animals.

Photo Credits

  • Spike Mafford/Photodisc/Getty Images