Recycle Packing Slips to Make Quick and Simple Homemade Stickers

Recycle Packing Slips to Make Quick and Simple Homemade Stickers

Sometime over the summer I was going through a parcel I had ordered when I noticed the packing slip contained a section that appeared to be a sticker. On closer examination I realized that the whole bottom half of the sheet was a single sticker containing only a bit of printed text with the rest of the sticker remaining blank. I quickly grabbed my scissors and trimmed away the printed text so I was left with a plain white sticker. I remembered a preprinted sticker coloring kit I truly enjoyed as a kid so I thought of my kids and started a pile of plain stickers as more orders came over the next several months.

Imaged geared towards pinterest with five images showing different ways you can upcycle the sticker section of a packing slip. All images are shown below. There's also a title at the top, some text showing the ways, and my URL. Overall it shows gift tags, labels to organize, and simple stickers.

Over the following months I kept forgetting to tell the kids about the stickers but with each parcel that arrived I made sure to check the packing slip to see if it also contained a sticker and if so if there was a large enough empty section to justify cutting it out to save. Each one was carefully placed with my pile of saved stickers in the corner of my kitchen counter. That sticker stash ended up being useful while reorganizing one of my kitchen cupboards a couple months ago. I had already purchased and used some small plastic bins from the local Dollar Tree to organize my cupboard but found I had kept forgetting what was in each of the bins in the back. I knew I needed a better solution so after re-organizing everything in the cupboard in a way that made sense for our current stage I found myself turning to my sticker stash to create a label on the front of the bins so I could easily read what was in the bin without having to take it out each time. Over the last couple months my cupboard has gotten progressively messier as I use it and add more items in but those labels help me keep that area under control and make me smile when I notice it. It was a perfect quick solution for what I needed; although, since I haven’t tried to take it off I can’t say whether it might leave behind sticker residue if I had to switch the label out with a new one.

Image shows a white rectangular sticker with a black fine tipped sharpie behind it. On the sticker there is a list of things that are in the bins.
I grabbed one of the larger rectangular stickers and started writing what I had inside my two opaque bins. I ended up writing what was in the one bin starting at the top of the sticker and then I flipped it around so I could start writing what was in the other bin from the other side. I did this since I wasn’t sure how long either list would get and I could easily trim it once I was done and ready.
Image shows my opened corner cupboard. Inside you can see two shelves with the one bin, hidden behind, at the top and the other bin facing the other way in the back corner on the bottom shelf. Those two bins have the white sticker stuck under the handle.
Once I was happy with my lists I cut the sticker in half and attached each of them to the front of either bin.

Later I was wrapping birthday presents for two of our friends and realized that I wasn’t quite sure where our gift labels were and wasn’t even sure if I wanted to use them since they were probably Christmas-themed. Normally if we’re wrapping the gift with wrapping paper I just write the name  directly on the paper with a sharpie so I don’t have this issue. This time around I was using gift bags, saved from previous Amazon gifts for my kids, and I realized I needed some way to label them. I ended up going back to my sticker stash, chose a large enough sticker, wrote out the customary to and from on one of the stickers twice, and then cut out the two labels making sure to make them heart shaped. One of the labels didn’t appear to stick well to the mesh bag so I ended up sticking it to the ribbon and then the bag hoping the difference in fabric would help it stick for longer.

Image shows a closeup of the ribboned area of two fabric gift bags. Attached to them is a heart shaped white label addressed to the recipient (blacked out) and addressed from my kids.
Love how I was able to quickly label the gifts by using a simple packing slip. I could see, in the future, creating a larger label and having the kids’ design and color them before sticking them onto their friends’ gifts.

And now onto the main reason I saved the plain section of so many packing slips: stickers! Before showing the kids these blank stickers I grabbed one and, using my fine tipped black sharpie, quickly drew an image of flowers and then colored it in with my pencil crayons. I then waited until one day when the kids were wanting more iPad time and I simply asked them if they wanted to design their own stickers. They got so excited! I went to grab the stickers while they grabbed their art creation tools; mostly markers, pencil crayons, crayons, and gel pens. I showed them the flowers I made and explained how I could next cut out the sticker or add more around it. Both kids excitedly grabbed a sticker sheet and got to work. Going in I pictured them drawing smaller things on the sticker sheets before cutting them out so the stickers would be small and custom-shaped to whatever they drew…. they didn’t do this. They ended up grabbing a sticker sheet and coloring over the whole entire thing. Zoey focused on decorating one or two sheets before being done while Ada excitedly announced her finished count as she filled each sticker in with colors before deciding she was done after designing six. Looking back I just realized that I don’t know where Ada chose to put her stickers once she was finished but I later saw the plastic cup of plain stickers along with Zoey’s designed artwork sitting and waiting for the girls on their extremely messy art table. I can’t wait to see what they design on the leftover blank stickers and I also can’t wait to see their creations once they remember they have colored stickers again. I love how it was an extremely simple art project that was so incredibly surprising and novel for the girls.

Image shows a stack of mostly blacked white sticker sheets. The top one still has some printed text on it with a black outlined bunch of flowers drawn right underneath it.
To create a quick sticker sample for the girls I grabbed one of the sticker sheets and quickly drew some flowers and stems with my fine-tipped black sharpie.
Image shows the same stack of blank stickers as the previous image. This time the flowers and stems have been colored in with pencil crayon.
I then grabbed some of the kids’ pencil crayons and colored in my drawing.
Image shows the kids sitting beside each other at the kitchen table. Between them sits a container of crayons, a container of pencil crayons, a marker holder, and a cup of blank stickers.
After showing the kids what you could do they each grabbed a sticker sheet and started designing their own sticker. I quickly grabbed a plastic drinking glass to corral all the blank stickers in one place and then let them do their own thing,
Image is take from above Zoey looking down at the table. You can see part of her pumpkin hat and her hand while she doodles on the sticker with an orange-y peach gel pen.
Zoey got to work doodling with her favorite orange gel pen.
Image shows the a closeup of the kitchen table with Ada, torso shown, sitting behind it. On the table are three sheets of stickers designed with hearts, rainbows, vehicles, and a lightly colored unicorn.
Ada loved designing the stickers and attempted to cover each sticker without cutting it down in size. She didn’t like the skinny long stickers along the edge of each sticker sheet so those were ignored.
Image shows the table, stretching from the bottom of the image to the top. Ada is grabbing a new blank sticker to design another to add to her finished pile in front of her. Between the kids sits their shared art supplies.
The girls had a blast designing their stickers although they haven’t designed more since or used their stickers, that I know of, so far.
Image shows a cup with blank, and mine, stickers along with Zoey's designed sticker sheet sitting on top of a pile of papers and art supplies.
I’m unsure what Ada did with her finished stickers but Zoey’s sticker and the cup of blank stickers sit on top of their messy art table waiting for the kids to discover them once again… although since this picture they’ve since cleaned off their art desk and I have no idea where they ended up putting this.

Discovering the blank sticker sections on my packing slips was a welcome surprise and I loved seeing the joy on my kids’ faces when they were designing their own stickers. I’ve since decided to continue keeping an eye out for any blank stickers in my future parcel orders because I’d love to see what they come up with when designing their very own stickers in the future.

If you want to color your own stickers but you don’t want to have to draw your own designs or wait for packing slips you could always order your own. I haven’t yet tried but I’ve done a quick search on Etsy and saw that you can order preprinted stickers from several different storefronts. If you’re looking for something more open ended you can always buy blank labels or sticker sheets to design yourself. If you make sure the sticker sheet is your proper printer size you could even print out a coloring page or something for you or your kids to color.

I hope this helps you come up with something new to do with your kids or have another creative outlet for you. I’d love to hear what you created or hear about any other cool things you may have found to upcycle so feel free to share in the comments below. I hope your week is going well and you’re having a great day.

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