I have had these pots for 12 years. They are a set of cardboard gift boxes that I bought on a whim for £6 from Ikea one day on a trip with Robert as a baby.

Both my children played with them daily for at least six years. I can hardly believe how they lasted, being such thin disposable cardboard. They are a bit dented, and the large dark blue lid went missing years ago. The large maroon lid was missing for a couple of years and then turned up again one day.


We stacked them inside each other, we built towers and demolished them, we found little surprise objects to put in each and took turns pretending it was ‘birthdays’, complete with singing the song. We nested the lids together, and the bottoms together, and spun them round in a crazy circles like cartoon rolling eyes. This was our favourite thing.

I often cursed them, clearing them up from all over the floor several times a day. Often they were un-nested, then just left by distracted toddlers for something else. I wondered when in my life I could get rid of them, but the kids loved them so much that I never could.

Then at some time I didn’t notice, they got left for good, and have been on our shelf for quite a few years.

I noticed them this weekend, and its definitely time for them to go but I found it very hard to do. So I’m remembering them with these photos and I’ve now put them in the bin.

Who would have thought these cheap things, bought as a distraction, would be in our lives so long?

Rachel x

Rachel Lucie Johns

Hi! I'm Rachel, a jewellery designer-maker & nature photographer. My work is inspired by the gorgeous countryside around West Yorkshire & Art Deco design. This blog is where I share my creative life and inspiration. find out more ...


  1. Reply

    Alex Proffitt

    4th November 2016

    This is so true, it’s always the cheaper items that last the longest and are played with the most. It’s like the kids all playing with the cardboard box and wrapping paper on Christmas Day and ignoring the actual gift. I’m seriously considering a book made up of things to do with cardboard boxes and wrapping paper!

    • Reply

      Rachel Lucie Johns

      17th November 2016

      Totally true, Alex – you could be onto something there! Mind you, what would you wrap it in …