I use a lot of cardboard and recyclables when creating props and costumes for Mawnstor Films. Here are a couple of go to items and where to find them.
  1. Cardboard boxes
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    Generally I use 11-1/4 x 8-3/4 x 12 as a one size fits most. My day job just throws these things away after using up all the literature they once contained.
  2. Cardboard tubes
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    You know the thing that holds your toilet paper neatly on a roll? Those are just ok. I prefer the smaller, sturdier ones from the aluminum foil roll. Takes awhile to collect them, but they're great!
  3. Plastic caps
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    A lot of beverages come in containers, but the trick is to keep the little plastic cap that comes on top. They come in a variety of sizes and are pretty useful. I snag them before they end up in the recycling bin.
  4. Bubble wrap
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    Not just for popping, but to be used to add unique detail/texture. I prefer the larger bubbles. They can be used to imitate brain matter, or a honeycomb. There is never a shortage of these when you do a lot of shopping online.
  5. Honorable mentions
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    Tennis ball that I borrowed from my dog (I think she forgot about). Drink cart casters because sometimes you'll need one (just use a book to hold its place). Tiny, unnecessary sock hangers (the ones they use to hang up packs of sock at the store) make great bug antennas. Really any product packaging could be reused as just about anything better than landfill filler.