Let’s play house

Kind on the budget and big on fun, this cardboard house is a guaranteed little-people pleaser.

It all starts with a cardboard box

It’s an oldie, but a goodie – the cardboard box, transforming playtimes since 1817. Yup, that’s how long the cardboard box has been around, and for kids, there are few things that provide greater creative possibilities.
Not only are boxes free and plentiful, with a little imagination and a decent amount of duct tape, they become houses, racing cars, caves and toboggans.

If you’re needing a little inspiration for the summer holidays, or you’re wondering what to do with those boxes that just won’t squeeze into the recycling bin, give this easy-to-make house a go. The great thing about this particular cardboard home is that it doesn’t need to become a permanent feature in your lounge or on your lawn. It is collapsable and hides away under the bed, behind a couch or in the closet.

Mel 4 (4 of 116)

You’ll need

  • 2-3 large cardboard boxes
  • Packaging tape (48mm x 18.2m white Scotch Tape from Warehouse Stationery)
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Resene wall paper
  • Resene paint

Cut and paste

  • Using the template below, cut four walls (two equally-sized sides and two equally-sized ends) and one roof panel from your boxes.
  • Then cut a door in one of the end pieces, leaving the right side of the door attached to make a hinge.
  • Score a fold in the middle of both the end pieces (leaving the door untouched) so that they can fold inwards. This will make it easy to collapse the house and store it away.
  • Cut windows and decorative cut-outs in both the side pieces (like our heart above the door) before using packaging tape to secure the sides and ends together.
  • Score the roof down the centre to create a fold. Fold the sides of the house flat and tape on the roof, leaving the tops (triangles) of the ends free, so they can be folded in.

Mel 4 (59 of 116)Mel 4 (97 of 116)

Honey, I’m home

As with any house, it’s not a home until it’s been lived in. To make this house a little more homey for its residents, paint decorations around the windows and tiles on the roof. Then show off those interior design skills by painting or sticking wallpaper on the inside of the house to add colour and warmth. All that is left is to open the door – let the fun and games begin!