CREATIVE: 11 ways with cardboard

14 July 2017

Cardboard makes up a big chunk of recyclable material. Before you pop the next lot in the recycling bin, have a go at some of these great crafty ideas using cardboard boxes. Whether you are a seasoned crafter or a novice, you’ll find something here to try your hand at. Think outside the box!

Marble maze

170511 Marblemaze

You can make this one as easy or challenging as you like. Take a cardboard lid and stick some sturdy strips of cardboard to it to make a maze. Add a marble and away you go.

Image credit and more project info here.

Firetruck costume

170511 Firetruck costume

A handy one to keep up your sleeve for the next dress-up party. Cut the bottom out of a cardboard box. Paint it red and add firetruck detailing and wheels (plastic lids or plates would work well for these). Add a couple of shoulder straps using some old fabric or string and it’s ready to go.

Image credit and more project info here.


170511 Golf

Remove the bottom from a cardboard box and cut a few small arches in the base. Decorate the box, adding a score above each hole. Use a plastic putter to knock a soft ball through the holes and score the points.

Image credit and more project info here.

Tray table

170511 Tray table

This one will have so many uses – at home, in the garden and even in the car. Remove the bottom of the box and cut arches out of two sides. Decorate however you like. You could also attach half a cardboard lid to one side to act as a storage box.

Image credit and more project info here.


170511 Scenery

A great backdrop can inspire all kinds of creative play. If it is made from cardboard, you can change them over easily. Try this jungle theme, or maybe a city scape – flatten some large cardboard boxes and cut out a skyline. Paint it black and add some small yellow rectangles for windows. Prop it against the wall. Easy!

Image credit and more project info here.

Christmas chimney

170511 Chimney

Start saving your boxes for Christmas now! You and the kids will have loads of fun making this simple chimney…a perfect place to hang your stockings!

Image credit and more project info here


170511 Tree

Use this photo as inspiration to make your own mini trees – great for hanging jewellery. Cut two tree shapes and cut a line through the trunk almost to the top of one. Slide it over the other tree shape.

Image credit and more project info here.

Cat house

170511 Cat house

All cats love boxes. Give your puss one of its own. Cut some holes in a variety of boxes and stack them as you please. You can even put their soft cat bed on the top!

Image credit and more project info here.

Pizza box garage

170511 garage

Such a simple idea using only a pizza box and four toilet roll tubes! A great play space for toy cars and trucks.

Image credit and more project info here.

Dolls house

170511 Dolls house

This gorgeous dolls house is much simpler than it looks. Cut around 10cm off the front of a tall cardboard box and use sturdy cardboard to build the rooms. Use paint or wallpaper samples to decorate each room and introduce the dolls to their new home – they’ll be very impressed!

Image credit and more project info here.

Shop front

170511 Shop

If you are feeling very ambitious – try building this shop! Hours of rainy day fun.

Image credit and more project info here.

Check out these other DIY play ideas here.

Written by

Kerry White

Kerry is the Senior Writer for Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City. Kerry moved to Australia from England in 2013 with her husband and two daughters. She worked as a sub-editor in London for seven years before she had her girls. She now calls the Sunshine Coast her home and is making the most of its glorious weather and beaches. She enjoys baking, especially when she has a glass of wine in hand, and is a part-time Psychology, Criminology and Justice student. She also shares her home with two cats and her daughters' imaginary dogs.

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