There is something cozy and delightful about a house made of cardboard. I remember making homes in boxes my dad brought home when I was little. My sister and I would cut windows and doors, decorate with markers and proceed to fill it to the brim with our most treasured items. We often had terribly inclement weather whilst in the box home. It was all pretend but it was all the more cozy if there was a snowstorm happening. For summer, we put together a happy cardboard house for my little ones to enjoy. It’s a little more chic than the ones my sister and I played in but their play is very much like ours was. Terrible weather and all. It is a joy to watch.
-duct tape (we used about three rolls, including the white lines on the inside)
-utility knife/box cutter
-paint, optional (I bought the sample jars of Behr paint from Home Depot)
First, decide your dimensions. Ours were dictated mostly by the dimensions of our cardboard box, sans the flaps. However, height can be extended by taping pieces together, like we did for the triangle piece above the door. Doors, windows, the roof, running water, air conditioning – all up to you.
In order for the house to be collapsible, two parallel sides need to have folding seams. For us, the front and back (door panel and full panel) were the folding sections. There are two ways to accomplish this: simply score the cardboard to direct the fold or cut the panels in half and then tape them back together with the duck tape. We found this to be better for us because the tape is stronger and more flexible and allowed the house to lay flatter while folded. The triangle piece between the roofs in our set up can only be attached to the lower wall in order to correctly fold.
Painting is only optional. It is cardboard after all. We decided to paint the interior with a trio of tangerines and did that before taping the panels together. It’s definitely not perfect but it is cheery and fun!
Once the parts are prepped, tape it all together. We tapes both the outside and the inside to make for a better hold, better construction. Fold the seams while working to make sure they bend and repress tape that comes loose.
My favorite aspect is the collapsible part. It can be up and open for play and it can also be folded up and put away.
I am excited to see what adventures are had in this house over the summer.
Did you play in cardboard houses when you were little?
This project is a part of Endless Summer Projects, a collaboration between Alexandra Hedin, Classic Play, Pars Caeli, Lulu the Baker, and This Heart of Mine to bring you fabulous summer projects for the whole family for the whole summer.