Moving and cardboard boxes go hand in hand. Both unpacking and online decorating bring a truck load of cardboard that never seems to fit in the recycling bin no matter how skilled you are with a box cutter. We moved from an apartment to a house with a lot more space so there are still a few rooms that feel sparsely decorated and could use a little temporary cheer. So today we’re embracing the growing cardboard box pile and using them to make a playhouse for the kids. I was inspired by my friend Audrey of This Little Street who made a pretty polka dot one for her girls and it just cheered up the whole room. It’s a fun project the whole family can get involved in, from painting and cutting to decorating and of course playing. Plus, it makes a new house feel more like home when you put a little DIY touch to it.
Keep reading for details of the process and tips for how we put our playhouse together together…
1. We started with a 2 large cardboard boxes. One is for the main frame of the house and the other for an addition to the roof.
2. To cut we used a box cutter and also a knife with a serrated edge. Cutting down was much easier so we’d turn the box in whatever direction we needed to cut down. We traced rectangles for the door and windows and then cut them out.
3. We added an ‘addition’ to the roof (so the edges would meet at the top and it would be taller) using pieces from the second box. Duct tape was used to keep the pieces together. The flap hanging down will be flipped up to finish the roof.
4. To fill in the triangle of the roof we just flipped up the side edge and cut it down to meet with the edge of the roof pieces. Then taped them together with duct tape.
5. We gave the whole house a coat of white poster paint using a large brush. We also tried a small roller and spray paint but the brush looked the best. This seemed like a big project but it only took about 20 minutes.
6. For the shingles we cut pieces of rectangles from card stock in shades of blue and taped them in rows. This part took maybe about 30-40 minutes.
7. We added a black trim to the windows and the curtains were taped onto the inside with duct tape and then tied with twine
8. The large rectangle that we cut out to make the door was cut in half for a dutch door, and then a window was added and it was all painted black. We added a large natural knob with the screw it came with. You can get knobs at your local craft store. We also painted shutters black to add to the windows.
9. The dutch doors were simply added on with a strip of duct tape on the front side so it swings open. There’s a bit of breathing room on either side so it can swing freely.
Of course twinkle lights were added at the end which makes playing in the house at night pretty magical. They’re strung up inside and along the roof.
We also added a few fun details like a vine plant hanging from the window and some pillows and blankets inside to make it comfy.
From start to finish the project took four or five hours which I think isn’t too bad at all! This would be a really fun Saturday activity to do with the whole family.