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Make A Cardboard Playhouse

How to make a cardboard playhouse! Playhouses have to be one of the best toys for children. It makes their imaginations come alive as they deal with their own little homes.

This cardboard playhouse is extra easy to make but looks great. (I mean it is incredibly easy!) You start with one large box and with some quick cuts and a bit of extra cardboard you have the house assembled and ready to decorate.

Maybe one of the best things about this playhouse is the cost.

If you can get the cardboard box for free and use supplies that you already have around the house then cost is pretty close to nothing.

I decorated this in a Tudor Style but you can chose what ever design you like. 

This would be a fabulous toy for your little ones and they can "help" you make it as a craft project.


How to Make a Cardboard Playhouse Tutorial

You have to start with a large box. In the past I often would swing by the local appliance dealer and ask them for any boxes they had in the back and they were always more than happy to give me one. You will need extra cardboard to make the roof. Try to get a box that is the same width as you first box so the roof will be sturdy.

This box was square but if your box is not then use the longer side for the front of the house. 

Pull up the front flap and decide how high your roof will be. From the top of your imaginary roof (which will be higher than the cardboard flap) draw an angled line on the front flap. Make sure that is line is straight and cut off the angle. Use the off cut as a template for the other side of the flap and for the flap in the back. KEEP THE TEMPLATE you will be using it again latter

Pull the side flap up and lay it on the front flap  and tape it all down. Pull up the back flap and tape that to the side flap as well. You now have the beginnings of your roof.

Taking the off cut template flip it over and put it on top of the front flap. You will see that the angle is perfect. 

Mark on this template where the middle of the front flap is and using a piece of paper cut out a paper template. When you are sure this is perfect cut out two pieces from cardboard. 

Tape one piece to the front flap and cut a piece of cardboard that you will glue to the back of this to give it strength. Do the same on the back flap. (You can see what I mean on the back flap.)

Measure out how much cardboard you need for each side of the roof and cut the pieces out and tape them onto the roof. Tape all seams very well to make it sturdy. 

You now have your basic house. (Told you it was easy!)

Make A Cardboard Playhouse-How to Decorate It

When you make a cardboard playhouse half the fun is decorating it. You have many options! You can paint it with primer and then use any indoor paint on it (but it has to be applied in very thin coats so the cardboard does not soak through and warp.) You can cover it with Bristol Board, wall paper, craft paper, construction paper or anything else. 

I wasn't sure how I wanted to place the door and window so I took some newspaper and cut rough sized and taped them to the playhouse to see how it looked. When I had the plan that I liked I used the newspaper as templates.

I covered the playhouse with newsprint paper that I had crumpled up and then smoothed as I wanted the texture to look like stucco

I watered down white glue and using a sponge brush, I brushed it on the box and then applied the newsprint paper

I then took brown construction paper and cut it in 1-1/2 inch strips and applied it to the house with more glue.  On the corners I cut 3 inch sections of brown construction paper and bending the paper lengthwise I covered the corners.

The roof was covered with more construction paper that was cut into 4 x 5 inch pieces and applied in a staggered pattern.

I only used two colors of construction paper, brown and light brown but the colors were different on each side of the paper which gave more variety to the roof.

I made the door from construction paper and glued it on the house (and I did the same with the window but forgot to take the photo) then, taking a very sharp Exacto Knife (be very careful with it), I cut out the window.

For the door I cut around the top, side and bottom and reaching in through the window with one hand I pushed outward on the door while with the other hand I pressed a long ruler against the edge of the door where I wanted the cardboard to bend. 

The front was finished with more strips of brown construction paper and for a quick finishing touch I added a paper wreath. 

This door is missing a door knob as I wanted to have a knob both on the inside and outside of the door and I will be doing this with two wooden knobs that I will attach with a double ended screw.

This playhouse is surprisingly easy to make and is sturdy enough to offer a many hours of play time.

When the playhouse does begin to look a little bit battered you can either strip it down and re-decorate the outside or you can take it apart and put it out with the recycling.

Make a Cardboard Playhouse! A great easy craft for the kids!

For more fun crafts:

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