Cardboard Temple/shrine at Home.

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Introduction: Cardboard Temple/shrine at Home.

About: A home maker in the US for an year or so. My projects always revolve around using things one can easily lay hands on in our homes and since I am here for a short time, I take care the project is cost effecti...

It was my first week at home in US. After setting up the house, we had an overwhelming supply of cardboard at our disposal. I decided to make a small temple out of the cardboard to make use of the boards and my free time. So, here it is. You could make your own church, mosque, gurudwara, a princess castle, a doll house or just about anything using cardboard boxes.

Step 1: The Plan

The first thing to do is to decide how big your temple is going to be. How big will be the walls, roof and doors? Key is to find boxes of the same height for the walls and doors. It will be really great if we use the boxes in their full size as much as possible instead of having cut them down. Its not very easy to cut hard cardboard boxes. Also, we will need soft card board for the doors and hard ones for the walls. (Preferably)

Walls - For one of the walls, I was set on the box the 32 inch slim TV came in. This box was really strong and had a wide base which meant the roof would get good support even if there were no pillars in the center to hold it. But for the other wall, I was not able to get a box of same height or length. I got a good piece that was only half the length of the TV box and it was about 1 inch shorter. So I had to pump up it up by adding thermocol padding at the bottom. You could use any other technique to eventually get walls of same height. To compensate for the length, I built a small wall with cardboard pillars and a soft card board sheet. After hours of measuring and comparison, I had marked down the boards for my walls.

In India, temples usually have tapering roofs. To imitate this,I needed boxes of decreasing size in order, but of almost same height. I found a few boxes that came to my rescue. I had to cut one, and tape 2 together. After much deliberation I was finally set on the ones that will go on the roof. The boxes for the roof must be light card board. This is because we are not building any pillars in the middle of the temple to hold a heavy roof. But in case you dont have an option, you can go for a pillar. (Try using the card board rolls that comes in gift wrappers for the pillars) . The roof had to be semi open because we had to light lamps and incense sticks inside the temple. So it was like a sun roof actually where you could take away a part of it before lighting lamps etc.

Inside the temple, I needed one box to be the platform on which the idols were to be placed. I picked one that could fit nicely in the center. I also wanted to make a small flight of stairs that went up to the platform. For this, I used the thermocol packing material. I cut them into small blocks of increasing sizes to make the stairs.

For the doors, I picked soft cardboard and cut it at the same height as the walls and broad enough to cover the temple when closed.

Step 2: Painting and Making the Roof

Now for the real construction part.
Painting and making the roof :
I was thinking of a white roof for my temple. I also decided to go for a brown color folk art on it to give it a better look. So, I starched and ironed a piece of white cloth and wrapped up the cardboard boxes for the roof. Then using fabric color (Indian red or brown will work) I painted the borders and a few patterns. Temples in India usually have a banner or a flag. To make one, I used a cotton ear bud. I removed the cotton at one end, and sharpened it up using a blade. On the other end, I stuck a small red piece of cloth to the cotton using glue. Then I pushed the sharpened edge through a hole on the top most roof box. (For this you will have to pierce hole on the top most roof box and the cloth wrap on it)
I stuck bells to the bottom most piece of roof on the side facing the temple doors. With this, the roof was done.

Step 3: The Walls

The walls - I used gift wrapping paper for the walls. You could also paint them or use wall paper. If you want to paint, then take care you give a good white base coat so the colors from the cardboard boxes wont show out.


This was the plan for the walls....
For one of the walls, I was set on the box the 32 inch slim TV came in. This box was really strong and had a wide base which meant the roof would get good support even if there were no pillars in the center to hold it. But for the other wall, I was not able to get a box of same height or length. I got a good piece that was only half the length of the TV box and it was about 1 inch shorter. So I had to pump up it up by adding thermocol padding at the bottom. You could use any other technique to eventually get walls of same height. To compensate for the length, I built a small wall with cardboard pillars and a soft card board sheet. After hours of measuring and comparison, I had marked down the boards for my walls.

Step 4: The Doors

The doors:
I picked an elegant piece of art work showing a wedding procession to be on the doors. I found these on sweet boxes (from India). But they were not of the same height as the door cardboards so I first stuck white gift paper and then placed the wedding procession art work at the center.

After wrapping the walls up, I stuck the back side of the doors to the walls at a right angle using tape and cloth dabbed with glue on one side.
Now we have 2 walls with doors attached to them. We have to stick the walls to the ground using tape making sure they are placed apart from each other just about the size of the roof base.

Step 5: The Platform

Interiors 
I wrapped up the platform box in white gift wrapper and then used the left over papers from the sweet box (that we used for the doors) to decorate the edges of the facing side of the box.
On top, I laid out a fresh kitchen wipe that was bright orange in color. I thought this color would contrast the silver lamps and idols that were to go on top.

Step 6: Stairs

For the flight, I wrapped up thermocol pieces in paper towels and used the same fabric color as used in the roof to paint simple patterns. Take care here, as paper towels soak up the water mixed with colors.

Step 7: Floor Decor

I colored shoe shine paper black using fabric color and using pearl white 3D liner, drew a kolam or rangoli ( another traditional Indian folk art) to be placed either sides of the stairs.

Step 8: Accessorize

I made a small stand for my book using two cardboard pieces cut half way through and covered them in gold colored paper. Also, I used the golden cups in which sweets came to store lamp wicks etc.

On a silver plate I arranged containers for turmeric, rice and kumkum.
I got 2 99 cents glass bowls to hold flowers. These can also be used as door stoppers when the temple is opened.

Step 9: Lighting

I provided illumination using Christmas lights. I tried 2 ways  - on the floor and on the wall.

The pictures in this step show the interiors with illumination on floor, on walls, the completed temple and view from the sunroof.

Hope you liked my little project. Feedback/comments/ideas to improve are welcome. And would really appreciate if you could rate my work and also vote for it! :)

Thanks You so much.
Have a nice day!

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45 Comments

Hi help for ur post i can also create temple through carton box

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1 reply

Ohhhhhh can you show me how to build that

Hi,with your inspiration i also prepared one small temple at home for my god.
thanks for your idea.

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Thats a very nice one...Came thru your blog when i was searching for mantap for navratri. Also, just wanted to share a similar one which i did for ganesh chathurthi. You can look into that.

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what a great and inexpensive idea!! ur super creative!!

I love it
its so cute and an awesome idea
love this kinda stuff
good work

I LOVE this! You did a wonderful job! :-)

nice work brinda, the red background brings out a good contrast!!!!!

1 reply

thnk u akiiiii!!! so glad u cud stop by! :)

Thats amazing brinda...,its looks awesome,so all the best to you

1 reply

thnks rusk!!! :)

amazing Brinda..u r really bindblowing!! such a creative mind..ur buk stand n ur lightin..i really liked it..my mom too!! :)

1 reply

:) thanks sweethrt! ur encouragement keeps me going

Hey, This shrine of yours looks so blissful and divine Brinda , G8 work. Inspired by your project I just put some effort to arrange the pooja place at my home to look little better. Since its so difficult to find flowers here just decorated the idol place with gift wrapper that has flowers !!!!. You Going g8 girl ..........All the very best . When will the result be announced?

1 reply

thank u so much priya! results...i think mid sept..

very creative Brinda!! Looking forward to more such stuff from you

1 reply

:) thnks simran!