Introduction: Doghouse Nightlight

About: I'm a writer and crafty gal living in Gainesville, FL. I have a passion for transforming old castoffs into cool new creations through a process I like to call "crafty repurposing." I blog about my craft projec…

Here's a fun and unique night light that you can make from recycled and upcycled items. It's also a fun project to do with kids, assuming that an adult handles the cutting. You'll need these items:

+ Pint-sized carton
+ Permanent marker
+ Craft knife
+ Glue
+ Collage papers
+ Figurines
+ Foam brush
+ Tissue paper
+ Scrap wood
+ Lamp kit

This project originally appeared in the August 2008 issue of The Satellite, North Central Florida's finest arts and entertainment magazine and also on my blog, Thanks to John D. Richards, formerly of The Temple of Great Art No Spitting in St. Augustine for the inspiration.

Step 1: Prepare the Carton

Open the top of a pint-sized carton, use a craft knife to cut between the upper flaps, and wash the inside of the carton. Use a permanent marker to draw the doghouse door and then cut it out with a craft knife. Also cut a small triangular opening above the door.

Step 2: Add Inside Elements

Cut a piece of paper to serve as the floor of the doghouse and glue in place. Cut a piece of heavyweight paper to be the backdrop, making sure it will slip comfortably inside the carton in a vertical U-shape. Use paper, old photographs, stickers, crayons or colored pencils to decorate the backdrop. Slide this inside the carton and glue in place. Also glue the dog and yellow girl figurines in place.

Step 3: Close the Roof

Glue the roof together. With the door of the doghouse facing you, push the left and right flaps together and glue in place. Then fold the free edges of the front and back flaps over the other flaps and secure with glue. (Note: A strong contact adhesive like Welder works well here.)

Step 4: Decorate the Outside

Use the foam brush to put a fine coat of glue on the sides and roof of the doghouse. Add small squares of tissue paper, coat with another layer of glue, and repeat. Be sure to add several layers of tissue over the triangular window for strength. You will probably need to add the tissue in stages, allowing dry time between layers. When you've added enough layers, glue the doghouse to a piece of scrap wood collaged with matching tissue paper, which will help keep the lamp from tipping over.

Step 5: Illuminate

Take the craft knife and cut a hole in the rear of the doghouse and insert the candelabra-sized lamp kit. Now your lamp is ready for action!