Turn a Cardboard Box Into a Playhouse




About: Born in Berlin in 1985, engineer, contrarian, 'The Big Bang Theory' fan, my blog: www.tinyworkshop.net - find me on Twitter @pixelgeb and reddit u/Stishio

We bought a new car seat for our little girl. It came within a huge cardboard box. The little one loves to play with the box. I decided to turn the box into a playhouse for her and I want to show you how I did it. In this Instructable you can follow all my steps and hopefully be able to build your own.

Please post all your questions and remarks in the comments below. I hope you like it and will enjoy the instructions. Have fun :)

Step 1: Turning the Upper Flaps Into a Roof Support

I cut the short upper flaps into two isosceles triangle and use masking tape to tape the long flaps to the triangles. Please keep the sections you cut off for late use.

Step 2: Cutting Out Windows and a Door

This part is up to you and how you want your house to look like. I want to have a door next to a window at the front and two triangle shaped windows at the gables. My windows have mullion and transom of a cross window. Feel free to design it the way you want it to.

Step 3: Cutting the Roof

I use another cardboard to cut out the roof plate. If you don't have a wide enough piece of cardboard, then just glue several parts together.

Step 4: Union Strike of the Workforce

Well my little one performed a sit-in and blocked the workpiece. The construction has to stop due to book reading :)

Step 5: Roofing Part Two

After the strike has been settle we can continue with our construction. I mark the middle of the roof and slightly cut one layer for easier bending. The princess helps to fold the roof. I cover the edges of the cardboard for the painting process.

Step 6: Mount the Roof

I use a carpenter's rule to align the roof on the house. I fix the roof to the house with tape.

Step 7: The Chimney

Remember the triangles from the beginning? Now we use it to build a chimney. They have the same angle as the gable. I cut all four sides and use masking tape to hold them together. I fold them and cover the outer edges with tape as well. Finally I can mount the chimney to the roof.

Step 8: Stabilize With Tape

I cover the edges and some fragile pieces with masking tape.

Step 9: Remove Glossy Parts and Cover Dents

The cardboard box is covered with glossy stickers, which can't keep paint on it. I remove all of them or cover them with masking tape. The dents are covered as well.

Step 10: Priming the House

I have some wall paint left from the kid's rooms. I use them to prime the house. Feel free to use any color you like. Two layers of paint are enough on my house.

Step 11: Window and Door Frame

I highlight the frames of the windows and the door in red. The door receives a name sign.

Step 12: Details: Climbing Plant - the Stem

This is all up to you. Cover the house as you like: with stickers, paint or fabrics. I want to paint a climbing plant on one side. I paint the stem in dark green and wait to let it dry.

Step 13: Details: Climbing Plant - the Leaves

I cut a leave shape into a potato and use it as a stamp to add the laves to the stem.

Step 14: Details: Climbing Plant - the Blossoms

To paint all blossoms with a brush would take too long. I use six Q-tips and tape to create a 5-leave blossoms. I use white paint to add the blossoms. When they are dry, I use another Q-Tip to add a center with another color.

Step 15: Details: Rain Barrel, Gutter and a Cat

Again this is all up to you. I add a rain barrel and a gutter on both sides and a cat on one side.

Step 16: Door Knob

I found an old wardrobe knob in the garage. I mount this to the door as a door knob. Make sure to use washers, because the cardboard can't hold a screw.

Step 17: Done

Well that's it. Now my little girl has her own playhouse made of cardboard.

Congratulations, everything is done and you are hopefully a proud owner of a new playhouse as well :D I hope you will enjoy building this. Please let me know your experiences and improvements. Please put photos in the comments. :)



    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge

    7 Discussions


    25 days ago

    Yet cute little baby have an awesome own play house.... Blossom idea next level idea.. You did it very well ..

    1 reply

    Reply 25 days ago

    Thx. She does really enjoy it. I‘m glad you like it too. :)


    4 weeks ago

    HOW CUTE! I love all the little details in the paint and the paper chimney smoke :)

    1 reply

    Reply 27 days ago

    Thank you very much. Well as you mentioned it, I‘ve totally forgotten to write about the smoke in the instructions :D I used paper wrap, which is used to protect china. It has a little gloss and I like the small folds.
    I‘m glad you like it.

    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 weeks ago

    This looks super cute and I love how you did all the stamping / painting :D

    1 reply
    StishPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 27 days ago

    Thank you. I‘m really surprised about the blossoms. They look much better than I would have expected.