Garbage Construction Kit (or Poor Man's Lego's)

Introduction: Garbage Construction Kit (or Poor Man's Lego's)

In honor of the expiration of the lego patent, I give you my version of toy construction bricks made out of paper card stock.  These could also be made out of cardboard packaging that you would otherwise throw away.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

thin cardboard
white glue
a craft cutter (or scissors and a great deal of perseverance)
bamboo skewers or drinking straws

forceps for holding glued edges together while drying
fine point glue applicator bottle
clamps that can open up to 2" wide

spray paint!

Step 2: Brick Patterns

Cut out the brick patterns from cardboard.  You'll probably want to use a craft cutter if you are going for the designs with lots of holes

I've added several different designs below.  All of them were intended to be printed so that the long rectangle is 2 inches long.   Some are one inch thick in the other direction.  Some half an inch.   Some are suitable for bamboo skewers, some for drinking straws and one suitable for toothpicks.  And another with no holes at all.

I tried many variations on the folding patterns.  All of them have their pros and cons.   Some are easier to glue, but harder to keep square.  Some just the opposite.

Step 3: Paint First

It's a little easier I think to paint the bricks in advance of folding.  Paint both sides for a consistent look.

Step 4: Allow Paint to Dry

they look beautiful after they are dry!

Step 5: Fold and Glue

Each brick design has a slightly different folding strategy. 

Apply a thin light amount of glue along the longest tab.

Clamp tab and side together till dry.

Then complete by applying glue to the remaining tabs.  

Finish assembly, clamp and dry.

Step 6: Clamp and Dry

Allow each glued seam to dry completely before attempting to glue additional seams.  To reduce frustration.

Clamp them so they are as square as can be, allow to dry.

Step 7: Self Squaring and Clamping Design

I tried a few designs that would have a self-squaring and self-clamping property.  This design allows you to insert a straw through the tab while the glue is drying to hold the shape of the brick square.

Step 8: Yay Legos

Now you can play with them and assemble them in different variations using straws or skewers for connectors.

ShopBot Challenge

Participated in the
ShopBot Challenge

Toy Challenge 2

Participated in the
Toy Challenge 2

Be the First to Share


    • Toys and Games Challenge

      Toys and Games Challenge
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge

    2 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting idea, I like that you can make them your own colour variations.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! I have something in mind to make out of them too, which I'm leading up to.