We don’t need to tell you how expensive having kids is — between the clothes, after-school activities, doctors appointments and outings, it’s a wonder we have any money left over for anything else!
The good news is there are lots of ways to keep kids busy that don’t cost anything at all. Like turning a cardboard box into a playhouse!
Trust us, making this house will keep your kids entertained for hours, but the real win is how much time they’ll spend playing in it afterwards.
What you will need to make a cardboard box playhouse
- Three extra-large cardboard boxes (or just one really big one!)
- PVA paint in pink, blue, purple, orange, red, green and white
- Floral wrapping paper
- Small foil tart cases
- Small paper doilies
- A4 pale blue paper
- Craft knife
- Paint brush
- PVA glue
- Box tape
- Double-sided tape
How to make your cardboard playhouse
1. For a painted house, paint each side of the box in a different coloured PVA paint and leave to dry. For a papered house, cover the box with the floral wrapping paper, using PVA glue to stick in place.
2. Looking at our pictures as a guide, draw doors and windows in whichever shapes you choose onto the boxes with a ruler and pencil. Using a craft knife (adults only), carefully cut along three sides of each opening, then lightly score down the fourth side so that the door or window shutter can open and close. For a circular window, draw round a plate and cut out.
3. On a painted house, stick on wrapping paper to add patterns to windows and doors, or draw scalloped frames around plain windows, then paint. You could use a stencil to paint on a door number, and draw and paint some flowers around the base.
4. On a paper-covered house, paint the door and leave to dry. Stick on small foil tart case ‘door handles’ with double-sided tape.
5. To make a paper-tiled roof, stick two end flaps (or rectangles of card) together with box tape. Cover each side with ‘roof tiles’ – sticking on overlapping sheets of blue paper, starting with the bottom row and working up. For a pretty effect, use paper doilies as tiles. For chequerboard tiles, paint spare pieces of card with orange and red paint, leave to dry, cut into 15 x 20cm tiles and stick on in overlapping rows. Stick a roof onto each house using double-sided and box tape.
Top tip: Depending on your box, you’ll probably be able to cut off the top and the base to make roof pieces. For front gables, cut the two opposite box-top flaps into triangles.