Friday, 6 June 2014

Boxing clever

What do you do after spending a little too much on a shopping trip? Make stuff for free!
 So this is what I had, two empty boxes and a bit of packaging. To my eyes, I immediately saw a little house, especially as R is fascinated by them at the moment. Here, then is my rough and ready guide to how to make a cardboard house!
 Take the labels off the boxes. The idea is that it makes them look better, but I got bored part way thorough, so I've got a fairly random splotchy bit. At least it's not advertising a car seat now.
 Open out the roof box (or however you're going to make the roof), put it into position and draw around it.  Cut around your lines, and to try to make things a little more likely to be symmetrical, I drew round the off-cuts rather than draw more lines and wish I had a third hand.
I also found that scissors crushed the structure of the cardboard and made very rough cuts. A craft / diy bladed knife (or in my case a penknife) was much easier and made nice, easy clean lines.
Take some heavy duty glue
Make a pretty pattern (remembering to get close to corners and edges, as sometimes you need practicality over pretty, especially as this bit won't be seen).
Quickly take your damp cloth and remove the glue from your toddlers fingers (sorry, did I forget to mention you needed a damp cloth? It might even be easier to wield your glue and sharp knives while your toddler is elsewhere).
 Stick the roof box to the flaps of the walls box (hopefully you can see what I mean from the photos - there's not many words in the English language that distinguish one bit of box from another!)
I thoughts it would be fun to pretty up the roof, so I drew the rough shape then cut round some vaguely Swiss inspired twiddly bits (for my sister who's currently living in Switzerland).Here's the munchkin 'helping' with that.
Cut out a door that's the right size for your toddler and your box. Mine was about 12 inches wide, and 2 inches from the top. I hadn't even finished before R wanted to test it out!
Add some windows. Mine are 20cm square, with a 2cm wide cross section-y bit. I also left some cardboard where I will put my window box and flowers (again Swiss inspired). 
Looking much more house-like!
Take the spare bits of cardboard from the roof, and one square from the window, and cut as above (you don't need the triangle bits), and if you're a little bit cunning with your spares, you can make...
 A chimney! A bit bodged, but it looks about right. I also cut out some flowers for the window boxes.
 I cut the packaging into four, and gathered them with a bit of sticky tape to make curtains. There are no action shots of this though, as R decided her house wasn't to have curtains. She had ripped them off before I'd finished sticking them up.

And here it is! Complete with pigeon (of which we have a fair number around here, and R is always pointing out the windows at them, so her house wouldn't be complete without one!) I may yet get round to painting it, it all depends on what paints we have lurking in the garage, if I have time, and how long the house stands up to toddler play. All in all a fairly quick project, which has been a massive hit!

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