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57 Clever Cardboard and Cardboard Tube Crafts to Make


I’ve made several fun toys and activities for kids using cardboard but nothing like these amazing projects.  You’ll be blown away by these 57 things to make using a cardboard box and cardboard tube.  They are DIY activities, games, and imagination building props to encourage your child to play for hours.

 Clever Cardboard and Cardboard Tube Crafts to Make

Cardboard Box City

Cardboard City

1.  DIY Cardboard Playhouses ~ Create an entire city block with these amazing playhouses.  You can make trees and cars to complement the city.

Cardboard City

2.  DIY Cardboard Castle ~ Your little princesses will adore playing make believe in this fabulous castle!  And, you can make the entire castle for around $4.

Cardboard City

3.  Castle One and Castle Two ~  Two amazing cardboard castles made for a window display for a store owner.  They are seriously so impressive and would make an amazing castle for a little boy who loves to play with knight figurines or amazing spray painted in black and used for Halloween decor.

cardboard box city

4.  Cardboard Box City ~ A darling Sweetopia made for a birthday party complete with shopping center, dental office, beauty boutique, and pastry shop.

Cardboard City
5.  Cardboard Box Party ~ This party is seriously so creative with box cars, buses, and even a castle.

Cardboard City
6.  Barn for the Farm ~ A darling barn made for a 1st birthday party in a farm theme complete with a silk flower window.

Cardboard City
7.  A Townhouse Village ~ A sweet little townhouse village for little animals made from a cardboard box, paint, sharpies, clear vinyl, ribbon, and scraps of paper and packaging.

Cardboard City
8.  DIY Kids: Ice Cream Shop ~ This wonderfully social, imaginary play led me to the recent construction of our next DIY Kids Project… I present to you, the Ice Cream Shop.

Cardboard City

9.  Cardboard Coffee Shop ~ Fashion your little barista with their very own coffee shop made from cardboard.

Cardboard Toys

Cardboard Toys

10.   How to Work With Cardboard ~ If you want to make a few fun projects, be sure to check out this great article.  The Ikat Bag shows tons of amazing tutorials on things to make with cardboard.  Click on any of the images at the bottom of her post to be taken to that tutorial on how to make it.

Cardboard Toy

11. Cardboard Mailbox ~ A fun way to create your own post office at home and a fun activity for kids.

Cardboard Toy
12.  Cardboard Washing Machine ~ How fun is the pretend washing machine?  Your child can work right along side of you.  {wink} (The post is not in English, but with the pictured step by step tutorial you can make your own.)

Cardboard Toys

13.  Cardboard Dog House ~ Anna Dawn constructed a dog house out of a cardboard box – so cute with the roof shingles!

Cardboard Toy

14. Recycled Three Little Pigs  Puppet Theater ~ A darling theatre made out of a box with a fun dry-erase board topper to write the title of the play.

Cardboard Puppet Theater

15.  Puppet Theater ~ A refrigerator box turned into a fun puppet theater.

Cardboard Dressing Table
16.  Play Dressing Table from a Cardboard Box ~ Two boxes made into a play dressing table and wrapped in wrapped up in some bright pink self adhesive book covering.

Gross Motor Skills

17.  Cardboard Play Tunnel {Gross Motor Skills} ~ This is a super fun activity to set up for your ready to crawl baby! All you’ll need is a large cardboard box and some tights! Create the play tunnel with the help of this tutorial, then sit back and watch your baby explore and develop without even knowing its helping with their gross motor skills! {score}

Cardboard Toys
18.  Cardboard Box Marble Run ~ A fun activity for kids that uses several pieces of cardboard taped together to make a fun marble run.

DIY Cardboard Toys

19.  DIY: Castle Story Box ~ A darling Jack in the Beanstalk castle to inspire imaginary play.

Cardboard Toys
20.  Cardboard Guitars ~  Pictured instructions on how to make your own guitars out of a box.

Cardboard Phone Booth

21.   Super Hero Phone Booth ~ Clark Kent now has his phone booth to transform into Superman and save the world!  What boy wouldn’t think that this was the coolest idea ever?!  The transformation of this refrigerator box is amazing.  You’d better be on the lookout for a refrigerator box because you are definitely going to want to make one for your little superhero.

Cardboard Dress Up

Cardboard Toys

22.  Cardboard Party Hats {diy} ~ Create party hats from cardboard with this basic tutorial. There are three tutorials to make a peaked engineer/railroad-operator hat, the Mad-Hatter and the flat boater. Not only are these hats adorable, but very sturdy. After they are constructed you can let the children decorate them with stickers and/or paint.

Cardboard Dress Up

23.  DIY Cardboard Crown ~  This corrugated cardboard crown is fit for a princess or king!  It would be darling for a birthday crown too!

Halloween Robot Costume

24.  Robot Costume ~ Jill made this Robot Costume using cardboard boxes, paint, dryer hose, metal, spot light, & silver gloves.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a fabulous homemade robot!

Cardboard Dress Up

25.  Cardboard Box iPod Costume ~ With a lil paint, minimal artistic talent and a few supplies you will find around your home, you can easily create an iPod costume for your budding music man.

Pirate Ship & Treasure Chest Costumes

26.  Pirate Ship & Treasure Chest Costumes~ These home made pirate costumes are made with boxes, paint, and plastic jewelry/coins.  The ship is shaped from a large box.  Jill tells us how to make ever detail for these fabulous costumes!

Vintage Auto Costumes

27.  Vintage Auto Costumes ~ Jill made these Vintage Auto Costumes using cardboard boxes, spray paint, foam, and material.  I’m guessing her kids were the envy of the Halloween party!

Mailbox & Popcorn Box costume

28.  Mailbox & Popcorn Box Costumes from a box – No Sewing required  ~ Two costumes featured here are a blue mailbox and a popcorn box.These were so much fun and very simple to make. Michelle says they were super fun to make and got tons of attention!

Cardboard Kitchen

Cardboard Kitchen

29.  Cardboard-Box Oven Craft ~ Make this lovely cardboard oven with materials from around your home.

DIY Cardboard Kitchen
30.  Cardboard Pizza Making ~ A fun activity for kids using cardboard and colored paper and other supplies around your home.

Cardboard Kitchen

31.  Cardboard Pizza Oven ~ Make a pizza oven complete with a brick front to bake cardboard pizzas.  It’s made from two boxes and lots of scraps.  It would be a fun project after a trip to Costco and receiving a bunch of empty boxes.  {wink}

Cardboard Kitchen

32. Cardboard Refrigerator ~ Stock the pretend refrigerator with play food for hours of play!

cardboard bedroom suite

33.  Cardboard Bedroom Suite ~ An absolutely darling room decorated with a box dresser, headboard, frame and lamp.

Night Owl Birthday Party
34.  Night Owl Birthday Party ~ This party is so fab!  Look how she used cardboard and made the table look like a bed!

Cardboard Transportation

Lego Star Wars

35.  Lego Star Wars Party ~ Make your little Jedi a card board snow speeder for their party.  It doubles as entertainment and fun photo ops.

Activities for Children

36.  Cardboard Airplane ~ With Summer rapidly approaching, this indoor activity while entertain your child and is sure to score you coolest mom of the year award! You’ll need a large diaper box and a flying ace!

Cardboard Transportation

37.  Cardboard Box Party ~ This cardboard box party is pure genius down to the last detail! Ordinary boxes were transformed into a play-yard complete with rocket ships, trains, helicopters and planes. There were even lunches in a box.

Backyard Drive-In Movie
38.  Backyard Drive-In Movie {Summer Party Themes} ~ What child wouldn’t have a blast with this backyard drive-in movie party?!  It’s perfect for a fun summer night of entertainment!  You can make the cars using a cardboard box and paper plates for the wheels.

Cardboard Transportation

39.  Gas Pump and Car ~ Fill up your tank at the gas pump!  This fun car and gas pump combo is sure to be a hit.

Cardboard Scooter

40.  Scooter made from a box ~  This scooter is seriously so impressive!  What kiddo wouldn’t want their own life-sized scooter made out of a box!

DIY Spaceship

 41.  Cardboard Spaceship ~ A fantastic spaceship with an extra partition glued on to the back to allow for intergalactic personnel transport. {snicker}

Cardboard Transportation

42. Cardboard Fire Engine Truck Tutorial ~ A darling prop and boy-sized toy for a Fire Truck themed birthday party.

DIY Rocket Ship
43.  Giant Rocket Ship ~ Using a potato box as the base for the structure, all the cardboard was brought home after a trip to Costco. It took about 15 sheets of the corrugated cardboard that they have in between the pallets of diaper boxes/toilet rolls/cereal boxes.

Train made out of Boxes

44.  Train made out of Boxes ~ A fun and interactive party decor for a train themed outdoor birthday party.  Choo choo!

Cardboard Car Wash

45.  Homemade Toy Car Wash ~ A car wash made for the toy cars out of a box and stuff out of the recycling bin and fabric strips.

Cardboard Transportation

46.  Cardboard Surfboard ~ Pretend surfing with this fun cardboard surfboard.

Cardboard Toys

47.  Narnia Ships Craft ~ A free printable template for creating your own ships from The Chronicles of Narnia out of cardboard.  This takes the measurements and work out of it but still allows the little ones’ imagination to run wild!

Cardboard Toy

48.  Cardboard Bus ~ Your child’s stuffed animals will definitely travel in style with this fabulous bus complete with a license plate!  I love how it was covered in fabric.

End of School Party

49.  DIY Ice Cream Truck ~ How about starting the summer off with an ice cream party? Entertain the kids with ice cream crafts, an ice cream bar and a cherry guessing game. An awesome homemade ice cream truck and an ice cream cone lined walk way should round out the decorations. Just add hungry kids.

Tube Crafts

Preschool Valentine Craft

50.  DIY Heart Stamping ~ Use cardboard tubes (toilet paper or paper towel rolls) and some paint to “stamp” heart shapes. This was a fun project that I did with my two year old.  We’ll give some of the artwork to her grandfather and dad for Father’s Day.

Cardboard Tube Crafts

51.  Crafty Cardboard Princess Crown ~ How To Make A Princess Crown Out Of Paper Towel Tubes (and other miscellaneous odds and ends you have laying around your house) – a fun project kids can do almost totally by themselves.

Toilet Paper Tube Craft

52.  Craft Cardboard Stars {Recycled Craft} ~ These gorgeous stars are fairly simple to make and have a definite “wow” factor!  You will never believe this recycled craft was made from toilet paper rolls.

Toilet Paper Tube

Art Projects for Preschoolers
53.  Owl Play Set {Paper Crafts} ~ This is a great craft for the preschool and early elementary age. All you need is toilet paper rolls, paint and some material or patterned paper. It can be paired with a lesson on owls or just as a fun afternoon craft session!

Cardboard Tube Octopus {Easy Craft}

54.  Cardboard Tube Octopus {Easy Craft} ~ What child would not want to make this cute little octopus? It is made from cardboard tubes that normally go right into the landfill. Craft and recycle at the same time. Decorate your mini octopus with dots, stripes, buttons, googly eyes, and anything else you have around the house.

Easter Crafts for Kids

55.  Cardboard Tube Easter Bunnies {Easter Crafts for Kids} ~ Cute little Easter bunnies as colorful as jelly beans.  Your little ones will have fun making them and you will too.

Halloween Crafts

56.  Little Monsters {tutorial} ~ What a fun project for your budding artists!   Using recycled cardboard tubes, let your child paint a silly, scary or goofy monster.  You can add pom poms and other do dads for decorative trim.

Cardboard Tube Crafts

57.  Cardboard Tube Bowling ~ Roll a strike with this fun game of bowling!  Cardboard tubes for the pins and a duct tape ball.

More Craft Tutorials:

Thanks Ladies. I just adore these tutorials! Feel free to grab my “I was featured on Tip Junkie” blog button. You earned it! {knuckle bumps}

Also, don’t forget to check out the Tip Junkie Facebook page for even more crafts, activities for kids, creative ideas, and free tutorials. It’s a great place to ask questions on how to make things or for specific tutorials that you are looking for. I’ll be happy to find them for ya!

Tip Junkie ~ Laurie Turk

Creating Memories that Endure,


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DIY Cardboard Playhouses
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