For people who are computer scientists in robotics, it’s common for you to do a robotic arm. A lot of companies make robots, including Lego. So it’s actually very common for something like this to go on. But what is uncommon is making the arm out of cardboard. You wouldn’t think that it would be sturdy enough to pick things up, but this video proves it wrong. If you want to see the full video on how they made this, check out The Q YouTube channel. It just might inspire you to make your own robotic arm out of cardboard as well.
One of the most classic cardboard craft ideas out there is the playhouse. When you were a kid, you probably climbed inside of your parents refrigerator or washing machine box at least once in your youth. They are so much fun, and you can let your imagination grow wild. But it can also be turned into something more elaborate like what you see in the photo. There are actually a lot of different designs on Pinterest and blogs throughout the internet, just in case you want to do something different than what is in the photo. If you don’t have a big box on hand, contact your local Home Depot or Lowe’s to see if they can give you one. For full instructions on how to make this play house, check out the Project Nursery blog.
Almost everyone has old greeting cards lying around the house. Maybe your grandma sent you $5 in a birthday card and you put it in a box as a keepsake. Now it’s time to recycle those things and turn them into a craft. Simply cutting out those colored pieces into the shape of a flower and doing what you see in the photo above is enough for a cute craft to give to your mom for Mother’s day. These cardboard flowers will last a lot longer than real ones. And if you’re working with a small child, they can’t afford to buy their mom flowers anyway. Cover with brown paper and a ribbon, and voila! You have a beautiful bunch of paper flowers.
This next idea comes from a blog called Handmade Charlotte. It is an adorable puppet show made using cardboard, paper, markers, and straws. Not to mention the little fairy lights that are adorned on the stage. This is very cute, and it looks sort of difficult to make. But if you follow the instructions and have a lot of patience, you can make this for your kids too. I can imagine this being a really good entry into some sort of contest for school. Or, if they make this, they’re guaranteed to pretty much keep it for the rest of their life.
The texture of these cardboard pumpkins is very cool. All you have to do is take a cardboard box and tear it apart so that you can see the corrugated edges. Then take some scissors and cut them into small squares. Glue them onto the shape of a pumpkin that has been cut out of another piece of cardboard. Add some googly eyes or sparkles, and you have a masterpiece. In the photo, they made eyes and the mouth out of pieces of white paper with some pen drawings. You can really do whatever you want, but the result is going to be cute either way.
This next idea comes from the Too Much Time blog. In the photo, you can see that they turned a cereal box into a planter that’s covered with twigs. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this. I think that it looks like something you could buy at Dollar Tree. But if you saw this in a magazine or something similar online, then you should go for it. It wouldn’t take a lot of money to make this. and if you eat a lot of cereal, you can have more than one on each side table. You just need the twig attachments and a hot glue gun to make this project a reality.
Making a car out of an old orange juice carton is actually very easy. As you can see from the photos, they cut out pieces of cardboard for the windshield and the side windows. Then they used those pieces of cardboard for the wheels that are underneath the vehicle. If you want to, you could get even more creative by painting the cardboard and adding extra details with some acrylics. I don’t recommend using watercolors for a project like this, because it probably wouldn’t cover up the surfaces. One young YouTuber called Max Imagination even turned an orange juice carton into a vehicle than runs on water!
One of the best ideas on this list comes from the Metro UK Blog, which showcased a mom who made a play kitchen for her daughter. The materials look expensive, but it is actually out of nothing but cardboard boxes. When you look online, play kitchens go anywhere from $200 to $500. But they are nowhere near as large as this one in the photo. This mom was able to make a custom kitchen for her daughter that is larger than what you can find in the store. And it honestly looks much nicer. Once the little girl grows old, she will be able to recycle the entire thing without worrying about what to do with it.
Growing up, odds are that you slid down the stairs at least once in your life. Maybe you tried to slide down the banister, or used a sled to go down the stairs. (Or was that just me?) This is a great idea for helping your kids make their sliding dreams come true without them getting hurt. But I would recommend watching them as they do this, just in case. You never know if the cardboard could slip and they can end up hurting themselves anyway. So just monitor their behavior and make sure that they are all right. For full instructions on how to do this, check out the blog called The Contemplative Creative.
Sherri Madison on TikTok creates tons of amazing crafts out of cardboard. She does so many, we could have focused this entire list just on her creations! But out of all of them, I chose the Crayola box costume she made for her son. The original post had more than 80,000 views. In the video, she shows how she took multiple Amazon boxes to create the costume. It’s so cute, and incredibly well done. Look how happy he is in the picture. If you want to see more of her creations, check out Sherri’s TikTok called The Cardboard Queen.
This idea came from 5 Minute Crafts on YouTube. All you really have to do is cut the arms off of the box. Put those aside, and use them for the shelves. You cover the entire box and shelves in wrapping paper. Then reinsert the shelves and glue them in place. You’re left with a really interesting perfume cabinet in the end. My only concern is that I don’t believe this would hold that many products without collapsing. Cardboard is not that strong on its own. Maybe let your kids make this for their toys, but make sure nothing is breakable or made out of class.
Have you ever had the issue where you found an outlet, but you’re forced to sit on the floor? Or your phone needs to be in your hand for an hour? This contraption eliminates that issue all together, and you make it out of cardboard. It hangs directly from your plug, so that the phone can rest on the cardboard while it is charging. And if it gets lost or damaged during your travels, there are no worries, because you can always just make another one. For full instructions on how to make this, check out the Cardboard Ninja YouTube channel.
Our next idea was taken from Pinterest, which showcased a game called “slingpunk”. It looks like each side has either blue or red pucks. Each side uses a rubber band to pull and sling the pucks to the other side. It seems like Whoever has the most pucks on the opposite side wins. so in the picture, the one with only one puck left would be the winner. at least that’s what I assume the rules are. It looks like you don’t even need the rubber band, but you need to push the puck quicker than your opponent. For more instructions on how to make sling puck out of wood, click here.
Here is yet another Pinterest find of a castle made out of Pringles cans. If you eat a lot of chips at home or on your lunch breaks, this one’s for you. This is perfect if your kids are a fan of Rapunzel, and they want to play pretend with a princess in a tower. Or, if they generally like fantasy and medieval times, this might be a good item to make as well. Even people who play Dungeons and Dragons might find it to be helpful. If you want to know more about how to make this, check out the Cipta Craft YouTube channel.
Here is yet another beautiful adult craft made by Tatzkreen Art. It’s great for anyone who wants a desk calendar without paying the high price at the store. Everything is made of cardboard, and the numbers are either stickers or painted on. It’s easy to flip the numbers on the rings, and change the date every day. If you brought this to work, people would be guaranteed to comment on it. It might even be a good craft to do with your coworkers. I can imagine keeping this for years, especially if you feel really proud of making this yourself. Just watch the YouTube tutorial to see the instructions on how to make this.
I got this next idea from Pinterest, which showcased a large variety of African style masks that someone made out of cardboard. Some of these faces also look like they might be Picasso paintings. I would personally look at an existing mask, and use that as a template for what you would want to make with your own cardboard. Use a blade or sharp scissors to cut out the pieces. Then use a hot glue gun to attach everything together. They look so cool that you can easily paint them and hang them on your wall if you wanted to. This would be really cheap artwork for you to put in an apartment or a dorm room. For instructions on how to make this, watch this YouTube video.