Turning Cardboard Boxes Into Your Child’s Dream Playhouse

Turning Cardboard into a Playhouse - plans and photos

When I was a kid, my mom threw me a 50’s themed birthday party complete with a jukebox made out of an old refrigerator box.  Once the party was over, it stuck around the house for a month or two while we continued to play with it.  Quite a bit of use for an old refrigerator box that was otherwise bound for the recycling bin.

Now that I have my own kids, I can see how busy a simple cardboard box can keep them. Here’s a few products that help turn a cardboard box into anything your child can imagine.

Mr. McGroovy’s Rivets :I love these tools to make building something out of a cardboard box a little easier and more sturdy. You can download plans with step-by-step instructions to build projects like a firetruck, castle, space ship or lemonade stand.    All you need is a few free cardboard boxes, Mr. McGroovy’s Rivets and markers or paint. For more inspiration, check out the photo gallery where people have shared their project photos.


Makedo : I picked up a Makedo spacepod kit at a garage sale and my 5 year old loved it! It came with instructions, stickers for decorating and over 60 connectors to make the space pod. All I had to do was provide the cardboard. Each construction kit comes with similar items to build projects such as a shark, rally car or elephant.


My Very Own House : If building from scratch isn’t your thing, My Very Own House has about a dozen different preprinted designs. This cottage is over 4 feet tall and well loved by toddlers and preschoolers. The outside and inside are white so they can both be decorated. Made from biodegradable, formaldehyde-free cardboard. Include 8 markers.



Box Creations : Another preprinted design but they are more adventurous with pirate ships, space shuttles, carriages and castles. Made in the USA with recycled materials and includes 4 markers.



The Cardboard Box Book : This book would make a fun gift coupled with a few cardboard boxes and some paints or markers.



  1. That’s fantastic! I have to bookmark this for future use. Like most kids Nate loves cardboard boxes but at 13 months he’s satisfied with them as they are. One of my fondest childhood memories also involves a cardboard box. My dad made me a phenomenal Barbie two story house with cardboard stairs. I loved it. Loved it so much that it was at the heart of one of the few times I got in trouble. At four years old I did not want to share it with my friends 🙂

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