Fold-Away Cardboard Dollhouse
We all know that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes you do need to tweak the design. Kids have many toys laying around waiting to be rediscovered in a new setting. Luckily new settings are not hard to come by. A cardboard box can provide a myriad of landscapes and interiors to inspire the mind and spark the imagination. What more can one menchy can want?
Clear packing tape
Decorative supplies (magazine pictures, paint, gems etc.)
Glue gun or glue stick
Cut each piece of cardboard into roughly the shape of a house. Take one of the house templates and make a thin slit starting at the roof and extending to the middle of the house. For the other house template, make a thin slit starting from the floor and extending to the middle of the house. You can reinforce the slits with clear packing tape to keep them from fraying.
Slot the piece with the floor slit into the piece with the roof slit and you’re done! Keep the walls spread out for play, or press them together to store away flat.
Be creative with your layout! You can cut your cardboard into other shapes, such as a castle, a barn, a mansion, even waves for an underwater theme. You can make large structures, or scale them smaller to make travel sized ones.
The decorative elements of this project are also really flexible. Leave it blank and cut out doors and windows, or paint it with solid colors and designs. Why not try out chalkboard paint to add an extra dimension? Older kids can fill in details such as furniture or appliances, or make them separately from leftover cardboard. You can try out a realistic look like I did, using magazine pictures to add little embellishments. Or glue on natural elements such as leaves and moss and take it outside for a fantasy woodland scene.
You’ll be surprised at how many toys make their way out of the bottom of the closet for a chance to play in this new environment.
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Tissue Paper Sun Catchers
My kids would live outside if I let them. But scorching summer days sometimes beg for an air-conditioned room. That’s why this adorable tissue paper craft makes a regular reappearance in our home. Try it out and you’ll be sure to keep your house stocked with contact paper for the dreaded rainy day.
On a piece of cardstock, draw or print out a desired shape. Cut out your shape and carefully trim out the inside, leaving a thick frame to serve as the outline.
Peel the backing off a piece of clear contact paper slighly larger than your shape. Tape the contact paper – sticky side up – to your work surface (easel, window, table, wall, etc).
Cut or tear a bunch of tissue paper pieces (if using a punch to make shapes, sandwich the tissue paper between a folded piece of paper to make it easier to cut).
Have your child(ren) press the tissue paper into the contact paper, making sure to overlap a bit so as to not leave any gaps. When completed, press another piece of contact paper over your finished work and glue to the back of your frame. Trim any excess and tape to a sunny window to admire your beautiful suncatcher!