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8 Ways To Turn A Cardboard Box Into A Family Fun Night

Inexpensive ways to use those boxes in a way that’s fun for the entire family.

Jennifer Valdez · 7 months ago

  • art

With so much online shopping happening these days, there’s a good chance your house is filled with cardboard boxes. Luckily, there are inexpensive ways to use those boxes in a way that’s fun for the entire family! Here are a few DIY projects with step-by-step instructions for your family to express yourselves creatively with cardboard. Just follow along at home, and let your imaginations run wild!

Painting Easel

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

A cardboard painting easel gives kids the freedom to express their inner Picasso, and it can be easily stored and saved for reuse so you can keep the art-filled fun coming!

Supplies:

  • Medium box

  • Scissors

  • Painters tape

  • Paint

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    Cut off the flaps from the box.

  2. 2.

    Cut the box open so it lies flat.

  3. 3.

    Tape your box into a triangle.

  4. 4.

    Tape a piece of paper to one side of the easel and you’re ready to paint!

Boxed Guitar

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

There are so many ways to turn a household item into a rock-and-roll instrument for kids. Like adding rice in a box to use as a homemade drum, or using a cereal box and rubber bands to make a killer guitar! Create a few instruments for the whole family and you’ve got yourself a band!

Supplies:

  • Cereal box

  • Paper towel roll

  • Scissors

  • Rubber bands

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    Have kids decorate their box.

  2. 2.

    Cut a 5” hole in the center.

  3. 3.

    Cut a small hole at the top to insert the paper towel roll.

  4. 4.

    Place rubber bands over the center opening of the box, spacing them out evenly.

Drive-in Movie Night

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

Add a little flare to your next movie night by recreating a drive-in theater in the comfort of your home. Turn a few cardboard boxes into kid-friendly cars that the whole family will enjoy.

Supplies:

  • Large box

  • Packing tape

  • Scissors

  • 5 paper plates

  • Paint

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    Cut off two of the top flaps then seal the box completely.

  2. 2.

    Cut ⅔ of the top of the box, leaving it joined to the car’s “hood.” Then fold the top flap in half and tape together to create the windshield.

  3. 3.

    Cut a semi-circle on each side of the box to make the doors.

  4. 4.

    Glue two paper plates on each side of the box to create the wheels and one inside to create the steering wheel.

  5. 5.

    Paint and decorate your cars.

  6. 6.

    Add pillows for upholstery and comfort.

SkeeBall Arcade

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

Want to put your craftsmanship to the test? Create a classic arcade game right in your living room. This is sure to be a household favorite that everyone can enjoy!

Supplies:

  • 2 large boxes

  • X-Acto knife

  • Duct tape

  • 5-7 paper cups

  • Markers

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    Cut one side of the box so it lies flat.

  2. 2.

    Cut two triangles from the top corners of the box to create a 45 degree angle.

  3. 3.

    Using a paper cup, trace circles for the SkeeBall holes. Then cut out the circles using an X-Acto knife.

  4. 4.

    Stand the box up (it should be slanted at an angle from step one) and tape the sides together so it stands sturdy.

  5. 5.

    Slide the cups into the cardboard holes.

  6. 6.

    Cut the second box into one long rectangle to use as the bowling lane.

  7. 7.

    Curve the end of the cardboard into a ramp and tape to the base of the SkeeBall board.

  8. 8.

    Use markers to write how many points per hole and start a friendly competition!

Live TV

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

Making a cardboard TV box allows kids to showcase their talents and create their own entertainment. All you need are a few household supplies and you’ll enjoy the best local programming around!

Supplies:

  • Medium box

  • Scissors

  • Markers

  • Glue

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    Cut out a square opening for the screen of your TV set.

  2. 2.

    Use the extra cardboard to cut out buttons and glue them below the screen.

  3. 3.

    Decorate the TV set – and voila! – you’ve got an interactive television!

USPS Mailbox

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

There’s nothing quite like a handwritten letter. Collectively write letters to loved ones, teachers, or Santa so your family can stamp and drop envelopes into your DIY mailbox. Then mail when ready.

Supplies

  • Tall rectangular box

  • X-Acto knife

  • Duct tape

  • Blue paint

  • Printer

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    On two opposite flaps, draw a semi-circle as wide as the flap. This will be the curved top of the mailbox.

  2. 2.

    On the remaining two flaps, use an X-Acto knife to score parallel lines across the outside one inch apart to make it bendable. Gently bend the flaps over the top, aligning it with the round flaps and tape together.

  3. 3.

    Cut a slot into the top of the mailbox.

  4. 4.

    On the front, draw a rectangle side door. Cut along three sides, leaving the left side uncut.

  5. 5.

    Paint the mailbox with blue paint.

  6. 6.

    Once the paint is dry, print out the “US MAIL” logo and tape to the front of the mailbox.

Fort Castle

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

A cardboard castle might be just the thing you need to add a bit of magic to your family’s playtime. Kids can flex their royal imagination and boundless creativity as they decorate and play inside their very own castle.

Supplies:

  • 3 Large boxes

  • X-Acto knife

  • Duct Tape

  • Markers

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    On two of the boxes, cut one side so the boxes lay flat.

  2. 2.

    Create a rampart wall by measuring and cutting a square pattern along the top flaps.

  3. 3.

    Using an X-Acto knife, cut out a door and windows to the castle.

  4. 4.

    Reinforce all edges of the box with duct tape leaving one side open.

  5. 5.

    With the third box, remove the flaps and lay the box between both standing boxes, creating a “tunnel” between the two towers. Tape the middle box to the open ends on the other boxes.

  6. 6.

    Decorate your castle and make it your own.

Drive-Thru Window

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

Creating a drive-thru window in your home makes for an entirely new experience! Whether you’re serving up Starbucks lattes or Big Macs, this is an activity the whole family can participate in. You can give kids safe packaged items to choose from when ordering or be the head chef yourself!

Supplies:

  • 2 medium boxes

  • Scissors

  • Duct tape

  • Markers

  • Printer

Instructions:

  1. 1.

    Stack the boxes on top of each other, using one as a platform and the other as the window. Tape together to secure.

  2. 2.

    Cut a large square into the top box for the window. Use the inside of the bottom box for food storage.

  3. 3.

    Print a logo from your favorite fast food spot and tape above the window. Work on decorating your box together as a family.