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Making Kids Play Houses out of Used Moving Boxes

With all those empty moving boxes laying around post-move, you’re likely wondering what to do with them. After all, you don’t want to just throw the moving boxes out, especially if you purchased them only a couple of weeks prior, but you also don’t want a bunch of cardboard sitting around in your new humble abode.

Kid playhouses are an excellent way to make use of those moving boxes, and it’s also an excellent way to get your little one excited about their new surroundings. So, grab your spare boxes. It’s time to put them to good use.

What You’ll Need:

The best thing about making kids playhouses out of used moving boxes is that you don’t need anything extra and out of the ordinary. Instead, you just need some common household items, such as:

• Used moving boxes in different sizes, ideally large sizes
• Cardboard tubes from paper towel or wrapping paper
• Tape, preferably packing tape
• Box cutter or a sharp pair of scissors
• Markers, pencils, paints, stickers, etc. for decoration

Step One: Gather Some Used Moving Boxes

Moving boxes are the ideal material for DIY kids playhouses, as they’re easy to fold, cut, stick and decorate into a masterpiece. They’re also sturdy and if you’ve recently moved or know someone who has moved recently, moving boxes are also readily available.

For this kids’ playhouse, you’ll need a couple of moving boxes in different sizes, preferably large boxes.

Step Two: Flatten the Moving Boxes

Once you have all of your moving boxes collected, it’s time to flatten the boxes. This can be done by removing or cutting the tape that’s holding the cardboard together. Though, your little ones will try to convince you that jumping on the moving boxes is the most effective way to flatten them, doing so can ruin their future playhouse.

Step Three: Determine The Size

The next step is to determine the height and floor plan of the playhouse. Any size works, as long as you have enough leftover moving boxes to cover the height, width and the roof of the playhouse. If not, downsize.

Step Four: Create the Foundation of the Playhouse

Using four large cardboard pieces that are of similar length, make the corners of the playhouse. The original boxes, despite being flattened, will have fold lines and flaps which will make it significantly easier for you to shape them into corners. However, the key is to fold the cardboard so the inside of the original box is now the outside.

If you do not have four cardboard pieces the same size, simply tape two similar pieces together and add a long piece of cardboard up the center to make it nice and sturdy.
Once you have your four corners, secure them with tape.

Step Five: Strengthen Your Structure

To make the playhouse more durable, tape cardboard tubes (the longer, the better) on the inside corners. If you do not have any leftover cardboard tubes, simply make your own by rolling some flattened cardboard.

Step Six: Attach Ceiling Beams

This is the most important step to creating a kids playhouse using old moving boxes because the ceiling beams are what will keep the playhouse standing tall.

You’ll need at least two long cardboard tubes (or rolled up cardboard) to complete this step. On each end, cut notches in the bottom half of the tubes. This will allow the top of the cardboard tubes to sit on the corner tubes in step five, and the bottom part that you cut will align with the corner tubes length.

Tape the ceiling beam in place. Repeat at the back on the other two corner posts.

Psst: Adding the ceiling beam also creates the opening for the front door.

Step Seven: Add the Walls and Windows

Tape pieces of flat cardboard between the corner posts to create the walls. If you don’t have cardboard pieces long enough to match the height of the playhouse, no problem. Still apply them to the playhouse, extending them from the floor up, and if they don’t extend far enough, simply use these openings as windows.

Make sure to apply a significant amount of tape to these areas.

Psst: If you want the playhouse to have windows that can be opened and closed, tape a longer piece of cardboard to the top of the window, allowing your little ones to push it out and open. You can also tape two smaller pieces of cardboard to the sides of the windows to serve as window shutters.

Step Eight: Install the Roof

Using a large piece of cardboard folded into a peak in the center (or two smaller pieces taped together in the center and folded into a peak), you now have your roof. Tape these pieces to the house where the ceiling beams were attached in step six.

Now the only thing left to do is decorate. So, grab the markets, pencils, glitter, and stickers and let your little ones transform their new playhouse into their very own.

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