House & Carton: Dollhouse

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House & Carton
Total Time 2 to 3 hours Ages school-age

Believe it or not, this place was a real fixer-upper when we started: just two cardboard boxes and a stack of empty egg cartons left over from Easter. Here's how we fashioned those trash-bin finds into a sweet (green!) dream house — and how you can make and decorate a charming mini manse of your own. Create a sturdy, three-story structure from two cardboard boxes. For ease and uniformity, we purchased square mailing boxes.

What you'll need

  • 2 cardboard boxes (ours measure 10 inches square)
  • Scissors and a craft knife (adults only)
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Hot-glue gun (adults only)
  • Scrapbooking paper or card stock
  • Tacky glue
  • Fleece or felt

How to make it

  1. Flatten Box 1. Cut open Box 2 along one seam. Measure and mark the boxes as shown:

    Click to see Box 1
    Click to see Box 2

  2. Cut Box 1 in half along the marked center line, then cut out the marked windows and doors. Using the holes cut for the doors as a template, mark and cut out the corresponding door openings for the other box half (see right). Use the same technique to cut two more windows. Cut the outlined pieces from Box 2 and discard the excess cardboard.

  3. Assemble both Box 1 pieces (right), matching up the doors and folding up the flaps to complete the back wall. Hot-glue the box sides together. If you're adding wallpaper or flooring made of scrapbooking paper or card stock, use tacky glue to adhere it now.

  4. Use hot glue to attach each 5- by 10-inch floor piece. Glue wallpaper onto the attic wall piece, if you like, then hot-glue the attic wall to the back of the house (right).

  5. Hot-glue the roof in place.

  6. For carpet, cut one 5- by 20-inch rectangle and four 5- by 10-inch rectangles from fleece, felt, or paper. Hot-glue them in place, or leave the carpet unglued to make future renovations easy.

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