Shoe Box Dream House


What You Need:

  • Boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • Cleaned and dried plastic containers (yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
  • Cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls
  • Cleaned and dried soda bottles
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Clear drying, non-toxic glue
  • Ruler
  • White scratch paper
  • Blue colored pencil
  • Markers or crayons
  • Tempera paints and brush
  • Fabric scraps
  • Construction or wrapping paper
  • [Optional] Glitter, sequins, beads, clay


What You Do:

  1. Brainstorm ideas for the dream house. Ask your child to think of her favorite design concept. This may be a well-loved animal, sport or concept such as fashionable decor. Anything goes! Encourage her to be as creative as possible.
  2. Create a blueprint. Give your child a piece of scratch drawing paper and a blue pencil. Have her use a ruler to measure out dimensions for her dream house. Make a cross section, bird’s eye view or frontal drawing.
  3. Gather either one large box or smaller boxes in a variety of sizes to stack together for the main house structure. Try using anything from a shoe box to a cereal box. If the boxes are not the exact size she needs, help her to cut them into halves or smaller.
  4. Build the house structure. If you are using one large box such as moving or electronics box, you have already done this step. If you are using smaller boxes, turn each one into a room. Choose a specific way to the stack them based on your blueprint and tape or glue them in place.
  5. Now, create an interior! Turn each smaller box into its own room. Use paints and markers to color the walls, add faux carpeting or make a mock wood floor. Add pop up furniture with construction paper drawings or make sculptural pieces with clay. If you are using a whole box, separate each room with cut and glued (or taped) pieces of cardboard.
  6. Paint the exterior. If you are using several boxes pieces together, first cover the outside with a single sheet of wrapping or rolled paper.
  7. Add windows, doors and themed decor with cut and glued construction paper or more paint.
  8. [Optional] Dress up your house with glitter, sequins or even intricate bead work around areas such as doors and windows.  

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