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Make an Adorable Cardboard Playhouse

There’s nothing more fun for kids to play with than a cardboard box, except maybe a really cute cardboard box! Need a fun activity to fill a summer afternoon? Make an adorable cardboard playhouse out of a large box and some dollar store supplies.
DIY Cardboard Box Playhouse

Inspired by a sweet trio of cute cardboard houses at A Beautiful Mess, we created our own cardboard house of dreams. You can use supplies you have on hand, or splurge on cute building materials at your local dollar store like we did!

What You Need To Build a Cardboard Playhouse:

  • A large appliance box and additional cardboard boxes for extra building material
  • Pretty gift wrap (optional)
  • 1″ thick ribbon for door hinges
  • A box cutter knife (parents only)
  • Sturdy scissors
  • Hot glue and glue gun (parents only)
  • Packing tape
  • Assorted embellishments (faux flowers, construction paper, etc.)

To Make the Cardboard Dream House:

How to Build a Cardboard Playhouse

1. Cut the bottom off of a large appliance box, and save bottom cardboard flaps for later.

2. If you are using a shorter appliance box (such as a dishwasher box, like we used), tape the top flaps upright and to each other. Tape corners with packing tape.

3. Parents only, cut a rectangle out of one side of the box for a door. Save cut-out door to attach later. Cut out windows.

Making an adorable cardboard playhouse

4. Cover house with wrapping paper, securing around edges with tape or hot glue. We used a roll of printed kraft paper from the dollar store. You will need more than one roll to cover the whole house.

5. Use bottom box flaps to create a sloped roof on the top of the box. Tape together, and tape to main house box with packing tape to secure.

Create an adorable cardboard box house with cardboard shingles!

6. Cut rectangles from cardboard to create “shingles,” and hot glue them to the sloped side of the roof (parents only). Embellish the rest of the roof as desired. We punched out card stock circles for the front of our house’s roof.

Hang a cardboard playhouse door with ribbon hinges

7. Wrap door piece of cardboard with wrapping paper, and hang with ribbon hinges hot glued (parents only) to the door and the house-box.

Create an adorable playhouse from cardboard boxes

We put three ribbon hinges on the door — at the top, center, and bottom of the door.Cardboard playhouse details

Next, add embellishments to the house. You can decorate your dream house in any way you want.

What we used for house details:

  • A wine cork and two popsicle sticks for door handles
  • A recycled cereal box cut in half for a window box
  • A pool noodle cut into 1″ slices and glued to a bamboo skewer for window box flowers
  • A rectangle of recycled cereal box wrapped in paper for a “welcome” sign
  • Plastic dollar store flowers for additional embellishments

DIY Adorable cardboard playhouse

This cardboard playhouse is great for summer outdoor play, but would also be a fun indoor rainy day activity. Make more than one house to create an adorable town.

Heather Mann is the mother of four boys, and is constantly on the lookout for fun games, activities, and recipes to keep her busy boys, well, busy. She designs and shares clever crafts with a frugal twist at her site Dollar Store Crafts and ideas for being the best mom ever (on a budget) at Dollar Store Mom.