Cardboard Box Construction Ideas



Uploaded 11/6/2015 by Jon and Dawn .

Jonathan: It's finally finished!

Dawn: You're very exuberant today; what's finally finished, Jonathan?

Jonathan: Our very own More Than A Box motion picture! Somebody call the press!

Dawn: We have our own motion picture?? That's snazzy!

Jonathan: Yep! I'm already surfin' the web for condos in Hollywood.

Dawn: Are you sure the public is ready for:

Orson Plays-Well Presents:
Attack of the (Potentially) Dangerous (or Not)
Creatures from BEYOND THE BOX!
and the Fat Brain Toys
that Saved the World
from Certain Uncertainty

Jonathan: Ready? Of course they're ready! I can see the headlines now: "Fat Brain Copywriters Make It Big with Smash Hit Summer Block Buster”.

Dawn: Well then let's tell our adoring (future) fans who are clamoring for the scoop all about The Making of Our Amazing Stop-Motion Masterpiece!

Jonathan: Well... I was gonna save it for the Special Features, but I guess I can give maybe one interview.

Dawn: I believe it's common practice, nowadays, to inundate the Public with Too Much Information, and then to also put it in the Special Features. So, let's see, in the last episode of Jon & Dawn, we played with a Cardboard Box, and if I remember right, we had a blast.

Jonathan: As is expected with your average run-of-the-mill cardboard box.

Dawn: Of course, as grown-ups, we didn't just play with the box, we created a stop-motion (I hate to keep referring to it as such, but it's soooooo true) MASTERPIECE.

Jonathan: Masterpiece is an understatement, I'd say. We used all the boxes in the office we could find to build a BIG detailed city plus all kinds of goofy characters and then set it up in the conference room in front of a camera to start filming. (My favorite part was building the other-worldly UFO, by the way.)

Dawn: I loved making the little people (gingerbread people, among others!). … So I was the Official Shutter Clicker Photo Snapper, wearing my beret and telling our little cardboard people to find their "motivation" and really give us the performance of their lives!

Jonathan: (Ugh. Actors. Can't live with 'em and you can't make a big time totally awesome production without 'em.) Okay... it was (technically) me she was directing.

Dawn: We only had one Cardboard Casualty. But can you really expect aliens to be able to fly their own spacecraft? Sadly, they landed on the Grim Reaper just as he was about to harvest an elderly cardboard man... It was very tragic (but I'm not sure for who).

Jonathan: (Psst! Ixsnay on the asualtycay! The cops will find out!)

Dawn: As soon as the aliens flew their double-parked spaceship back to my desk, the Grim Reaper just kind of shook it off and went back to stalking people.

Jonathan: Yeah, and he definitely does not have a limp now.

Dawn: He's fine, he's fine! He's got his own trailer and a bowl full of carrots! He's in better health now that he's famous than he was before!

Jonathan: Exactly! And, folks, you can be sure that's NOT what our lawyers told us to say!

Dawn: Oh, and I swear, I never ran with scissors! That was NOT me!

Jonathan: Anyway. The production was fun and, honestly, went a lot more smoothly than I had expected.

Dawn: While we were snapping, I was sure it was going to be a bust! The cardboard people seemed too small I wasn't sure we could adequately express their terror!

Jonathan: Once it was all planned out, it all just kind of flew by.

Dawn: We took like a hundred million pictures and then expected our brand new video guy, Christopher, to perform a miracle...

Jonathan: Which is exactly what he did! Right after we finished taking all the pictures, I couldn't help but think to myself that the whole thing was going to be all for naught. That being said, we had limited time and resources. Which makes me think, if I were a kid and I had a whole weekend, I can only imagine what would be possible!

Dawn: Is that a challenge you have just issued, Jonathan?

Jonathan: Yes! I mean, obviously - Kids are EXTREMELY creative and compared to us busy busy adults, they usually have more time on their hands, and therefore totally have the ability to blow us out of the water. It's basic math, really. But... Our production will be pretty tough to beat if I do say so myself. I mean... Just look at it!

Dawn: I have to agree; if a couple of complete amateurs like us are going straight to Hollywood with our fantabulous cardboard movie, a kid or two will surely win an Oscar!

Jonathan: And don't forget - The whole thing was FUN! I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend, let alone a day at work.

Dawn: Oh, and by playing with Way More Than a Box, you can single-handedly SAVE the PLANET, doncha know! Because everything you do is 100% recyclable! (And 300% total fun.) Now, I'm going to go make my gingerbread people chase your Grim Reaper around the cardboard cemetery again!

Jonathan: Don't you mean my Grim Reaper is going to chase YOUR gingerbread people around the cardboard cemetery?

Dawn: Oooh, no. My gingerbread people are spunky! And your Grim Reaper just hasn't quite been the same since that spaceship (allegedly) landed on him.

Jonathan: We'll just see about that.

Dawn: Is that a challenge?

Jonathan: My lawyer says I have no comment.

Dawn: I'll be under my desk playing with a cardboard box if you need me! (That does not mean I'm hiding from your lawyers...)

Jonathan: And I'll be in my trailer!


Would you like to PLAY, too?  You can!  All you need is a cardboard box and a camera (and a little imagination), then you can submit your photos to us at our Official (ooh!) Way More Than a Box website!




Uploaded 10/19/2015 by Jon and Dawn .

Dawn:  Hey, hey, Jonathan, let's go play with a cardboard box! 'Kay?  I know there's toys all over the place, but look! It's a box!

Jonathan: A box? .... It's a box. Sounds boring!

Dawn: Awww, don't be such a grown-up.  It's not just a box, it's WAY More Than a Box!

Jonathan: Okay.. what do you mean WAY more than a box?

Dawn:  It's not about what you CAN see, it's about Infinite Possibilities!  There are no instructions, anything goes!  A box is EVERYTHING!

Jonathan: Please explain. (I say from my armchair by the fire place while Dawn plays with a box, of all things, on the rug.)

Dawn: Okay, Mister, you asked for it! This simple box is the ultimate creative tool. It's cardboard, which is “malleable” (please note, sometimes you have to use grown-up speak to get the attention of the adults!), and you can cut it, shape it, draw on it, turn it into... a toy store... perhaps?

Jonathan: Hmmm... Sounds interesting... but what about something dangerous?  Maybe an alien invasion?  

Dawn: Eeek!  Aliens!  Great idea!  Us three-year-olds (ahem) can be diverted and entertained for a while with toys that Do Stuff, but give us a box and... the world is our oyster! (Which just sounds gross, but is really awesome.)

Jonathan: Where do we begin?

Dawn: First we have to scavenge for supplies. I'll get the scissors! (I promise not to run...) Scissors, markers, corrugated cardboard, boxes, paper... toys that have run away from their owners...

Jonathan: Okay, I'll grab all the boxes in the office and... I bet we could use these scrapped toys, too!  I'm thinking.... Hmmm... Stop-motion animation? These boxes could be buildings!

Dawn: Woooooow, look at all the possibilities.

Jonathan: Those round cardboard pieces could be a smokestack.

Dawn: I think the Swingy-Thing box would make a good church... look, it's got windows and a door already!  Whatcha building there, Mister?

Jonathan: I'm making skyscrapers!

Dawn: I'm stealing your smokestack for my Fat Brain Factory.

Jonathan: Oh! I've GOT TO build a space ship!

Dawn: I'm going to make a cemetery for my church... and a scary old tree in the cemetery...  Oooh, what are you making that space ship out of?

Jonathan: Well, the base of it is made from a bunch of transparent Dado Squares... And then some cardboard here, cardboard there, and voila! A space ship! 

Dawn: While Jonathan built the diorama stage, a HUGE city, and an alien space craft, I built a zoo (perfect use of lost AnimaLogic animals!), a warehouse district, and the church.  I tend to think on a smaller (but maybe a little more intricate) scale.

Jonathan: I guess you can tell from my skyscrapers. I'm always thinkin' BIG.  … But what should we use as outerspace aliens?

Dawn: I want the Reptangles to be the good guys, because they're cute.

Jonathan: Oh! I know! What about these block things? They look nothing like humans! What do you think?

Dawn: Oh, the Tridios... yes, they're very robotic looking!

Jonathan: Perfect!  Okay... But now we're going to need some people.

Dawn: I can't really draw, but I cut out a mean gingerbread man!

Jonathan: Good thinking!

Dawn: And a gingerbread lady...  And a cat...

Jonathan: I made an old man, some "business" people, and, well.. It's almost Halloween so of course I had to make a Grim Reaper! (Perfect for Dawn's cemetery, by the way.)

Dawn: Jonathan started out really artsy, but we started to feed off each other in this perfect example of Parallel Play that was quickly turning into Cooperative Play, and suddenly we were trying to out-silly each other! I made a great big scary tree for the cemetery... with lots of gravestones...

Jonathan: Okay, so now that we have everything built, should we go film? Any ideas for the plot?

Dawn: I think we can save that for Part Two: Way More Than a Box, The Movie! But first, let's whet their appetites with dreams of the weird city we built, and tantalize them to participate: Kids, Romans, Young-At-Heart, YOU, too, can build Way More Than a Box--and share your pictures with us!

Jonathan: I can't wait!

Dawn: You kids are going to have to get up pret-ty early in the morning to out-play me and Jonathan! Hey, Jonathan, do you think kids can out-build us?

Jonathan: Well.... I mean... We are adults, so that means we're smarter...

Dawn: Not a chance, right?

Jonathan: But kids are usually surprisingly creative... I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Dawn: We're safe with our title of the Ultimate Box Builders. Wait... you think they could actually outplay us? Pshaw! Never!

Jonathan: We'll see!

Dawn: Okay, Kids, prove it. Build something cooler than our Alien Invasion of Fat Brain Toys and send us the photographic evidence! 

Jonathan: Show us what you've got!

For even more fun, ideas, and a photo gallery, check out our official Way More Than A Box website!




Uploaded 7/12/2015 by Paul B.

We took the moving boxes left from a corporate move from St.Louis, MO to Kensington, CA and created a clubhouse on the front patio of their new home. Five year old Paul Burns and little sister, two year old Livia stacked various shaped boxes for the clubhouse and garage and tore pieces of packing paper to make a roof and the passageways.They, brought in their favorite toys and made a new home just for themselves.




Uploaded 1/20/2014

Sam was in a "football kind-of-mood" and decided to recreate Memorial Stadium using cardboard and a little elbow grease! Looks great!




Uploaded 11/6/2013 by nancy h.

We made a complete kitchen for our 3 year old daughter form cardboard boxes. Refrigerator, sink and stove. The stove has an oven that opens and has a "rack" that was the bottom of the loser box. We used pop flats for the refrigerator and under-sink shelves. The stove "burners" were coffee can lids and construction paper. She played with it for quite a while; eventually it was replaced with a single piece commercial cardboard kitchen that took up a lot less space. Unfortunately, this is the only photo we have of it. I think we were using the baby as a size indicator for the grandparents.




Uploaded 10/5/2013 by Kristina R.

A two headed robot!




Uploaded 9/20/2013 by Beth F.

Both my daughters (ages 1 & 4) loved designing street signs (and even their own personal license plates) with our boxes! Almost a week of fun with these so far!!




Uploaded 9/13/2013 by Ty F.

This is a creation from the box we got from Fat Brain Toys. We were inspired to create a bouncy ball factory. This includes a ramp for a truck to carry a bouncy ball to the top of the tower and drop it down. It goes down 2 ramps and the bouncy ball falls into another truck below. Ty (almost 3 years old) really liked to cut paper and glue the pieces onto the box, along with the pom poms. He loves driving the trucks to the top and watching the bouncy balls fall out the bottom. We had a great time creating this bouncy ball factory! Thanks Fat Brain, this website is a GREAT idea . The boxes always get more play time than the toys!!




Uploaded 9/4/2013 by Abby R.

Way More than a Box


Fun playhouse! thinking about adding an addition to it! lol




Uploaded 8/31/2013 by Paul J.

I'm 6 and I LOVE frogs. I made a stage for them to act out plays!




Uploaded 8/30/2013 by Katie M. Project:

Killian played with this box for two hours with absolutely nothing done to it. Sometimes less is more.




Uploaded 8/27/2013

My 3.5 year old son helped paint the boat and color the fish, fishing pole and hat. Projects are the best!




Uploaded 8/22/2013

My daughter, age 5, decorated this puppet theater all by herself and staged a show for her family. She drew the background and cut out "dolls" from wrapping paper.




Uploaded 8/9/2013 by Julie M.

This space shuttle is made out of a moving box and decorated with tape.




Uploaded 8/8/2013 by Elizabeth .

First I cut apart the box and made a smaller box to be my tray. Then I cut some of the cardboard up Into squares. Then I put them in the sink to soak do I could roll them. I had to put a book on them so they wouldnt unroll as they dried.Then I you're up the packing paper and used it a my turkey. (You can't really see it in the pictures) mom was really proud of me.




Uploaded 8/4/2013 by Elizabeth S.




Uploaded 8/4/2013 by Elizabeth S.




Uploaded 8/1/2013 by Cameron C.

This submission is from Cameron - a seven year old who loves trucks and his grandfather. For more great submissions check our!


My name is Cameron and I'm 7 years old. I used my box to make a semi-truck like my grandpa drives because I miss him when he's on the road.




Uploaded 8/1/2013

How about combining two of our passions cardboard and animals into a great weekend family project. This great project from our friends at Makedo will make your child the most popular bird in the flock. For more information on Makedo and its unqiue product line that helps create amazing cardboard project visit them here. For great ideas and to share your latest project visit Fat Brain Toys' own ""!

Creating the Wings
Flap your way into the Makedo menagerie with these beautiful Bird Wings, as designed by artist Lottie Smith from the UK.

Although this Makedo creation looks intricate and complicated, Lottie has come up with some really clever tips on how to make these wings using only reclaimed cardboard and colourful card boxes.

Click here for printable PDF instructions on how to make your own Makedo parrot costume, just like Lottie.

WIll your bird wings be bright and colourful, like the ones Lottie made? With all of the boxes and packaging we use in our lives, there are so many colours and patterns to choose from to use for making feathers. You could make a rainbow-hued Macaw from South America, or a majestic Australian Cockatoo, or perhaps a haughty Hornbill from the mountains of Borneo!

Creating the Head

It's time to put a feather in your Makedo cap - no, wait! How about a hundred feathers!?!

Wrapping up our Wearable Bird Wing costume as designed by Lottie Smith from the UK, this Parrot Hat is sure to turn you into a complete bird-brain.

Click here to download printable PDF instructions. There is a template included in the document to help create the shape of the parrot's beak.

If you made a different bird costume than a parrot, such as a peacock or a gallah or even a sprightly little sparrow... you can still use these instructions as a guide. Simply alter the shape of the beak to match the correct bird species.




Uploaded 7/27/2013 by Philip M.

The Dinosaur was designed, constructed and painted by seven year-old Philip Margulies.




Uploaded 7/25/2013 by Camry B.

This big box became a house with a bedroom complete with a shoe-box Murphy bed that folds down, cereal box TV; bathroom; kitchen with a box refrigerator and strawberry box stove; box swimming pool, and box car (which you can't see because it is in the garage in back). The whole house was cut into three sections and folds back up into the one original box. You can see 'Stripe' in the pool, and 'Tiger' is in the coffee can hot tub. I'm an 8-year-old girl.



For more great boxes like this visit:




Uploaded 7/23/2013 by Britney W.

Check out the latest submission to!




Uploaded 7/23/2013 by Britney W.

Check out our lastest entry for!  Looks like they had fun!




Uploaded 7/12/2013 by Karina M.

Addison's dolls just had to get dressed up to get out on the sparkle dance floor and disco!




Uploaded 7/8/2013

Inspired by the series Storm Chasers on the Discovery channel and his love of weather, Gabe made the T.I.V of tornado intercept vehicle that is used by Reed Timmer and crew.




Uploaded 6/29/2013

The B52 Bomber was made by a group of 9 year old boys, (Kevin and Blake) and made over 20 flights!  It is made out of a Fat Brain Toys box and a stroller box! 




Uploaded 6/25/2013 by Alexis L.

Created and made by a 7 year old girl!




Uploaded 6/20/2013 by Tara G.

One story cottage with lovely windows that lets in lots of light. We love getting the mail!




Uploaded 6/19/2013

Many big boxes put together to make a box apartment. We used zip ties to keep them together.




Uploaded 6/19/2013

We use zip ties to help the cardboard stay together.


Fat Brain Toys supports PLAY as a platform dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent and open conversation about parenting. However, the opinions expressed on this site are those of individual parents/writers and do not reflect the views of Fat Brain Toys. In addition, content provided on this site is for entertainment or informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or safety advice.

About PLAY | About Fat Brain Toys | Internet Safety | Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2015 Fat Brain Toys LLC. All rights reserved.