Category Archives: Cardboard

Kitty Cottage

I have a dog and four cats.  The dog is the newest addition.  She joined our pack as a 4 month old puppy and considers herself another one of the cats.  The cats disagree.  The dog even sits in the windows like a cat.  I used to correct this behavior because I didn’t think the window shelf in our old residence would support her.  I gave up because she doesn’t understand why all the other cats get to sit in the window!As you can see, she also thinks cat beds are fair game.  This would be fine except the cats reject the beds after she takes them over.

This brings me to my mission: Create a dog-proof cat haven.  I saw this cat house in a Martha Stewart magazine a long time ago and kept it in the back of my mind.

This cardboard box found it’s way into our home a few days ago and Mango immediately took a liking to it.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make that haven!

Materials needed:

  • One intact cardboard box large enough to fit kitty comfortably
  • A bunch of other cardboard scraps
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint, brushes, etc.
  • Pencil (or something else to write with)
  • Scissors and/or utility knife
  • Cat bed (I used an old polar fleece blanket)

Instructions

  1. Remove any tape or other ickiness from the box.  Carefully pull apart the side and bottom seams and glue the box back together inside out leaving the top open.  This will save you from having to paint several layers over all that writing.
  2. This part is probably going to come across as confusing, but I will do my best to explain it.  (Note:  Feel free to scrap my roof idea and create your own.  I will not be insulted.) This is where we work on the top flaps to make the base structure for the roof.  Fold the sides of the shorter flaps at an angle towards the inside of the box(I drew a line in pencil first).  Glue these folds to the inside of the longer flaps so the top edge of the shorter flap is the same height as the top edge of the longer flap.  Make sure you leave enough space in between all of the flaps to have access to the inside of the finished house.  Pictures will probably help.
  3. Time for the roof.  Cut a large piece of cardboard as long as the box.  When folded as a tent, this cardboard needs to reach from the bottom of one longer flap to the bottom of the other longer flap.  Basically, this cardboard tent needs to sit easily on top of the box so you won’t be able to see the longer flaps anymore (they are just for support).  Feel free to piece together multiple pieces of cardboard.  My cardboard came from a long skinny box, so I chose to keep the skinny side of the box for the top edge of my roof.
  4. Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard large enough to fill the gap in between the shorter flaps and the roof.  Fold the edges at an angle like the flaps in step 2.  Glue the pieces in place on the inside of the roof.  Do not glue the roof to the box.  This will be your access point to the inside of the finished house!
  5. Draw a door on the front of the house large enough for the cat.  Mango is pretty tubby, so her door is on the larger side (but, not big enough for the dog).  You can draw windows too!
  6. Use a utility knife to cut out the door and windows.  Be careful with this step…these knives are really sharp!
  7. Let kitty check on your progress.
  8. Paint the outside of the house as desired.  You may want to skip this step if your kitty happens to eat cardboard.  Mine doesn’t.  I chose light blue with dark blue streaks for the sides and a mixture of silver, gold, and bronze for the roof.  I’m not a big fan of one flat color…can you tell?  Give me a little texture any day!
  9. Decorate the house however you want.  I made a rooster weather vane for mine!  Look below for directions on how to make it!
  10. Add a cat bed or blanket to the inside and you’re all set!

The Weather Vane

I’m not going to go into great detail for this part, but I will give a brief description.

I used thinner corugated cardboard, 4 toothpicks, tiny ball of yarn, hot glue, and bronze paint.

Draw out a rooster standing on an arrow onto the cardboard.  Also draw an E, W, N, and S.  Use a utility knife to cut these out.  Stick two toothpicks through the ball so they are perpendicular and the ball sits in the middle of the four ends.  Stick the end of one toothpick in the bottom of this ball and the end of the last toothpick in the top of the ball.  Thoroughly coat the ball with hot glue and allow to dry before continuing.  Apply a small amount of glue to the ends of each toothpick except for the bottom one and put the cardboard pieces in the correct places (rooster on top and letters in compass order around the four shorter points).  Paint the entire weather vane with bronze paint.  Stick the bottom toothpick into the roof of the house.  Use glue to secure.  I needed to use a nail to start the hole in the roof and I added a few cardboard pieces to the inside of the roof for additional support for the toothpick.

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Filed under Cardboard, Paint, Pets

Spring Wreath

I LOVE the color yellow!  It is just so bright an cheery!  While rummaging through the scrap bin at Hobby Lobby, I found a whole bunch of this yellow fabric for about $3!  Its a pretty basic print, so I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I couldn’t pass up the happy color!  Then I found this gorgeous wreath at Beautiful Nest and it occurred to me that I never make wreaths.  Like, seriously, I think I’ve only ever made one wreath before in my life.  I thought the yellow would be perfect for bringing a little spring into my life with this wreath!  Since I live in an apartment right now and don’t really trust my neighbors to leave it alone, this wreath is going to decorate the inside of my door!  Then I get to enjoy it all the time!

Notes about the project:  I left the edges of the fabric raggedy to add a little bit more of a homemade touch.  Also, my goal was to use on-hand supplies, so my fabric and wire were a little too flimsy to support themselves.  I found a cardboard frame was necessary, but it might not be necessary for your wreath.

Materials needed:

  • 5-1/2″ strip of bottom fabric (I used 3 strips of each fabric about 45″ long – from selvage to selvage)
  • 2-1/2″ strip of middle fabric
  • 1″ strip of top fabric
  • Extra fabric or ribbon for the hanger and embellishments
  • Wire (about 30″)
  • 12″ cardboard circle with 5″ circle cut out of middle (optional)
  • Small cardboard rectangle (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Some sort of hole punching device (I used a seam ripper)
  • Glue (I used hot glue – I’m so impatient!)

Instructions:

  1. Cut all of your strips of fabric.  Perfect measurements aren’t necessary.  I like things to look slightly amiss sometimes.  It gives them character!  I probably should have ironed my fabric, but its just character!  My Marine Corps husband would have a huge problem with this.
  2. Lay the strips out flat.  Place the smaller strips on top of each other and make sure the right sides of all fabric are facing out.
  3. Pierce a hole through all three layers of fabric about every 1-2″ along the length of the fabric.  Make sure these holes are in the center of fabric.
  4. Thread the wire in and out of the holes until all the fabric is on the wire.  When you reach the end of one strip, just start on with the next one!  The holes in the above photo with the wire are about 3 inches apart, but I decided I wanted them closer – just in case you are worried that your wire doesn’t look like mine.
  5. Once all the fabric is on the wire, spread the fabric out and twist the ends of the wire together to create a loop.
  6. If your wreath is flimsy and you need a cardboard base, continue with this step.  If not, skip to the next step.  Carefully flip the wreath over so the backside is showing.  Arrange the folds in a pleasing manner.  Apply glue to the cardboard base and slap it onto the back of your wreath.
  7. Loop the hanger ribbon (or fabric…or whatever else you might want to use) and glue it to the back of the wreath.  You may choose to glue a small cardboard piece down on top of the ribbon ends to secure them.
  8. When the wreath is dry, flip it back over to the front side and get to decorating!  I used a fabric bow (again leaving the edges raw), but you could use flowers, Easter eggs, bird stuff…whatever blows your hair back! (Notice my lack of creativity in the embellishing department…this would be my novice wreath making skills coming out)
  9. Enjoy!

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Filed under Cardboard, Decorations, Fabric

Message Board

A lot of people make message boards and I have ALWAYS wanted to make/buy/own one!  Unfortunately, I just don’t have the extra funds for something like this.  I also haven’t had an extra canvas lying around.  What I do have is cardboard!  For some reason I always seem to have plenty of it!  The nice thing about using cardboard for the backbone of this project is that it is highly customizable.  You can make it any size or shape you want!  I chose a decent sized, long, vertical board.  The original plan was going to have a contrasting frame in that fun polka dot fabric, but I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work.  I still wanted to use the fabric though, so I opted for pockets!

Materials needed:

  • Two or three pieces of cardboard cut to the same size (I used two)
  • Two or three layers of batting depending on how plush you want your board (I used two layers of thin batting)
  • Two contrasting pieces of fabric (one must be large enough to cover the cardboard)
  • Ribbon (mine is about 1/4″ wide)
  • Buttons
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread

Instructions:

  1. Use hot glue to attach your pieces of cardboard to each other.  Doubling or tripling the boards will give them more strength.
  2. Cut the batting to the same size as the board.  I used glue to attach the corners of the batting to the board, but this is up to you.
  3. Cut the main fabric to be about 2″ wider than the board on all sides.
  4. Cut any pockets as wide as the main fabric, but as tall as you want the pocket.  Make sure you leave enough fabric to have 2″ extra at the bottom of the board and about 1″ extra to fold over the top edge of the pocket (like a hem).
  5. Lay the board face down on the back side of the main fabric (the batting should be sandwiched in the middle).  Pull the edges up and glue them to the back of the board.  Make sure the fabric is taut.  Fold the corners under at an angle to make sure no loose edges will show from the front of the frame.
  6. For the pockets, fold the top edge in to prevent any loose edges from showing.  Glue them to the board just like the main fabric.  I have two pockets (one in the same pattern as the main fabric), but you can have as many as you want!
  7. Time for the ribbons!  Cross the ribbons over the front of the fabric and glue the ends to the back of the board.  These ribbons need to be tight or they won’t be able to hold anything.  The number of crosses you can fit depends on the size of your board.
  8. Sew a button onto each cross.  Make sure you go through all layers of the board with the needle to fasten it securely.  Don’t worry, it is surprisingly easy to sew through cardboard!
  9. Attach a ribbon to hang it and that board is finished!The two close up pictures above are of my husband and my older sister (Carter’s mom)…the pictures are goofy, but they’re some of my absolute favorites!

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Filed under Cardboard, Containers, Decorations, Fabric

Word Art – wall decoration

This fun project allows you to “paint” a meaningful word on your wall without …um… paint!  The materials are also recycled!

Materials needed:

  • Cardboard (I used cereal boxes,  but you can use a thicker cardboard if you prefer)
  • Magazines
  • Glue (I used tacky glue, but any sort of paper glue should work)
  • Mod Podge (or your sealer of choice)
  • Hangers and nails (I made hangers out of pieces of index cards with holes punched in them)

Instructions:

  1. The first thing you need to do is choose a word!  You can pick an inspirational word, name, monogram, letter, or even a whole phrase if you’re feeling ambitious!  Now you need to decide what you want your word to look like.  Try typing your selection into a word processor and testing different fonts to see if one strikes your fancy.  Be sure to choose a font with wide enough letters to be able to glue color to them.
  2. Once you have chosen your font, it is time to draw your lettering on the cardboard.  If you chose a cursive font like I did, don’t worry about fitting the entire word on one piece of cardboard.  You can glue the pieces together before moving on to the next step.  Feel free to print your letters and glue them to the cardboard if you do not want to draw them.  Now you need to cut the letters out.  A box cutter or utility knife can be helpful (but not necessary) at this point.
  3. Time to gather your color!  Flip through old magazines and cut out any clips of color you may like.  Glue the clippings onto the cardboard letters in a pattern you find appealing.  It is ok if some of the clippings overlap the cardboard.  You can trim these or fold them around the back.
  4. When you have thoroughly covered the cardboard, allow the glue to dry.  Coat the entire front of the word with a layer of Mod Podge.  Allow to dry before moving on to the next step.
  5. Now its time to affix the hangers.  I cut out strips index cards about 2″ x 1″ and punched a hole in the top half of it.  I then glued the strips to the back of my letters with the hole at the top.  When the project is complete, you can hammer nails through these holes to hang it!  Coat the entire back (including the hangers) with Mod Podge and allow to dry.
  6. Repeat layers of Mod Podge on each side until satisfied.  I have 3 layers on each side.
  7. Hang your word and enjoy!

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Filed under Cardboard, Decorations, Paper