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Cardboard Craft: 3 Examples of Useful Everyday Items

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0
Cardboard crafts
Credit: The Consortium via Flickr

Cardboard is one of the most useful materials for crafts. It has many qualities: it is strong yet flexible, easy to paint, cheap (actually, free in most of the cases), you can manipulate it with water or wallpaper paste ... It is also very easy to get, it's everywhere! Such materials are also a good resource with children, as it has no sharp edges, it is light and easy to cut and fold. And because it's widely available, it's ok if they break it - they can start all over again.

In addition, by creating new objects made out of cardboard (which would have been disposed of otherwise), we are contributing to recycling and reusing those materials. No price label and no carbon footprint! It's got it all.

Spanish Fan

To make a great Spanish fan, you only need a shoebox. With that basic element you can make a perfect accessory to cool down in summer days.

    1 Find a sheet of thin cardboard.
    To start, get a sheet of thin cardboard. A shoebox works fine. You can also use other cardboard sources. In that case you will have to glue several together to make them a little more resilient.

    2 Draw 8 or 9 rectangles of the same dimensions
    With a ruler, draw a rectangle of about 15 or 20 inches long by about 2 or 3 inches wide. Repeat this step for 8 or 9 rectangles. These will be the “layers” of the fan. Then cut them.

    3 Decorate the rods and wrap with a rubber band.
    Then decorate the cards as you want, using paint, wrapping paper or markers. Once you have finished, place all rectangles on top of each other. Then wrap them with a rubber band so it does not move.

    4 Make a hole at each end.
    At the bottom, draw a mark with a pencil. Try not to be too close to the ends. This will be the point of attachment of the rods. Using a pin or some other sharp element make a hole in the mark. Make sure the cardboard does not crack beyond the hole and that it passes through all the rods.

    5 Place a binder on each side.
    Then take a round head bookbinder and take it through the hole you made. Open the the metal blades at the back. Secure them with some tape. Now you can remove the rubber band.

    6 Paste a cloth behind the rectangles.
    Get a piece of silk in a color that coordinates with the rest, and cut a semicircular section. Open the rods of the fan so that they are all roughly the same distance. Place the silk strip behind. Paste to the backside of the cardboard boxes. Trim excess if necessary. With these final touches, the fan is finished!


If you have several items that you need to store, but you don’t want to buy a shelf, you can make your own with boxes and make it bigger over anytime. It’s not the most elegant, but it is simple and inexpensive, and could be just what you're needing.


     Scissors or box openers.
     Cans of tennis balls (optional)


1. Get the boxes
If you cannot find any in your neighborhood, look for them online. Sometimes people give them away for free, after a house moving or cleanup. You can use the measures you want, as long as your 4 boxes (shelves) fit in a bigger box (shelf).

2. Place the square boxes (shelves) in the big box (shelf block)
Cut the flaps on one side only.
Stick all the cubes together with tape. Front, rear and sides.
When you have finished, place all shelving against a wall.

3. Cut a square at the rear of each small box. Four drawers can be fit in a shelf block.

4. Put your items in the drawers.
Write a description in each box and then organize the drawers in an arranged manner (alphabetically – by type). You can also distribute the drawers so that the objects you use more often can be reached easily and the things you do not use as often are at the top or bottom drawers. Slide each drawer compartment inside. You can use the compartments without drawers to place larger objects, and small containers to place smaller objects.


Photo frame

We will learn how to craft a photo frame that can be used for all your family photos or to give away as a gift.


     Rectangular piece of acrylic glass
     One thick and one thin cardboard piece of the same size
     Paper tape

1.Take the piece of acrylic glass, if it’s too bit crop it with the cutter and the help of the ruler. Cut the cardboard carton to the same size. If you have a piece of rectangular glass you can also use that instead of the acrylic glass, but don’t but it yourself.

2. Search the picture you want to use and fix it to the glass/acrylic glass.

3. Now you can put everything together. First, stack the picture with the cardboard on the glass/acrylic glass. Wet the back of the paper tape, and stick it on all the edges. Do one first (so that you have enough time) and then the others.

4. Once it’s dry (around 1h), it’s ready to hang. Put a nail at the back and some tape to keep it firm.

Cardboard (Craft Workshop)
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The Great Book of Cardboard Furniture: Step-by-Step Techniques and Designs
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The Paper Architect: Fold-It-Yourself Buildings and Structures
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Easy-To-Make Cardboard Box Craft Projects
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