Monday, May 9, 2011

DIY Cardboard Construction Set

I’m really excited to share our DIY cardboard construction set  that you can make for your kids to play with!  You’re going to love this idea.  It’s so simple to make and it won’t cost you anything other than some spare time.
DIY Cardboard Construction Set
Couple of weeks ago I had posted about our partially failed slotted cards construction set. And these are our latest succesful version of those cards and we love them !!
As I had mentioned in my previous post I really wanted to try it again. I and putti tried out various thicknesses of cards and cut many shapes and in the procees have had lots of fun and learning too! Took a while to post the update because I wanted putti to play/ test these for some days to see how sturdy they remain and then share. This is going to be a long post please stay with us.
After my last attempt, I made some research on the web and found these discs made by Joel, which looked really promising. So, my first attempt was to make circles and also reduce the size. Our failed cards were 4". I cut out 2.5" circles and cut little slits in them. These very really sturdy and fun to play with. And as you can see in the picture this is cut off of a krispykreme doughnut box and the back was colored with markers by putti months ago :)
Next I tried smaller squares from an old box lying around. Actually this was used to do some marble roll painting sometime ago, hence the paint marks on it. This card was as thick as the frosted mini wheats cereal box. 

The other cereal box I tried was Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds but that ended up being wobbly too. And then next tried triangles from the same marble rolled box.

And finally tried cutting some cards from corrugated box, this was cut from cici pizzas box top. I had to cut the slits slightly wider for the thicker cards to fit..

Putti played with these for over a week and then I realised there is no need to go as thick as a corrugated box, the other cards worked just fine. Ahhh cutting thicker cards is painful especially if you need to cut many like for this project.
So now we went onto make some more colorful cards. Started with circles and colored them with markers...

And then to my luck I found this red box from JCPenny think it was shirt box or something. This was the same thickness as our mini wheats cereal box. And also since one side was bright red, we just had to color/ paint the other side, yay saves time!!

And these are some of the structures putti has built...

As of now putti's favorites are the circles and the triangles which she does not mixup with the other card shapes. I may have to make more shapes like diamonds, hearts etc and see...
  • You can try the slotted discs made by Joel, they have a printable for you to try out too (I did not use because I dont have a color printer) and maybe you can laminate them too.
  • You can just cut circles out of the thicker box and having a 2" craft punch might help. 
  • You may or may not color/paint the cards, kids really dont mind the cereal box prints :)
  • These make great toys to pack for travel and they take so less space!! Just put them in a ziplock and you are ready :)
  • Have a look at these cards made by Melissa and her daughter at The chocolate muffin tree.
  • For the easiest option you may buy these similar toys (please read the reviews before you buy some are not very encouraging). And also please note we have not used/play with any of these toys just sharing what I found while searching the web.
 Dado Squares Building Set
Constructibles Laminated card shapes

Constructibles Building Set - Bold Patterns

Wooden Connectagons which come in faces, butterflies and many other sets
Linking to all places mentioned here
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22 Comments : were really busy! Awesome!!! These are all Great!

Cute and clever! Love the way they came out! Thanks for linking up to made by little hands!

What a great way to recycle all that cardboard!

Hooray you for giving it another go and they all look FABULOUS! Thank you for doing the "leg work" and sharing with us what worked for you and what didn't!!! Makes life lots easier for us!!

Thank you so much for linking to Kids Get Crafty! Much appreciate your visit!


Thanks for the info. We tried this with slotted squares a while ago, but I think our paper was too thin. I'll have to give it a try with box-paper.

Thanks for sharing so many great tips! I've seen the Dado squares before, but I think the homemade version is a much better alternative.

Heather @
Check out too : )

I really do love this idea - we're going to have to try it. :)

I will have to remember this when I am back to teaching art again- what an awesome idea to share and thanks for linking up with us at The Sunday Showcase!

Love it! I had seen and admired the commercialized versions of these but never thought to make my own. Thank you so much!

This is awesome! Way to be economical and creative. Again you blow me away.

They are awesome! :) Have to make some for us too! :)

@RedTedArtThank you! I did not ant to end up with another partial success cards, so tried many variations! And we had fun with them all:)

@AlissaIf you see I have link back to our earlier try out in the post.. which was made of thin cards! Thanks

@HeatherThank you! I found the dado squares and other toys while trying to find better options after my failed cards

Wow! Cute and creative DIY. Cool for children and even adults, eh. Love this tutorial. :)

Cathy@embroidery digitizing

You are so creative and busy...and i spend way too much time reading your blog and all these fun activities! Thanks for inspiring us at the Kid's Co-op!!

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