how to build a reading cubby house out of a cardboard box
Every kid’s room begs for a quiet corner, right? How about transforming that old dishwasher box into a reading cubby or a playhouse or a fort?!
It’s the middle of summer here… which also means the middle of rainy season.
That means we have to get creative with our indoor play.
This weekend I got a dishwasher box that someone was throwing away…
A few dollars and a of couple hours later, we had this:
Here are five quick tips for making your own reading cubby or fort out of a cardboard box:
1) Draw windows and doors on your cardboard box with a marker before cutting with a stanley knife.
2) Cut the windows out, making sure to leave plenty of box “in tact” so it won’t compromise the structure or end up flimsy.
3) Paint the box! You can skip this step if you want, but I found that a simple coat of paint or two transforms the whole thing. We had some leftover white paint in the garage from another project and it did the job perfectly.
4) Decorate the box by trimming the windows, drawing or painting on it (or let the kids do it themselves!), or adding names or words.
5) Make it cozy inside with few stuffed animals, a small container of books, a pillow, and a flashlight.
There you have it – an easy-peasy little cubby house or quiet corner that your kids will love!
Bonus tips for making your cubby house:
1) I wanted to use fun shapes for the windows so I used a star, diamond, square, heart, and circle. The corners of the star and the rounded heart and circle were harder to trim than the others for obvious reasons. To keep it even simpler, stick with squares and diamonds and rectangles.
2) Cut in the base of the door above the floor (as pictured). If you cut it all the way through to the ground, the box will be much less sturdy.
3) Decide if you want to be able to join the kids or not. I purposely made the door just big enough so that I could squeeze in, but not big enough for my husband to fit. Haha, that sounds really bad! But actually he’s not very flexible so it would be torture for him to curl up in there. Making the door a bit too small for him gives him a good excuse to not go inside. (“Sorry sweets, daddy’s too big!”)
4) Think about the space it will live in. (In our case, the boys’ bedroom.) I was going to decorate the cubby with some pages from a vintage children’s book I have, but decided that since the room is so small (and already quite full!) I had better keep it very simple and clean-looking. I wanted it to blend into the room as much as possible, and not add to the clutter. (Well… blend as much as a massive cardboard box can!)
Dear friends, did you have a cardboard box cubby house when you were a kid? I sure did! I hope you and your littles can make a fun reading cubby or quiet corner together sometime soon. Tell me, will you stick with a house-type cubby? Or will you get adventurous and build a ship or rocket or another fun cubby?