How to Make a Cardboard Dog House or Playhouse

Written by laine doss
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How to Make a Cardboard Dog House or Playhouse
Make a house for your best friend. (lazy dog image by jedphoto from

Dogs love to have a place of their own to make their den. With some everyday household items, you can make a great indoor doghouse in no time at all. Decorate your doghouse with colourful designs or use a "theme" for the house, like a beach house or hot dog restaurant. This is a project that the entire family can work on together.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Two large cardboard boxes
  • Tape
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Water-based poster paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Decals or stickers (optional)
  • Thick black marker
  • Towel or blanket

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  1. 1

    Tape any seams of the first box securely closed, leaving the top of the box open with the four box flaps hanging out of the box. You should have a box that's secured on all but the top. Make sure it is large enough so your dog can sit comfortably inside.

  2. 2

    Fold two opposite flaps inside the box. Take the remaining two opposite flaps on the top of the box and form a "v" shaped angled roof. Tape the two sides of the roof together.

  3. 3

    On the front of the doghouse, draw an archway opening large enough for the dog to get through. Carefully cut out the opening with a scissors or a box cutter.

  4. 4

    Take the remaining box and cut out two sides of the box, leaving them joined together. Place the two joined box sides on top of the doghouse roof. Allow them to hang over slightly and tape them securely onto the current roof so that they form a doghouse-style overhang roof.

  5. 5

    Paint and decorate your doghouse. You can paint the house one colour or several colours or add designs. Allow to dry. Add decals or stickers if you wish. Using a black marker, draw shingles onto the doghouse roof and write your dog's name on the house over the doorway. Line the house with an old towel or blanket.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the box you choose is large enough for your dog to easily get into and out of.
  • Never use oil or lead-based paint. Dogs like to chew, so use only water-based poster paints that are nontoxic to pets and children.
  • Since this house is made of cardboard, it is best to keep it inside, since it is not weatherproof.
  • Always supervise your dog while he is using this house.

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