How do I Make a 3-Dimensional House out of a Shoebox?

Making a house from a shoebox is a fun project for children to undertake. It can be used for a school project or simply a fun summer project. You can vary the house a little to make it into a store or office building. The supplies can typically be found in the house, but if you need extra shoe boxes, visit a shoe store and ask if they have any they don't need. Often times they will have several available in a variety of sizes.

Stuff old newspaper into the shoebox to make it sturdy. Put the lid on the box and tape it on well.

Pour the d├ęcoupage mix into a bowl. If you don't have any mix, you can make your own. Pour a half cup of white glue into a bowl with a half cup of water, mixing well.

Cut the newspaper into strips and dip them into the mixture.

Cover the box with the strips, smoothing them flat. Alternate the direction of the strips to ensure their strength and coverage on the box.

Allow the mixture to dry completely. This may take several hours.

Paint the house with craft or tempura paint. The house can be whatever colour you wish.

Draw windows and doors on the front of the house. Don't forget windows on the sides and back of the house if it is going to be seen from all angles.

Draw curtains in the windows with paint or markers.

Cut a jewellery box lid in half and glue it to the house above the front door to create an overhang.

Create a picket fence with craft sticks and toothpicks.

Decorate the house with whatever items you have on hand. You can use dowels, thread bobbins or small artificial flowers.


Create window flower boxes, statuary for the garden or lawn furniture. Decorate the roof and walls of the house with foam tiles or pieces of construction paper. Create an apartment house by turning the box vertical and putting several floors of windows in the front. You can create an entire city complete with skyscrapers and apartment buildings.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoebox
  • Newspaper
  • Tape
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Craft sticks
  • Toothpaste
  • Markers
  • Construction paper
  • Small cardboard jewellery box
  • Glue
  • Découpage mixture (optional)
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About the Author

Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.