How to Make an Animal Out of a Shoebox

Updated March 23, 2017

Repurpose your unwanted shoeboxes as animal storage bins. Perfect for a child, this quick and simple craft project will provide you with a bin to hold smaller toys, craft materials, or pictures. For best results, turn your shoebox into an animal with a shell such as a ladybug or turtle.

Paint the outside surface of the shoebox and its lid the colour of your animal. For a turtle, colour the box and its lid green. For a ladybug, colour the box black and the lid red.

Decorate the surface of the lid with patterns found on the animal once the paint has dried. For a turtle, use yellow paint to draw swirly circles of different sizes on the entire surface of the lid. For a ladybug, use black paint to create dots of different sizes on the entire surface of the lid.

Cut patterns out of coloured felt for your animal's limbs. For a turtle, cut four circles -- the size of a handball -- out of green coloured felt. Create fingers and toes on the circle patterns by cutting zigzags across half the circle's rim. Create a tail for the turtle by cutting a triangle out of green coloured felt. Use the same circle patterns and zigzags for a ladybug using black coloured felt.

Apply the cut out patterns for the animal's arms, legs and/or tail to the bottom of the shoebox using glue. Flip the shoebox so that the bottom faces up. Apply glue to all four corners of the box and attach the limbs. Apply glue between the legs on the box and attach the turtle's tail.

Paint the back and front of a 7-inch paper plate the colour of your animal and paint features for eyes, a nose, and a mouth to the surface of the plate. If you prefer, use stickers for the facial features.

Flip the shoebox so that it is back on its bottom and the lid is on top. Apply glue to the shoebox surface between the arms and press on the paper plate face.


If your animal does not have a shell, but a distinct pattern to its body, such as a zebra with stripes or a cow with black spots, you can create this craft without the lid. The patterns you have on the body will be distinct enough to indicate the animal. Your craft can be an open storage box.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoebox
  • Paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Felt
  • 7 inch paper plate
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About the Author

Wendy Lau entered the communication field in 2001. She works as a freelance writer and prior to that was a PR executive responsible for health care clients' written materials. Her writing experience include technical articles, corporate materials, online articles, blogs, byline articles, travel itineraries and business profile listings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from Ithaca College.