Cardboard is a versatile medium for arts and crafts. You can find many kinds of inexpensive cardboard at stores that stock packaging, stationery or craft supplies. You can also procure cardboard for free through cartons, empty cereal packets, shoe boxes and the cardboard tubes from rolls of tissue. Ask staff at local stores if you can take away their empty cartons; many are happy to oblige.
Cereal Box Crafts
The thin cardboard from cereal packets is easy to cut, fold and punch. You can turn a cereal box into a glove-puppet theatre by cutting away the front, painting it inside and out, and making curtains from crepe paper. You can make a cereal box farm by folding squares of cardboard in half and drawing one side of an animal on each half. You can cut shapes and cover them with construction paper or paint with acrylics to make mobiles.
You can turn a shoebox into a treasure chest for a youngster's small toys and trinkets by painting it with acrylics or adding plastic gems, ribbon and sequins. You can make a shoebox lid into a pretend hob by painting it white and adding spiral heating elements in black and orange paint. Cardboard from a thicker shoebox is suitable for use as a bead loom: Cut slots in either end to secure vertical beading threads, stringing the beads horizontally.
Cardboard Tube Crafts
You can use cardboard tubes from rolls of tissue or paper towels to make toy binoculars or telescopes. Paint and construction paper allow you to turn a large cardboard tube into a space rocket. You can make chunky cardboard flowers by cutting sections of a cardboard tube, pressing them into petal shapes, covering them with coloured tissue paper and gluing them together. Cardboard tubes are also suitable for making organisers for pens and pencils.
Corrugated Cardboard Carton Crafts
You can turn large boxes into play houses or vehicles for small children. Cardboard boxes can also be cut and painted to make masks and costumes. For instance, you can cut zigzags of cardboard to form the sharp teeth on an alligator or dinosaur mask or use foam or plastic balls to make eyes. You can make a robot costume with boxes painted in metallic colours. You can make wall art by gluing layers of corrugated cardboard together and covering them with coloured paper and ribbon.
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