Cardboard Barn House


When our AC broke down during the hot summer in Florida, we had to get our coils replaced.  The repair guy left us the box where the coils was in.  I saw the opportunity to take that box and turn it into something the kids would love to play in.  Afterall, kids LOVE boxes.  I first saw the idea of cardboard box playhouse through pinterest (I know, how typical of me, but hey, that is where most of my inspirations came from), but I didn’t want to just make a plain house.  My son loves animals, so I figure why don’t I make a barn house.  So, I drafted the barn house based on the size of the boxes I have collected.

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Yup, looks pretty legit! Yeah! you get the idea.

Instead of using paint to color the house, I used colored duct tape to give that wood panel feel.  The duct tape also helps secure the cardboard together so it doesn’t get destroy by the kids by week 2.

The total cost of this project, not including the scissors and knifes, was $16.  I only paid for the duct tape and foam board, which I brought at Jo-Ann using 50% coupons and the packaging tape from Amazon. Not bad for a playhouse!

Things you will need for this project:

  • Cardboard boxes (lots of them and a big one too)
  • Paper packaging tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto Knife or a Utility knife
  • Color duct tape (I used 3 rolls for mine)
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Foam board
  • Painter’s tape
  • Your imagination!

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Now off to searching for the right box to put on top of my big box.

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Ahh, found the right fit!!

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The kids just can’t wait to play inside the box.  Now, getting back to the project…


Start sealing up the boxes and patch up any holes.


Place the smaller box on top of the larger box, and cut a hole on top of the big box.  Also, cut out doors on the front of the big box.  Be sure to use a ruler when cutting.  I made the mistake of not using a ruler when I was cutting the door.  It was all crooked.


Now tape the smaller box to the larger box.  Make sure to cut the bottom flaps out of the smaller box, so it’s hollow inside.


To make the roof of the barn house, I shortened both sides of the opening flaps and tape a rectangular cardboard (not pictured) to the flaps.  Then I taped another small rectangular to the edge of the box (pictured above).


To make the side roof, take some rectangular pieces of the cardboard and tape it to where the smaller boxes meets the larger box.   Fill in the triangular holes with cardboard and tape it up.  Cut out windows on the top box.


Next make a template of the windows and cut on both sides of the door.  Also, cut squares on each side of the boxes for side windows.

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Now you are half way done.  Time to decorate the house! Fun Fun!


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Get your duct tape out and start taping the edges of the front door windows, door frames, and side windows.  I also made the mistake of not taping on the first window I worked on. The edges on that window did not look finished. So I had to go back and re-tape it.

IMG_4246 IMG_4254Continuing on taping…

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After finished taping, glue some packaging paper on the top of the roof and trim.


The top looks something like this…now off to making shingles for the roof


Cut a 4×4 square, actually…you’ll need to cut a lot of the squares


Stagger the squares on top of each other, leave a bit of opening between the two squares


Finish the corners by staggering rectangular pieces vertically.  Glue and use painter’s tape to hold it in place.  Remove the painter’s tape when glue dries.

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For the trims, I used this Ghostline foam board.  This foam board is great because it has this grid lines that you can easily cut without measuring.


Place trims on all windows and doors


I made a little door handle using cardboard and painted it black.  Glue it to the facings of the door


Yup, the door handle works!


Almost done, just got to paint the roof grey


It’s finally finished, after 829472872980 hours… just kidding!!

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