DIY Cardboard Playhouses

DIY PlayhousesOver the last few months, I’ve found myself pinning various styles of cardboard houses on Pinterest. I’ve been wanting to make one, so when my daughter’s 2nd birthday party was coming up, I knew this was the perfect opportunity. Baby/toddler birthday parties always feel a little tricky for me.

They can’t really play organized games yet, and January is too bitter cold in our area to play outside. These houses were the perfect “what to do with the babies” solution.

DIY Cardboard House StepsSupplies:
-large cardboard boxes
-box knife
-wallpaper or wrapping paper
-masking tape and/or packing tape
-hot glue
-double sided tape

1. Tape your box together and draw out where you’d like the windows and door to be. Lay it down and cut out the shapes with your box knife.

2. Paint any doors and trim. Use your double sided tape or glue to adhere the wallpaper/wrapping paper to the box.

3. Use hot glue to glue shingles onto the roof and any other ornamentation you’d like on the outside of your house.

DIY Cardboard Playhouses Darling PlayhousesDIY Kid's Playhouses The cutest cardboard playhousesThese houses went over really well with the kiddos and (mostly) contained them to a single room. The part I love about a project like this is that it can be used for a party, but it is just as much fun every day!  xo. Katie

  • Very Cute! If you don’t quite have this much creative ability, there is a new cardboard playhouse available at that’s so cute and it looks easy to assemble. I also love that it has cute decals to decorate!

  • thank you so much for this wonderful idea. my daughters second birthday is coming up early march.
    as you said its to cold outside and they dont play proper games yet. so i shall get out my cartons and creat a couple of this wonderful houses. cheers kiki

  • This is adorable!! You’ve inspired me to make a cardboard play house! I love the wallpaper choices.

  • Those look like so much fun! Is it wrong for an adult to want them? I feel like me and my roommates could play in them all day.

  • This is a fabulous idea, cutest thing ever. Although I don’t have any babygirls yet I just got a kitten& she’d love a little condo!!!

  • These are so cute! I’ll have to try to make some for my little cousins sometime! I know they’ll enjoy them!

  • These are just too cute and what an awesome way to save money. Making a mental note of this idea for my future kids. Awesome!

  • I have used the cardboard making the restaurant theme – swiss snowing with bridge in my old uni day.
    It is really fun and environmental friendly

  • Good idea, I’ll do to play with my sister!

  • totally making one for my little niece for her 4th birthday next month!! 🙂 🙂 have the gear all ready! thank you for sharing!!!!

  • Emma, I saw your new post on “Every Day Emma”. Those cupakes look sooooooooooooooooo dilish!


  • These are just the coolest and prettiest! We made our two year old son a huge cardboard train for him and his friends to play in for his birthday party. It was such a hit. Took us a few months to break it down. It was too heartbreaking after how much work we put into it. Will you keep these houses around for a while?

  • These are brilliant! Love love love them. I need a little one to make them for now ha

  • I saw these on Kate’s blog. So adorable!


  • Makes me wish a had a granddaughter young enough to enjoy this (or old enough to have a child to enjoy it)!

    Truely a great rendition of the boxes I played with 60 years ago!

    Daphne in Orange

  • No words! This is stunning, I am keeping this in mind for futur children!

    Olive xox

  • Those are adorable! I wish I had a little one to make one for!


  • this is too cute! if only i had nieces and nephews 🙁 I’m too young for kids haha
    -deana, @ birdsandoxfords

  • These are just a fantastic idea! I’m thinking of trying to make one for my little sister! Super cute!!

    Lulu xx

  • Loving this. Back when I and my siblings were kids, my mum used the cardboard boxes the new kitchen appliances came in to make us a little den. It was amazing, we wouldn’t let her throw it away until it had practically collapsed. We were quite a bit older than toddlers back then too! Didn’t look as cute or detailed as yours do though 🙂

  • Oh my gosh ladies! These are SO awesome. I adore the scalloped shingles. 🙂

  • these are so sweet, my little girl would love them.


  • These are fantastic! Definitely doing this at the next birthday party…thanks for the great idea!!
    xo Laura

  • so cute!!
    what a great look with the different patterns 🙂

    xo – heather
    This Life Is Yours Blog

  • I remember when I was younger I always jumped for joy when my mom got a big box, so I could make it into a lil house! There were NOWHERE as cute as these, but there is just something magical about a box to a lil kid! Love it!

  • Adorable! Remember me when I did the same once…

  • Cutest idea ever. katie, if I was a kid I’d have wanted to be at this party x

  • My mother made cardboard houses for me and my sisters when we were little. We loved them a lot and played with them for years, until they were too old and broken.

    I´ll definitely make some for my future children. The ones Katie made really look great.

  • These are adorable. I think my little one (about to turn 3!) needs one of these. I know I’ve got a big cardboard box – or 2 or 3 – somewhere. 🙂

  • Wow! They are so adorable! I love the really huge one where the girl can almost get in it.

  • OH-my-god. I am SO saving this and making one of these when I have a daughter..or maybe I’ll have to make one sooner than that. Not sure if I can wait till then! These are SO adorable!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!

  • These are adorable!!! I love the level of detail you went to.
    The girls must have had so much fun x

  • omg… I so want to build one of these RIGHT NOW!! adorable. So cute! If only I had kids… But maybe I could make one for my niece 🙂

  • So cute !!
    Check out my new post:

  • OMG, it even looks like wallpaper! Amazing project! I’d love to try to make one house for my son, a bit tricky for our tiny flat in Barcelona, but fun!

  • That is really perfect. I hope, I will do it for my nephew. Is great. Have a nice day.

  • Would it be weird if I’d make these and place them in my living room, just because I think they are super cute?

  • This is the most amazing idea I have ever seen and I need to have a baby now so that I have a reason to make one!

  • These are fabulous. I will pin this and make one for my daughter when she starts tottering around. Love!

  • … i would have loved this when i was a child… maybe one day for my future “nuggets”

  • My daughter would go crazy for these. Lots of rainy days here in Vancouver, maybe we’ll have the time 🙂 Thanks for the idea!

  • OMG! These are so cute! Next time I have a big box I’m making one of these just to display because they look so cute!

  • I love this! My daughter’s 2nd birthday is in just under a month and this is perfect for her! This came at the perfect time!

  • So very awesome, Katie. I adore your designs and the colours/patterns that you used!
    Ronnie xo

  • Those are the cutest cardboard houses I’ve ever seen! I can see how it contained them to one room. 😀
    Catherine Denton

  • How darling. My kids love playing in cardboard boxes. They would LOVE these!

  • These are amazing! Also I would imagine that you could store them away as they are cardboard if you are caught for space! Another plus 😉


  • Katie! This is such a wonderful project. I love it. I bet the girls loved it and it was worth all the effort.

  • We loved playing in cardboard boxes when we were kids, our weren’t that fancy tho.

  • I used to love play houses when I was younger 🙂


  • These are sweet! What an adorable idea. I need to get craftier 🙂

  • AHH!! so cute! I love what “thecharleygirl” says about making them for pets!!
    What a wonderful project idea
    Thanks for sharing!

  • SHUT THE FREAKIN’ FRONT DOOR! I can’t even handle how cute this are! LOVE love love them!

  • Oh Katie has that `midas touch` that turns everything to GOLD she creates! Love these too!
    From one crafty mama – to another – here`s another fun option.. fabric tablecloth playhouses:

    mel ;o)
    needle and nest design

  • I was watching these on her instagram and wondered when you all would post it! love them!!

  • “The part I love about a project like this is that it can be used for a party, but it is just as much fun every day!” So, so true, Katie. By the way, I just want to say how much I appreciate your creativeness and your willingness to share it with the world. My husband and I used your play kitchen DIY to create one for our boys as a Christmas gift. And, they love it! I’m getting ready to blog about it ( and you and your wonderful ideas + blog ) on Thursday. Again, thank you so much for all of these beautiful, achievable ideas!

  • My mother used to make these when we were little. I must admit though (shh!) yours are so much nicer!! Always love your posts 🙂 Keep em coming!

  • Love these! I had a Wendy house when I was little. Apparently that’s the Brit name for them because any time I’ve mentioned it here in the US people don’t know what I’m talking about.

    Need to send this post to my sister, she makes playhouses for her nephews all the time.

  • if i was a kid i would have loved these! who am i kidding, i’m in my 20s and i still love them!

  • These are amazing! If only my sister was a little bit younger, I’d have so much fun making some of these!
    Jodie xx | Future Freaks Me

  • These are so sweet! I remember making some as a kid but the wallpaper is SUCH a cute touch!

  • Omg! They are beautifull!! I wish I would had these houses when I was a child…

  • oh wow! these look amazing, so many different possibilities, so much fun to be had, a gingerbread house one would be so cute.

  • I’m in awe. These are so pretty that it almost makes me sad to think that a toddler will probably rip off the roofing tiles within the first week of the house’s “life.” Love this. You did a fantastic job and I will be sharing the link!

  • These are precious. I love the print of the middle one and they are the perfect size! I would have loved to have these as a kid. Even now actually.


  • All three of my kiddos would love these! Ages 2, 4 and 6. And the houses would look simply adorable in our living room. I might have to dry this diy!

  • These are adorable. At first I thought you used fabric for them, wrapping paper makes more sense. LOL Your girls are so lucky to have such a creative mom! 🙂

  • Sondra,
    Thanks so much! We try really hard to get the best natural lighting possible in all our photos. We (almost) never use a flash for any photos on this blog. 🙂

  • I don’t have babies yet, but I lurve this idea for a party! 🙂 So fun.

  • this is such an incredible idea! as a kid, i would have completely went crazy for something like this.
    wow. totally ingenious. really in love with this idea. my 5 year old self is giddy!

  • Elsie, how do you get rid of shadows in all of your photos? I’ve noticed that there are never shadows in yours and I can never figure out how that is done!


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