By this time I imagine that you all have been eating at home more than you have in a long time, so we can use some recycled boxes for some fun activities!

Turn this:

Into this:


  • Recycled boxes (cereal, mac and cheese, butter, baked goods, etc. – pizza boxes are not the best for this project)  
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Black marker
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Tape

Step 1:  Carefully open the boxes.

It is important to make sure the tabs are still intact so try not to cut the boxes open if possible.

Step 2:  Draw and color a building or house.

I used a black fine tip marker to draw the house.  Feel free to use a ruler or straightedge to draw the windows and doors.  The more details you add, the more interesting it will be!

Step 3:  Add some shading.

By using multiple brown crayons and lightly adding black on the main part of the house, you will be able to make it look more realistic.  I shaded the bricks on the edge of the house at the bottom lightly with black, then added some black under the windows, and randomly along the walls.  The roof has some grey crayon with black lightly colored over the top of it. Use what you have: crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

Step 4:  Paint some boxes.

I picked a blue acrylic color for the main part of the house and brown tempera for the roof.  These are the colors that I happened to have at home already. Feel free to use what you have.  I really like acrylic paint because it gives good coverage even on grey or brown cardboard, but it dries fast, so you have to be kind of quick.  The brown is tempera and is thinner (so the coverage is not as good), but it is easier to clean up with water. Tempera paint will come off of most things with a little water, although I wouldn’t get any kind of paint on your clothes and expect it to totally come clean.

Try to paint with even, horizontal strokes, all going in the same direction.

Step 5:  Draw a building or house over the paint.

Step 6:  Tape up the boxes.

Carefully tape each box so that it is even on the bottom or it will not stand up.  We found that it was easier to tape up if you bend the joints back a few times into the new shape.

Step 7:  Put your village together.

Position them side by side.

Rearrange them!

Make a whole street.

Don’t have room in your house?  Start stacking them in a corner!

The possibilities are endless…make your town, a famous city, or your favorite place to visit!

Feel free to send in your pictures or subscribe for other ideas.

Posted by:Karen Riley

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