Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Cardboard Box Style Wendy Houses

Cheap but very cheerful, these cardboard cut outs are colour-tastic

Cardboard wendy houses are the type that flat-pack and are assembled by "Tab A in Slot B" type construction. Should be easy for anyone, regardless of your DIY credentials!

There are some fantastic possibilities for bonding over colouring and decorating these cardboard box playhouses. Or if your child decides they want to be in charge of everything and do it themselves, you can let them express their creativity and learn how to take responsibility. In cases where they are pre-decorated, it's just a faster road from un-boxing to play fort fun!

When they're done for the day, you can pack it away and slide it under a bed or behind a cupboard where it won't get in the way, something not possible with many other types except maybe wendy tents). So it is ideal for those who are tight on space, or live in an apartment without a garden. There is also something so evocative about making things out of cardboard - I remember egg carton crocodiles and the obligatory box forts when I was a girl.

In this post we look at some of the options online for getting a pre-made box fort.

Plus! We share some great ideas for making your own! Read the post to find out...

(Sponsored post - what does this mean?)

Vortigern My Very Own "Colour Me" Princess Playhouse Cardboard Wendy House

This is a very "girl-friendly" design, although we wouldn't want to pigeon-hole anyone. It comes un-coloured with the outlines only, so your little one can choose any colour scheme they like. The size is 104cm x 88cm x 88cm, so not huge, but it has had great reviews on Amazon. Free UK delivery is included in the price.

Make Your Own Army HQ Flat Pack Cardboard Playhouse

On the opposite end of the spectrum, this is a rough and tumble boy-themed paradise. Great for those who love playing soldiers. I leave judgements about the benefits of mock-army play up to the parents! It is 88 cm x 88 cm x 72cm, so even smaller than the above, and doesn't allow for self-decorating. £2.95 delivery (in the UK, at least). Had a bad review online, but it seems that the buyer was expecting a little too much.

Kideco Childs Playhouse Cardboard Toy (White)

Really a blank slate, this wendy house is more expensive but gender-neutral and allows the most individual self-decoration. 90cm x 67.5cm x 128 cm, it's pretty large and quite pricey. It's £2.99 delivery and made from "80% recycled" material in the UK. Great customer reviews and more pictures giving you a good idea of the size if you click the link.

Kideco Cardboard Rocket Toy Playhouse (White)

Made by the same people as above, and with pretty much the same everything as above, this cardboard box rocket play house has the difference of being more complicated and maybe something it would be much harder to make for yourself (at least not without a lot of effort). This might be slightly more worth the price. 90 x 90 x 162 cm, it's not going to fit many children in it, but at least one, standing and looking out the portholes at aliens and comets as they blast through space! £2.99 delivery in the UK.

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Xtrem 00342 Princess house

This comes from Germany (the wonderfully named town of "Gütersloh"), so it is a little more on the delivery (£8.95 to the UK) but even so, it is a little less than some on the main price. Although it says princess house, not sure if it is particularly girly, and dimensions are 80 x 60 x 115 cm. I think the girl on the box might be one of these magically tiny children that make the house look huge! There aren't any product reviews on it, but the seller has five stars and a lot of reviews which bodes well.

Cardboard puppet theatre 'Punchinello'

A final German wendy house, this time available on Etsy. A puppet theatre style this time, it will be great for sock puppet productions and plays where Barbie goes on an adventure! Dimensions are 125cm x 88cm x 88cm approximately. Beware! Delivery to the UK is a whopping £24.30, apparently, though this seems a mistake. Possibly check with the seller although only if you can handle German!

cardboard puppet theatre 'Punchinello' - £29.18 from Etsy

Perfect for colouring in your Wendy Houses

Why not try making your own cardboard Wendy House?

If you have the time and recently bought a fridge or some flat pack furniture, why not try your hand? The sky is the limit on how creative you can get and you could even try to add some details from your child's favourite story. How about a Lord of the Rings Helm's Deep fort or a Star Wars Tatooine desert dome? Good luck and let your creativity run mad!

Suggested materials

  • Cardboard, the corrugated kind. Lots of it.
  • A craft or Stanley knife.
  • Tape - duct, parcel or masking tape. Perhaps some craft glue.
  • Paint.

Optional extras

  • Wall paper or fabric scraps or gift wrapping paper to cover the walls.
  • Felt cut out shapes that can be attached.
  • Marker pens for details on doors, windows, roof tiles etc.
  • Other cardboard items like disposable cups or shoe boxes can be glued on to embellish your design.

Tips for making the best wendy house

  • Make sure you have a safe cutting surface if you're using a knife to cut out the shapes. The last thing you want is for a big cut in your flooring! Of course I don't have to say keep the sharp things away from precious wee hands.
  • Plan ahead and try to make smart use out of the cardboard you have. Use excess for details like door handles or chimney pots.
  • Put the tape on the inside as much as possible so the outside can be painted cleanly.
  • Use a straigt edge to help bend cardboard into new angles, scoring (on the interior) if necessary.

Check out some of these projects we found on Pinterest!

Follow our board "Kids creative play" on Pinterest.

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