Kid Craft Ideas Using Cardboard Boxes

A few weeks ago my grandson came over for a visit with a long packing box in tow and an idea for a project. This is his interpretation of a bee hive on a tree. It is a partial recycled craft using a long narrow packing box and other crafting supplies we had around the house.

Approximate Time: 1 - 2 hours including drying time.



  1. To begin his project he first taped up the sides of his box, using packing tape for a stronger hold.
    He left the bottom untaped to help it stand, and taped the top with the flaps open, for the tree crown.
  2. Next he experimented with making a rubbing on newsprint of the honeycomb texture of the packing material he had salvaged.
  3. After spreading the shower curtain on the kitchen floor we began splotch painting the tree trunk with watercolor paints.
  4. Let dry.
  5. While waiting for the paint to dry, we drew leaf shapes on construction paper and cut them out.
  6. We also made a sketch of the hive on the honeycomb paper and cut it out. (Photo is after attachment.)
  7. Print out clip art of honey bees and a hummingbird. He did original drawings based on computer images. (printer problems :)
  8. Color the bees and hummingbird, or any wildlife that will inhabit your tree.
  9. Now glue the hive, leaves, bees, and hummingbird where you like on the tree.
  10. Finally, he punched some holes in the trunk for the future addition of internal lighting, maybe a florescent type tube light.
    We have included one fuzzy photo, either grandpa or the camera person moved, but we're not saying who.

By R Barbara from Bremerton, WA

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I save all of my boxes from online orders to reuse. One usage is to treat a box like a canvas - fun and free outdoor activity your little ones can enjoy.

Recycled Cardboard Box as a Child's Canvas - painted shipping box

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 14, 2011

I need ideas for making dragons out of cardboard or shoe boxes.

By Shelie


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September 12, 2019

Young children are great when it comes to using their imagination. So making them these up-cycled cardboard box play cameras can provide hours of fun for your toddler. The instructions and photos follow.

Cardboard Box Play Camera - front and back of a recycled box pretend cameras

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December 28, 2016

This is a page about making your own kitchen play appliances. Here is another fun toy project that uses an empty cardboard box. Make play appliances such as a stove for your little ones.

Making Your Own Kitchen Play Appliances -  cardboard box stove

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