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Box Play House

Play houses

This week’s sculpture project is so simple, and it has potential to be created at home, or in the classroom. I was inspired by the paintings of the Australian Artist Howard Arkley, whose garishly bright suburban houses bounce off the canvas in a psychedelic way. This project could be created as something to play with, like a diorama or doll house, or it could be a design project with an upcycling focus for those busy little hands. Either way both the making and the result is fun.

You will need some sturdy card boxes, one square or rectangle box, and some extra cardboard for a roof. You will also need some PVA glue, masking tape, scissors, and whatever you like to use for decorating such as paint, paper, collage, pens etc.

Start with construction. Keep your main box as is, this will be the house. If it has been opened, either tape it back up, or keep the open side as the base. Find the largest piece of box card you can for the roof, because you will need to trace around the top side of your box twice, side by side. This will allow for a nice pointy roof. Cut it out, and fold down the middle, scoring a midway line with a blunt pencil can make the fold neater.

Now the (only) tricky part. Generously apply PVA along two opposing edges of your box top seen in the picture. Get four pieces of masking tape ready to go. With the help of a friend, hold the roof in place onto the PVA, and get your friend to masking tape the roof in place. This will need a few hours to dry.

Once the roof is securely dried, you can start styling hour house. You might direct the kids to think about what materials houses are made from…. Timber, brick, metal, stone. Or perhaps they would like to make their dream house, or a surreal house.

Start with a good coat or two of paint on the house and roof. Once this is dry work with coloured and textured papers and cards to create doors, windows, fences, gutters, chimneys, stairs etc. I chose to keep my house features flat, but with the help of an adult the doors and windows could be cut out too for more interactive play. 

Another even more simplified version of these houses is this fun project Little Villages – also great if you don’t have much room at your house or in your classroom!

What other projects do you love to make with boxes??

Let us know in the comments – or send us an image of your box villages!

Until next time!

Tracy x

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