Monday, August 8, 2011

Ollie's House

There’s just something special about cardboard boxes.  While they can be filled with trinkets and things, they are also filled to the brim with possibilities.  A rocket ship, a car, or a house...

...your imagination is your only limitation.

Since our move earlier this year, the basement has been storing several cardboard boxes in various stages of unpacking.  A few of those boxes just so happen to be the perfect size for a little boy to call his own.

So armed with a glue gun, a sharp knife, and pair of scissors I was able turn a couple of cardboard boxes into Ollie’s House.

It was a spontaneous sort of thing so I don’t have photos of the creation process.  I’ll try my best to explain, but if you’d like any further information on this project, please don’t hesitate to email me at

Here’s the how to...

Box it up

You’ll need 1 large box and 1 small box.  The ones that I used can be purchased at The Home Depot and cost around $3.50.  They come folded flat and need to be opened up and taped shut on one end.  The large box will become the main structure of the house, while the small box will be for extras such as window frames and the chimmney.


Cardboard Cutout

Cut off the flaps of the large box and set aside (these will become the roof).  Turn the box upside down.  Cut out an upside down L shape for a door.  Cut out squares for windows (the Home Depot logos on the sides work perfectly for this).  A little window can be cut into the door as well.  A pair of scissors or a sharp knife can be used for the cutting (I used a combination of both).

Raise the Roof

Glue together 2 of the flaps that were cut from the large box.  Repeat with the other 2 flaps.  You now have 2 panels which will form the main roof.

Make small strips about 2” in length out of the extra cardboard cut from the windows.  Fold strips in half.  Using the strips, glue the two main roof panels together.   These strips are also used like L brackets to attatch the roof to the house.

Cut 2 flaps off of the small box to use as the little roof over the doorway and attatch to the house using strips as described above.

Window Wonder

To make the frame around the window, take the extra piece cut from the window and place on the side of the small box.  Trace around the window cutout and from corner to corner.  Cut along these lines.  Here’s a quick little illustration...

Glue the pieces around the window.  Extra cardboard can be used to create a cross pattern within the window (in technical terms these are called “muntins”).  Repeat for the other windows.

A Charming Chim Chim Cher-ee

Use extra pieces from the small box to create a chimmney.  Glue 4 similar sized rectangular piecies together to create a little box.  Line up the end of that little box with the edge of the roof and trace along the roof line.  By doing this, you’ll be able to cut the bottom of your chimmney at the correct angle.  Leave the shortest side of the chimmney a little longer than the rest and fold to create a flap.  Use this flap to glue the chimmney to the roof.  Cut out a square slightly larger than the chimmeny and glue flat onto the top.  Cut and glue narrow strips to the edges of the square.  Top off your chimmeny with a section cut from an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll.

Knock Knock

You can’t answer the door without a doorknob!  I stole this knob from our master bedroom nightstand.  A few stacked pieces of cardboard create a lovely little detail that also adds extra depth for the knob’s screw.

The Great Debate

I’ve been debating over painting Ollie’s house or leaving it the way it is.  For some reason, I really quite like the cardboard look.  But I can imagine it painted... maybe a light blue with white trim like our house... and I think I’d like the look of that too.  So what do you think...

Does Ollie’s House need a coat of paint?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  Please feel free to leave a comment (I am so grateful for each and every one) and check out the poll in the side bar to cast your vote as well!

Thanks for stopping by... around here, the door is always open.

Together, lets share, inspire, & celebrate...

Wednesday A Beach Cottage . Handy Man Crafty Woman . Blue Cricket . Elements Interiors . My Girlish Whims
Thursday Delightful Order . Momnivore’s Dilemma
Friday Funky Junk Interiors . Lovely Crafty Home . Tatertots and Jello .  At the Picket Fence . Iron Violet Designs
Serenity Now . The Designer Garden . Miss Mustard Seed
Saturday Lolly Jane 


  1. Great job! My cardboard houses consist of a box with a hole cut for a window. I'd like to see it painted but wonder if the card would warp?

  2. How cute! Thanks so much for sharing!

    I'd love to have you visit our first linky party this Thursday! It's a party specifically for kids and teenagers craft and other ideas, so your idea will be absolutely perfect! Hope you'll stop by!

  3. WOW i love it!
    I'm always trying to make awesome forts like that for the kids in my class, but they never turn out quite that well.... i may have some work to do.

  4. This post made me smile. Thanks for inspiring me and many others to even attempt this feat. Really appreciate that you linked up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

  5. Super cute! It would be really awesome with some bright paint for sure. :)

  6. Wow! My kiddos love to do this, too. Of course, ours don't turn out quite so fancy. ;) Great job! :) Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog. Hope to see you there. {I’m a new follower, too.} Cute blog!


  7. this is so awesome!! i can't believe the intricate details that you included for stability.... amazing. i totally want one for me to play in!!! thanks for stopping by the other day from homemaker's party!! i have one too that i'd love it you linked this up to! following you now too!

  8. oh! and as far as voting to paint it? i say let ollie paint it!!

  9. The house looks absolutely wonderful. Great job done!! Pinning it. Thanks for sharing.

    I am hosting my first link-up party - Tea Time Thursdays @Kreative Korner. Would love to see some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you!

  10. That is so clever and adorable!! That's a wonderful construction!

  11. That is so cute. When my girls were little, they loved to play in boxes, but they would just hop in and out of them (no door).

    Stopping by from VoiceBoks!

  12. Oh it's so sweet! Wonderful job!
    Leave it color free, so that he can see how truly extraordinary, the ordinary can be!

  13. What a wonderful creation! I recall making a doll house like that (but not nearly as detailed of course) as a child since my parents couldn't really afford to buy me the real thing. ;) I quite enjoyed it...I'm sure your little one is loving it!!!

    BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a nice comment!!! ;)


  14. For the first three pictures, I thought I could do this, but wow, that is a lot of effort. Not effort as much as skill with art supplies. Unfortunately my art ability seemed to end at age four. If my wife stayed home, I'm sure she could do this, alas I stay home and I am at least happy in seeing my 5 and 6 year olds are better artists than me.
    BTW - there is a song by the band The Radiators with a line, "Your only limitation is your imagination" I'm curious if this was what you were alluding to in your post or just a coincidence. Stopping by from voiceBoks.

  15. How amazing it is! I will make it for my little girl some day. Thank You so much.

    Btw, I am stopping from VB members to remember. Have a great day.

    Princess Liya

  16. This is so great! I wish I had thought of this a few weeks ago before we threw out all the boxes from our move. Good luck with your side table project!

  17. You're so talented! Oh my goodness this little house is so adorable! So much detail, love the door knob!

    I'm a new follower from vB and I'm so glad that I stopped by to visit Ollie's house :-)

    Stacey @

  18. WOW! What a cool house! I am so impressed and happy to have discovered your blog through a party! I am a new follower and would love for you to link up at my Savvy HomeMade blog party at

    I look forward to blogging with you!

  19. Such a beautiful creation. I love making fun things for my daughter with a bit of recycling thrown in. I think it would look fabulous painted in multi colors maybe your kiddo can join in with some finger painting!
    Cheers from Bangalore ,India
    Dr Sonia S V

  20. too cute!! My little girl would love this!

  21. This is so super cute!!

    Stopping by from vB to follow :) Would love a follow back when you get the chance :)


  22. Hi Sweetie!! I was missing you :)
    I think this house is awesome!! What a lucky little guy!! He looks like he is pretty happy with it too :) I say let him take it outside and paint it! U could do each side a different color and learn color names :)

    Love, Taci

  23. Seems I am late to this "party" but I just had to comment. I LOVE IT! I have been on a cardboard kick lately and in searching pinterest I found yours. Totally awesome! I am sure by now you have decided weather or not to paint it (and personally I would love to know if you did!)

    I just recently finished a similar project and we did paint our. I think that if I had not done a TON of reinforcing with extra cardboard that it might not have worked out as well. But since we did, I love the way ours turned out.

    Feel free to stop by and take a gander at ours!

  24. This is awesome.. :) but I think it's better to close the front and back part on the upper roof, just my opinion. Great job!

  25. What a great job you did and the kids will enjoy many many hours of fun in it. Very nice tutorial.

    I would love to have you to link up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  26. Ollie's house looks as good as my real house! An amazing craft, I bet he was thrilled with the results!

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