Easy Way to Frame Kid’s Art

I saw this idea a LONG time ago, but didn’t try it out until I was going through some craft supplies in the basement. I love it because it was SO EASY and only involves saving small boxes or packaging from actual picture frames.

We simply used a glue stick to attach his masterpieces to the cardboard box / frame.  The blue picture was made using his fingerprints and the larger one is his interpretation of our garage.

Here are the finished products:

easy artwork frame for kids

Use cardboard boxes as a frame – just one more use before recycling!

Cute, huh?! I think it looks more official than just hanging it on the fridge.  And I encouraged him to draw around the blue picture with other markers for another “frame” in the frame.  There are a lot of things you could do with this project if you so choose.

Have a great day & happy crafting!

Cardboard Halloween Costume FAIL

Happy October everyone!  I am still sort of wondering where the month of September went, but oh yeah – my 2 year old’s birthday, Oktoberfest beer, and a great picnic at a beer garden, not to mention all the fun stuff that we tried to cram in that we didn’t do all summer long.

During September, I became annoyed with the number of diaper boxes in my house that hadn’t yet made it to our recycling bin.  AND I was inspired from reading a Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween book that had a train costume in it.  AND I made a cardboard train for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, so shouldn’t my son have a train for his birthday too?  Wouldn’t it be awesome if that train could be made in September and still be around for trick-or-treating six weeks later?  AND aren’t trains so easy to make out of boxes?

As you can see, I had MANY reasons for thinking that a cardboard train costume would be a good idea.  Probably the MOST important one of all was the idea of making a large Halloween costume that could fit my kids, who would inevitably need to wear winter coats in order to trick-or-treat comfortably in Wisconsin. (Sigh…it never fails to be cold for Halloween).  Gone are all those dresses and thin costumes – we need layers people!

So I started making the “greatest” train costume ever with a diaper box and two other boxes cobbled together with a lot of tape.

cardboard train in the early design phase

phase 1 diaper box train

I covered it with cut up grocery bags to give it a cleaner look.

phase 2 covered diaper box with brown grocery bags

covered in brown grocery bags – phase 2 cardboard box train

Finally, I browsed through my scrapbook paper stash and found some green paper – my son’s favorite color to jazz up the engine.  I used spray adhesive to make this part easy.

When finished, it came time for the ultimate test: would my kids wear it?

My son’s response – no way!  I could barely get it over his head.

My daughter’s response – for about 5 minutes!  It was a little too back-heavy, to which my engineer husband said, “Yeah, you should really balance it a little better.”  I gave him a nasty look, encouraging him to give it a go then.  He has not taken me up on this challenge to date.

Ultimately, this is a costume built for two, as modeled by my daughter and her cousin at the birthday party.  Aren’t they adorable?!  My dad also suggested that you place a bowl of candy in the opening on top of the train, and have the child walk in the driver’s seat.  I also tried putting it over our wagon, but it didn’t fit. That could be cute, but as it is right now, it is a cardboard Halloween Costume FAIL.  Bummer.

Decorated with green and gray paper final cardboard train costume

Final – cardboard train costume for two!

Do you have any cold weather or cardboard Halloween costume suggestions?  What are your kids dressing up as?

Here are some really cute ideas in the related articles:

Newsflash: Cardboard Toys Don’t Last

I knew that, right?!

When I set upon making the Cardboard Kitchen and Cardboard Choo Choo Train, I knew it wasn’t going to be a keep-forever type of toy.  I was simply making use of some old cardboard boxes in my basement, hoping that they’d have more value as my kid’s toys instead of in the recycle bin.

Since CARDBOARD happens be a a popular search term on my blog (geez, my writing on other topics must be so thrilling), I thought I’d share a look at these cardboard toys almost one year later.

What can I say, it’s been well loved, and a cheap toy for hours of enjoyment for my kids!  I have been thinking about pitching it in the recycling bin, but just saw my kids playing with it yesterday.  It will be a fixture in our basement for a bit longer it seems.

The Cardboard Train Engine has fared slightly better than the kitchen – a testament to my superior cardboard construction skills.  It still has that slight lean to the right in the cab – again a testament to my superior cardboard construction skills.

More Cardboard Craft Ideas

As part of the Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge, I found some other bloggers with more cardboard craft ideas.

  1. I love this post from Zing Zing Tree. Egg Cartons, Houses, Cars, and Story Diorama. Check it out for some fun craft projects on a smaller scale (it won’t take up as much space as the cardboard kitchen or train engine)!
  2. The Little Crafter that Could shares an awesome cardboard letters project. This would be really cute in my kid’s rooms!
  3. Finally, the BEST CARDBOARD MASTERPIECE that I found comes from Japanese artist who goes by Upunushu: Matsumoto Castle.  Apparently she has been working with cardboard since 5th grade and is now in her twenties.  All I can say is WOW!  You have to check it out!

Another Cardboard Creation: Cardboard Little Bears’ Home

As a way to beat the winter blues indoors, and up-cycle at least one diaper box into something fun, I created a little house for my daughter’s stuffed animals.  She is obsessed with animals, mostly from watching Dora and Diego shows, so this box became a perfect little home.

Instructions

1. Use a utility knife or box cutter to cut a door and a few windows.

2. Tape the roof together using additional cardboard pieces (if necessary). Clear packing tape or duct tape seem to work well.

3. To cover the house, cut apart a large brown paper bag and fit to size.  I used the bottom of the bag to create the roof’s shingles.

4. Use markers or crayons to decorate.

This was a really easy project that probably took less than 45 minutes to do.  Have fun!

cardboard house

Little bears’ cardboard home

Little bears hideout - side view

Little bears’ home – side view

Other Successful Cardboard Projects

Cardboard Kitchen

Cardboard Choo Choo Train