Mason’s Cardboard House

30 Jul

Recently, I came to terms with the fact that a dining room just wasn’t in the cards for us any time soon.  As much as I would love to have a nice big table with centerpieces and fancy runners, it was not going to happen.  After making peace with the fact that it is destined to be a play room for several more years, I decided Mason needed something a little more exciting than a slide, some cars and a T-ball set.  It was time for a fort.  Chad was working late one night and we had received several large boxes from Amazon so after Mason went to bed, I did some research on cardboard box houses online.  Several hours later after getting sucked into the Pinterest-time-warp, I decided to just wing it and tape some boxes together to see what comes out.

I turned on 13 Going On 30, broke out the scissors, box cutter and tape.  I didn’t think to take photos throughout the whole process but here is what I started with:

  1. boxes
  2. box cutter and scissors
  3. lots and lots of glue sticks and a hot glue gun
  4. tape.  a lot of it.
  5. several wooden dowels
  6. two tri fold presentation boards
  7. supportive husband
  8. local ER

house phase 1

I taped these boxes together to create a rough rectangle, large enough for him to play in:

house phase 2

I had to cut the opening large enough for an appropriate doorway and midway through cutting out the windows… BAM.  Tragedy hit.  Somehow, I managed to cut the base of my thumb wide open.  Like… you could see the tendons wide open.  I heard a snap and my thumb hurt and then went numb.  I either cut it with the box cutter or managed to cut it on the box.  Either way, it resulted in a trip the ER, three stitches and no water exposure during our vacation to the Outer Banks.  Not to mention, three weeks later and it’s still numb.  ugh.  On the bright side… they gave me pink coflex and it matched my nails.

numb thumb

After getting back from vacation and regaining some strength in my thumb, I was determined to finish Mason’s house.  The roof was the hardest part but after a trip to the craft store, I figured out a way to make it work.  For the roof I used two tri-fold presentation boards and a piece of wood to support the boxes.



I had to use several wooded dowels to reinforce the sides of the house as the cardboard was a little flimsy…


I added a chimney, mailbox and flower boxes along with some decoration for kicks.  It’s gotta be inviting right?!

house phase 3

I managed to find a matching cardboard piece for the door and taped up some cellophane for the windows.



Finally, I added some flowers for the window boxes and now I can say that it’s done.



Blood, sweat and three stitches later…. it’s finished.


I haven’t figured out a way to doodle-proof it yet:


I actually don’t think anything can stop Moe from visiting…  I think he thinks it’s for him.


Mason totally loves it – there are crayons inside and he has been in charge of the interior decorating.  In the end, it was worth the $15 and while it takes up considerable space, we won’t be using this room for it’s intended purpose for a while so why not.



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  • Emma

    I love this! (Except for the ER visit part – hope you’re okay now!) It’s amazing. Kids love a little place to hide out and this little house is perfect. What a perfect spot to play in the house in the winter!

    • Samantha

      Emma! Thank you – I’m so glad you like it! My thumb is healing… I think :) It was certainly worth it, he loves playing in there and drawing on the cardboard!


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