20 magical & creative DIY cardboard toys

I read a while back that while toys are a major seller in the U.S., green toys aren’t so much. In fact, the research I read said that green toy sales make up just 1% of all toy sales. That seems nuts considering all the problems with conventional toys. Still, in some ways I get it. There are totally affordable green toys out there, but also many that are way out of the average price range for most families.

If you are looking to cut back on pre-made, conventional toys (at cost), why not consider the good old cardboard box? More than just fun, turning cardboard into something new and fun is a nice way to reuse and recycle. You can always buy a cardboard toy, but actually making them helps work your creativity muscles.

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Building with cardboard is a snap

If you’re not interested in messing with tape and glue, consider an easy to use Makedo Kit kit. My son has the Makedo Find & Make a Robot (shown above) and he loves it. But, you don’t have to make robots. Makedo kits allow you to use makedo parts such as non-sharp cutters and connectors plus any old found materials to create just about anything. Mr. McGroovy’s Box Rivets are like Makedo connectors as well. Of course, you can always use duct tape too.

Where to get boxes?

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I highly suggest you read the BEST ever working with cardboard guide (really – best ever!) No joke, this mama made the beautiful and amazing cardboard Barbie house above. This house has so many sweet details, you’ll have to see it to believe it. If I was this clever, I’d just sit at home all day long stewing in my own creative bliss and never get anything done.

Need more help? If your own creativity muscles need some help, check out these amazingly cool cardboard toy ideas below.

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An adorable Cardboard Box Shape Sorter for your baby from Parents – LOVE that it’s HUGE.

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The 100% amazing and fun cardboard cafe – there are no words for how much I love this. Made by 45wall design.

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Makedo, who I mention above, offers many cool cardboard box creation ideas at their website. Personally I love the wind ball for outside play and the creative Ferris wheel best.

Cool, cool, double super duper cool cardboard guitars! Made by Make It and Love It.

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Sweet pink and pretty princess castle by 795 and counting.

If pretty and pink isn’t your kid’s deal, you can also try this cool tubed castle by the clever Creative Jewish Mom.

Tissue box car city by Eco-novice – the perfect starter cardboard project for young tots.

A great fun idea for a cardboard doll’s bike seat from Origami Mommy.

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Pop-n-Play makes an awesome cardboard play kitchen, but you can also make your own play kitchen, like this one from Family Fun.

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Neat cardboard sorting toy for your baby, adorable rocker and rolling toy, all from the utterly awesome mind behind Play and Grow.  This blog offers the best overall collection of cardboard goodies I’ve ever seen – actually it was hard to leave, but it’s bookmark worthy for sure.

Mr. McGroovy offers a wide range of awesome low-cost downloadable cardboard box project plans. My favorites are the princess carriage and maze as both would rock at a birthday party.

Why should kids have all the cardboard fun?

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If I don’t make this insanely cool bookcase, featured at Instructables, I might die. Really… Have you ever seen anything so neat!?

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Adult foodies will be blown away by these amazing cardboard treats and I’m pretty sure they’ll inspire you to try and create your own sweet cardboard creations.

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Show off summer blooms with this handy, lovely and clever cardboard vase – it really works, but you’ll also need a recycled can. From Inspiration & Realisation.

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Great pop-art minded furniture via Apartment Therapy.

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