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Recycling - Cardboard City Inspiraton

Posted on March 3, 2015 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)


If you're gobsmacked by this little cardboard city as much as I am, I'm not surprised. It's the creation of Evgeny Kudryavtsev (aka Cardboard Dad) an architect and the father of a little girl, Ira, for whom he invent toys made from recycled cardboard and scrap materials. He crafted this mouse-sized cardboard city as part of a commission for German publisher Fordevind. The bright colours and graphic details that he added to his city makes it irresistable to any mouse or child (even a few adults). It just shows you what you can do with something as common as cardboard. 


Take a wander through his blog (it's in Russian) and you’ll be tempted to break out the cardboard and create a city with, and for, your little ones. To view Evgeny's blog and his mouse-sized city landscape, click here


Evgeny has an online shop selling his own designs. His current DIY kits include a cardboard house and a rocket, both customizable. To check out his wares, go here.

March Break - Rockets and Castles

Posted on March 2, 2015 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Okay, now that you've got your glue and paint ready, it's time to gather up the kids and start creating. Cardboard tubes from your recycling bin are a great material for all kinds of projects. In no time at all, your kids can create rocket ships, castles, even a forest. The following projects are easy and quick to make. Once assembled with a little help from you, let the kids go ahead with the decorating and painting.


Cardboard Tube Rocket Ships





What kid doesn't love the idea of flying high up to the moon and back? Lisa over at her blog Lizon shows you how to make this tall rocket ship. Her blog is in Russian but her excellent photographs are easy to follow. For Lisa's rocket ship, click here.




If you prefer your how-tos in English, check out the rocket ships over at Sweet Paul has a similar version of a rocket ship. For instructions, click here.


Cardboard Tube Castles




We all love the idea of living in our very own castle. The MollyMoo craft blog has a very easy-to-make castle made from a cardboard box and toilet paper rolls. Quick and very simple to make. The how-tos can be found here




Also very easy is this castle from Incy Wincy Art Club team. The castle is easily put together with a variety of toilet and kitchen roll tubes, all held together with craft glue. 


Cardboard Forest



Any little girl or boy will tell you that every castle needs a forest where fairies, unicorns, and other mystical creatures frolic. Here's one from Maija's Finnish blog, Ukkonooa, that is quite charming - bright and cheerful. The instructions are in Finnish but, again, the photographs are very easy to follow. To create this magical forest, click here.


There are thousands of sites that show you how to recycle cardboard tubes; these were among my favourites. I like them because they are quick, easy and so inexpensive to make.

DIY Christmas Cardboard Putz Houses

Posted on October 18, 2014 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)



I did promise you a few ideas for making your own DIY Christmas houses, didn't I? I think they're called Putz houses, a tradition handed down to us from the Christmas heritage of the Moravian Protestants. Anyway, I find that our lady Martha's Christmas village templates are still the best as these can be easily reinvented and decorated in any way you want. I usually make a master template from the printout by glueing the cutouts on stiff cardboard and then use this master to cut out the houses, trees, and church from cereal and other cardboard packet containers.


The above pictured little house is from the webside All Things Paper. It gives you all the instructions to make this wee house.


You can also head over to our lady Martha's site for her little house  templates to make as is into Christmas tree ornaments or you can increase the size of the templates to create buildings, etc. for a village vignette. As always, Martha's instructions are very clear and easy to follow. You can find the templates and instructions for making the houses, etc. here.


Martha also has simpler templates for her little pinecone houses and you may prefer these. Find the templates here.


Here are a few decorated Christmas houses to inspire you:


Christmas House Garland



These cute little houses were made from cards and book pages and then strung into a garland. The site is French but you get the idea.


Twig Christmas Tree Village



Okay, if you've got the time and the twigs this would be a sensational display for your home at Christmas. The site is flogging the little tree lights but I am sure that you could create these using Martha's templates and glue the twigs on. Me - I just like looking at the picture.


Christmas Gift Box Houses



Design Mom offers both little houses and school house gift box templates already coloured with the design on. Great if you don't have a lot of time to find cardboard.


Cereal Box Christmas Houses



No templates needed. Just use up all those cereal and food packet boxes that are cluttering up the recycle bins. An easy one for your kids to make and decorate.


There are 1000s of Christmas houses online that you will fall in love with. Just remember to keep it simple and you will actually enjoy making these.


Ciao for now.


Mother's Day crafts upcycling ideas

Posted on May 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I've been doing a lot of cleaning out the cupboards lately and came across a pile of cereal boxes and leftover wrapping paper so I thought I would see what I could find to reuse or upcycle these two items for Mother's Day. If you and the kids are still stuck for ideas, here are a few I found to recycle those empty cereal boxes and wrapping paper (or any kind of paper you have on hand). Any of these projects would be perfect for Mom and can be made without breaking the bank (she doesn't have to know about the recycling bit). All of these were designed and made by some very talented gals. Your Mom is sure to love any one of these.


Cereal Box Mini Notebooks



From Natalie over at Crème de la craft, here’s a easy-to-make, eco-friendly idea that kids can make (with a little help from an adult) for Mom made from (ta-dah!) empty cereal boxes. For complete (and easy-to-follow) instructions, go here.


Mini Magazine Notebook DIY



On the other hand, Else and Emma at their A Beautiful Mess blog recycle magazines into covers for cute little notebooks. They show you how here.


No-sew Desk Organizer



If you’re looking to help Mom bet more organized, here’s a project from Katy, at The Non Consumer Advocate, also made from recycling cereal boxes, and left-over wrapping paper. Here's where to go for instructions.


Note: For any of these projects, a responsible adult needs to be supervising the little ones.