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DIY Cardboard Playhouse for Kids

Cardboard box house with blankets in it

If there’s one thing that kids love, it’s creating a living room fort that they can turn into a castle, house or anything else their imaginations can conceive. Building one is simple and uses boxes and other items that you probably already have laying around your home. We’ll show you how to build a cardboard playhouse with your kids that they can decorate and customize any way they like!

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Create the Main Room

    Create the Main Room

    Take two extra large cardboard boxes and open them up. Stand them side-by-side and tape them together to create a large rectangle shape. Use a sharp utility knife to cut the inside middle wall away and create one big main room area for your DIY playhouse.

  2. Step 2 Create the Roof

    Create the Roof

    With your main room created, angle the top flaps of the cardboard box together in a triangle shape, then cut the side flaps to fit underneath neatly. This will create a gable look for your roof. Use two long flat pieces of cardboard to fill in the top. If you like, you can even take a small cardboard box and make a chimney by taping it to the top of the roof, near the back.

  3. Step 3 Tape your Seams, Inside and Out

    Tape your Seams, Inside and Out

    With the basic shape of your DIY playhouse created, you’ll need to make sure you tape all the seams to ensure that it is structurally sound. Have your child or children choose a fun colour for the tape to really make it unique! Be sure to tape the inside seams as well to make it as strong as possible.

  4. Step 4 Cut Out the Windows & Doors

    Cut Out the Windows & Doors

    The playhouse is really taking shape now! To create the main window, start cutting from the side wall opposite the chimney. Cut a large square a little over halfway up the wall, but only cut the left, right and top side, leaving you with a flap of cardboard that folds outward from the house.

    Use two triangle-shaped supports to keep that flap square to the house by taping one side of the triangles to the outer house wall and the other to the bottom of the flap. This will form the supports and create a nice little table for the outside of the playset. Now cut any other windows your kids would like. You could even include a skylight on the roof!

    On one of the long sides of the house, use a ruler to measure about two inches down from the top edge of the roofline. Mark a line across the panel that stops about two inches in from each side. Cut through that line and then cut down the middle, creating two fold-open doors. Cut a hold for the door handles and run a piece of rope through for easy opening and closing.

  5. Step 5 Decorate Your Playhouse

    Decorate Your Playhouse

    The most fun part of the whole project is watching your kids turn this ordinary cardboard playhouse into something magical by decorating with the things they love. They can decorate with markers, stickers, cardboard shapes and designs and anything else they like. Consider adding some small rope lights to make it even more special. The best part is, when they get tired of ho it looks, you can encourage them to redesign it and make a whole new experience.

What You Need for This Project

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