Cookin’ With Cardboard

Users of Pinterest* will be aware that there are a thousand different ways to make a DIY toy kitchen, usually from old TV units or involving an Ikea hack. I used empty cardboard boxes.

Card Board Kitchen Play House Tutorial Craft Carton

Since our move from Melbourne we have possesed a surplus of packing boxes, many of which will be reused when we return, of course. (In my dreams, we won’t need as many boxes for the return trip because I will have reduced the clutter in our house).

Cardboard Carton Craft Kitchen Kids DIY

The thought that we don’t need any more stuff contributed to the idea to use a very available material to make a play kitchen for my twin boys. Also, while I hoped they might enjoy the opportunity to cook for each other and serve me pretend meals, at age 2.5 they have miniscule attention spans and they tend to climb upon everything. Any activity could go either way and it might not last for very long.

Cardboard Kitchen Knife Cutting Board How To Make Play

So I equipped myself with a set of instructions from Japan — which I purchased after our trip — from The Cardboard Collective, who has an etsy shop here and whose blog is seriously inspiring if you like the idea of creating ALMOST ANYTHING from cardboard. Which I do.

Card Board Cardboard Boxes Cartons Make Play Kitchen How To DIY

To ensure that my kitchen looked great, I also collected a pile of interesting looking boxes from my local Asian grocery. I wanted to add some bright fruit boxes into the mix but I couldn’t find any, funnily enough (Tasmania is awash with them but I think they are already resused and then reused again, and seem to never appear in recycling piles). I might try old wallpapers and wrapping paper to brighten up future projects.

Cardboard Kitchen Box Carton Gloves Mat Equipment Make

The Japanese instructions were challenging (I could only follow the pictures and diagrams) and I had to pack up my work-in-progress at the end of each session. There was a very large amount of glue involved.

Cardboard Kitchen Play Toy Make How To DIY

So it took me a long time to complete the kitchen and I was almost completely sick of it by the end, but the sense of satisfaction upon completeion was enormous.

Card Board Kitchen Play Toy House Home Made Craft DIY

I would highly recommend to other potential cardboard constructionists that you start small, like I did not.

Cardboard Box Carton Child Toy Play Kitchen DIY

As I suspected, it was a huge hit with the kids to begin with. The utensils were very popular, and both children got a kick out of “washing” everything in the pretend sink. We shall see how long it lasts!

Card Board Kitchen Upcycle Discarded Lids Play DIY Tutorial

If you are keen to try something like this, check out Foldschool, an online resource that offers free patterns for foldable furniture. I’ll be trying those next and I’d love to hear from anyone else who has a go at cardboard furniture making.

*PS you can find me on Pinterest here, with pins about things that do and don’t start with T.

Cardboard Box Upcycled Kitchen Toy DIY


2 thoughts on “Cookin’ With Cardboard

  1. Ah! love it, yes, i did similar constructions, but your boxes are way cooler! I also saved all my recycling (food and toiletries packaging) and turned a built in cupboard in T’s room into a shop when he was little, that had a lot of longevity too!

    • Great reminder about the play shop, thanks! I’ve been meaning to do that (and foolishly started collecting things for it when I was pregnant, would you believe). And I’ll go for something simpler… I might even be able to refashion this kitchen for it? If it survives 🙂

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