Easy to Make Cardboard Box Playhouse

A playhouse for the kids is a fun DIY that starts with a large cardboard box. This is a great family project that inspires awesome pretend play.

Cardboard box play house to make for toddler and preschooler

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A cozy little house is hard to resist! 

This kid-size playhouse is an invitation to play any toddler or preschooler will love.

With something as simple as a recycled box, you can create the magic of pretend play for your early learner. Start the play and learning today!

Related: Kid-Size Props DIY


Cardboard box playhouse

This might be the easiest design ever for a kids playhouse - no special tools or large chunks of time needed.

You can create this cozy play area with the help of your toddler or preschooler.

You'll be providing opportunities for hands-on learning, planning and building the house together.

Supplies for a kids playhouse

Instructions for a kids tiny house

Big box recycled playhouse

1. Set a large cardboard box on its side.

2. Extend the flaps on four sides to make a roomy nook for your toddler or preschooler.

3. Tape the box flaps together at the corners to support the roof and keep the sides in place.


Play house with window DIY


4. Cut out a window in the wall with scissors or a craft knife.


 Fabric covered box play house for kids


5. Glue pieces of fabric over the sides of the box.

  • I used a stretchy fabric to cover the tiny house. The fabric attached nicely to the box with just a glue stick, but use a glue gun or tape if preferred. Some glue guns are kid-friendly which is beneficial if kids will be helping.

  • I cut all fabric edges with pinking shears (optional) to help reduce fraying, but it also adds a nicely finished edge.

  • If you don't have a piece of fabric large enough to cover the side you can make a pattern with several smaller pieces. 

 Window in kids homemade tiny house


6. Make a cut in the fabric covering the window opening, approximately in the center of the window.

  • Cut away the fabric to reveal the window opening, leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) border.
  • Fold the border to the inside of the house on all four edges of the window (see photo below).
  • Tape the fabric on the inside to secure. This will create a nice finished look around the window.


Homemade play house from a cardboard boxOutside view                                     


Play house with window for kids

Inside view                                      




Homemade play house with fabric and big box


7. Cover the roof with fabric shingles to resemble roofing tiles.

  • We cut roofing tiles from some discarded t-shirts. We used a few different shades of red. The tiles measure 7 x 11 inches (18 x 28 cm)and 7 x 6 inches (18 x 15 cm).

Part of the project is designing the pattern of roofing tiles, including overlapping the tiles.


8. Make a window curtain.

Play house for kids DiY with window and curtain


  • Cut a piece of fabric twice as wide as the window opening, and a little longer than the window opening.

  • Cut down the center of the fabric with pinking shears, leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) edge at the top.


Toddler play house with window and curtain


  • Tape the curtains to the window, or glue in place with a glue gun.
    •  Make pleats in the fabric as you tape the curtain to the wall of the house. This makes a nice full curtain. You can sew pleats by hand or sewing machine before attaching to the wall if preferred. 

  • Draw the curtain open on either side. Secure with strips of fabric (tie backs) taped to the house wall.


Easy to make play house with cardboard box


Add toys, pillows, blankets and books.

Your cozy playhouse is ready for some fun pretend play.

I'm sure it will be hard for you to resist a visit inside!


homemade playhouse for preschoolers


More Pretend Play

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 Pretend Play on Pinterest


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