How to Build a Cardboard House for a School Project

There are many reasons a teacher may ask her students to build a house for a school project. The lesson could focus on construction, using recycled materials to build, or it could be based on creating a house to represent a location in a story. No matter what the reason to build a house for a school project a simple one is a cardboard house, which you can build out of a couple cardboard boxes and some hot glue.

Tape one end of a small cardboard box closed. Seal it as you would if you were going to fill it with things using packing tape. This will be the floor of your house. Set this end on your workstation. Leave the other end open with the flaps pointing upward, this will be the roof.

Use a ruler to measure the top of one of the open flaps and find the exact center. Mark this "A". Mark another "A" on the center of the bottom of the flap will be directly underneath the other "A". Measure the length between the "A" and the sides of the flap. Half way between the side and the "A", mark a "B". On the other side of the "A" do the same thing and mark it "C".

Use a ruler to draw a straight line between "B" and the "A" on the bottom of the flap. Draw a second line from "C" to the "A" on the bottom of the flap. Then draw a line from "B" to the corner on the bottom edge of the flap and one from "C" to the corner on the bottom edge of the flap. Use scissors to cut along these lines. When you finish you should have two pointy triangles labeled "B" and "C".

Repeat step two and three on the opposite flap. For the other two flaps, measure out the center on the top of the flap and mark it "A". Draw a straight line from "A" to each corner on the bottom of the flap. Cut it out so you have a triangle. This should be done for each flap.

Use a ruler and a pencil to draw a line from the "A" on the bottom of the flap all the way to the bottom of the box. Measure the height of the box from the bottom to the bottom of the flap. Draw a line going horizontally that is in the middle of the box. You know have four squares drawn. Draw two more lines to divide these squares in half horizontally and vertically again by measuring with your ruler and drawing the lines in the centers of the squares. When you are done you will have sixteen squares drawn that are all the same size.

Draw four more squares. These squares will be in the middle of the original four squares you drew, over top of where the cross lines meet. These will be windows for the first and second floors and should be evenly spaced. Draw your door. It will be I the middle of the box, along the floor. Draw a rectangle that is almost as tall as the top of your windows on the first floor. The height will vary depending on the size box you used. Use a box cutter to cut out the windows and the door. For the windows, leave a quarter inch line of cardboard for each cross line. These will make the window panes.

Take a second small cardboard box that is the same size as the first and cut down one of the corner bends to open it up and lay it flat. Cut off two of the flaps. Place the two flaps on the constructed house. They should be placed so that the bottom of each flap is behind the double pointed triangles and the short edges of the two flaps should rest on the single pointed triangle. Lean them in so the tops of the two flaps meet in a point to create the roof. Use a hot glue gun to attach them.

Measure the distance from the top of the point that was marked "A" to the top peaked edge of the two cardboard flaps. Use this measurement to cut up the last two flaps of the cardboard box to make a roof that covers the four points. Hot glue them into place.

Make a chimney by cutting a rectangle out of the cardboard. Bend it three times until you have a square and hot glue it together. Cut a triangle out of two of the sides to give it a place to set on the roof. Attach it to the center of the roof with hot glue.

Erase all your pencil lines to finish your house.

  • You can paint or decorate your house as desired using acrylic paints or any other crafting materials.