Cardboard for Stools & Tabletops

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It was a pleasant discovery to find out that old album covers can be opened up to create a large, 4 paneled piece of cardboard for the Totem Box table and stool tops.

You may or may not have noticed from my previous pictures that Stevie Wonder is gracing the surface of our Totem Box table. If my daughter does in deed learn to read from constant exposure to “Master Blaster” lyrics, I’ll be the first to let you know.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Cardboard Table Tops by Amber

The album cover cardboard is pretty durable. It can recover from a spill as long as it isn’t left standing too long, but if you’re after something that you can truly pass a rag over, I suggest re-purposing shiny, plasticized paper shopping bags.

The plastic is not recyclable, but I’m pretty sure that these bags are processed without a problem at most paper recyclers. We are able to put them out here in Japan, and I pick them up from other people’s recycling piles for the odd project here and there.

While cardboard still rules, it’s nice to have options…

Cardboard Table Tops by Amber

Cardboard Tabletop by Amber

DIY Cardboard Camera

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DIY Cardboard Camera by Amber

There are so many adorable ideas for cardboard cameras on the internet, but this one comes from the first post I ever published on The Cardboard Collective about cardboard beads. When I got my new camera, I had the paper camera brochure left over, and glued it to some cardboard. We strung it with some cardboard beads on paper twine to make one of the more popular items in the girl’s jewelery box.

DIY Cardboard Camera by Amber

Recently I joined up with about 15 other mothers from my daughter’s yochien (Japanese preschool) and we made cardboard camera necklaces for all the kids at her school. The cameras were a prize from our fishing booth at the summer festival.

It was SO fun to see the kids snapping photos of each other. Since most of the parents were also walking around with their cameras slung around their necks, there was the slight excited air of a press conference announcing the magic of summer; more kiddie pools and popsicles to come….

DIY Cardboard Camera by Amber

Some of the kids know I helped make the cardboard cameras, so it was cute when they pretended to take my picture. A sweet way of trying to communicate and be playful with me. Of course I love kids AND cardboard, so I was pretty smitten the entire day.

DIY Cardboard Camera by Amber

Say “チーズ!”

Starry Cardboard Birthday Crown

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Starry Cardboard Birthday Crown by AmberStarry Cardboard Birthday Crowns by Amber

Starry Cardboard Birthday Crown by Amber  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An easy beautiful birthday crown that my daughter put together on her big day. She wants to wear it again next year, and I agree it turned out beautifully. There is definitely a Glinda, Good Witch of the North quality there.

If you can’t find gold cardboard, try jarred gold paint and pizza box lids……..

Paper Bag Hat

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Paper Bag Hat by AmberOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Grocery Bag Hat by Amber

I’m literally AND figuratively wearing a new hat these days.

Two actually. The first one is a partnership with the Japanese company eco+waza, which puts out a magazine and sells eco-friendly products from Japan. I’m designing cardboard projects for their packaging, (a cardboard box) and I’ll be posting a few of the projects here on The Cardboard Collective in the coming months.

The second is a project working as the Japan correspondent for Playscapes, a blog about the world’s best playgrounds. As you know I’m raising two eager young playground testers, and love play and design, so what better job is there? Find the most beautiful, inspiring and creative playgrounds near you HERE.

As for the paper bag hat that I’m wearing, I created it from a brown Kraft paper bag with this pattern by Angellea Designs. As a fledgling pattern designer myself, I have to say this pattern is just excellent. I made paper hats for the girls too, and they are going to provide perfect full sun coverage when we’re out foraging for summer berries this year. Although this hat isn’t water resistant, a sun hat is meant to be worn in the sun, and what hat could be lighter and easier to fold up?

I didn’t do anything special to sew the paper hat other than use the longest stitch length on my machine and add a bias paper trim to the edge. They sew up really fast, since there’s no lining, and hey they’re just fun.