Amber About Page: The Cardboard Collective


Yokoso from Tokyo! An amazing city that I am learning a little bit more about every day. My husband and I have been living, working and traveling all over the world for the past 15 years. Japan is our current home and the place we live with our two daughters. Here you’ll find inspiration for projects, cardboard links, information about tools and techniques, and also a bit about sustainable building, crafting and living.

The inspiration for this blog was a book about cardboard furniture I read one day at one of the wonderful city sponsored play houses for children aged 0-3 here in Japan.  I have always been obsessed with cardboard and already had many many pages in my sketchbook devoted to this humble, yet noble material, but this book was a real springboard for me.

We built a set of table and chairs from one of the projects in the book, and to our surprise they were light enough for a 1 year old to move around, recycled and recyclable, adorable and amazingly sturdy. Is there anything more divine? And the best part was that I felt an incredible sense of joy and (still do) every time I look at pictures of those table and chairs. Mostly because my husband and I lovingly made them, but also because we built something really durable and fun without having a garage, a basement, a workshop, or even a car.

I hope that this blog will inspire you to make something out of cardboard for yourself or your child, that reduces your impact on the earth, and brings you an incredible amount of joy.

I have my cardboard goggles on. Prepare for brilliance.

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46 thoughts on “About

  1. Popped over here after seeing your comment on Jo`s post at Whip It. Fellow Japan mama!

    Love the table- have seen this type of thing at the jidokan around here. Amazing how sturdy they are!

    Will try to keep some cardboard and make one of your projects in the future. LOVED the swing you took to the park near your place- fab!

  2. Pingback: It’s a Bridge… It’s a Rocker… It’s a Stool! « Folk Haven

  3. Hi Amber,
    (I’m sorry if you received this massage for the tird time lol but I had a problem to submit it…)
    I just discovered your blog and i’m so happy! You have so good ideas ! I love Cardboard too , i run a blog about it too but it’s in French http://magicarton.com/ (I still have to find a good ap to translate it) , anyway a lot of ideas come from english-speaking creators or blogs etc…So don’t hesitate to take a peek even if you don’t speek french 😉 I also made a board on Pinterest with many beautiful Cardboards Projects, let me know if you’re interested for the link …
    Meanwhile I will follow you with great pleasure ! Have a nice day!

  4. Hi Amber!
    Discovered your blog through Diane’s class, and just love it. A blog on cardboard? How great and such a “niche”! (niche means doghouse in French, have you made one already?)

    • Hi Mary! Thanks for your comment! I haven’t made a doghouse yet, but I surely need to, what a great idea! The blog has been so much fun, and it seems that we’re right at the beginning of a huge cardboard renaissance…we’ll see what becomes of it! I’m so excited about Dianne’s class, and truly looking forward to connecting with so many talented bloggers. Your quilts are so amazing! I was also really moved by your post about Motoi Yamamoto, salt is a deeply spiritual thing here…….and those shapes! Of course I’ve got to make the bracelets! So good. I am a huge bangle girl. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in class!

  5. Wow, what a fun day everyone must have had using their creativity! We need more of this happening all over the world. You are so inspiring!

  6. hi! what a beautifull blog! your cardboard proyects are amazing. i also love building cardboard things (houses, pitrate ships, etc) for my dauther and niece. i look forward to see your next proyects.
    greetings from Argentina
    ps: if you´d like to see my cardboard works

    • Apo, Thanks for visiting! I got the chance to check out the amazing creations on your blog! Thanks for getting in touch, I have added your site to the blog roll, Cheers, Amber

    • Hi Irene! So excited after our chat, and pleased to meet you. Please drop me a line next time you’re in Tokyo! Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help out with cardboard play day!

  7. Hi Amber,

    Wow….it has been a long time since Cairo 🙂 I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! It is my first time looking through it….I am truly inspired and plan on sharing it with friends. I hope you, Pete and the rest of you beautiful family are doing well.

    All my love,


  8. Hello,

    I’m a Web Producer at The Weather Channel and we’re working on a story about the coolest playgrounds in the world. I came across your images of the Tokyo Tire Park at Play-Scapes.com (http://www.play-scapes.com/correspondent_post/nishi-rokugo-koen-tire-park/). Would it be possible for us to license these images for use in our article? If so, please contact me at Caitlin.Jones@weather.com and our writer Allie Goolrick at allie.goolrick@weather.com.

    All the Best,

    Caitie jones
    The Weather Channel

  9. I’ve just found your blog and am sooo excited!
    I’ll definitely try your projects with my children.

    I’m happy to know that you’re now living in my country.
    I hope I can see you sometime in Tokyo.

    • Hi Akiko,

      It’s wonderful to connect with other crafty bloggers in Tokyo like you, please let me know next time you are hosting a workshop in Shimokitazawa, maybe I’ll be able to attend!

  10. Hi Amber, I’d like to follow your blog, but I can’t see any ‘follow’ buttons to click. What should I do, please?

    Diane 🙂

    I’ve ticked the notify box below – will that do the trick??

  11. Love your website – my life is not full enough of cardboard costumes! I am planning a swarm of cockroaches at the moment – to debut in late may – hoping to have 20 people joining. I live in HK and am really looking forward to it – your site is an inspiration!

  12. Looking for fun cardboard play ideas, and google led me here! Then I thought, “Hey, that’s tatami in that picture!” 🙂 We live south of Tokyo in Shizuoka-shi, and love all the creative, recyclable play Japan has brought to us.. Fun to “see” another mama doing the same!

  13. Hi!

    I’m working with Domino’s Pizza and noticed you posted a star made out of a Domino’s pizza box! It was fantastic 🙂

    Just wondering if you made that star OR if you ever use Domino’s pizza boxes as card board for your projects.

    Domino’s has a ton of really cool projects coming up and if your’e a fan we’d love to get you involved!

    Looking forward to your response.

    Bethann Zangrilli
    JLA Research, The Domino’s Project
    (888) 299-3001

  14. Hello!

    We would love to have you and any of your followers join us for the Global #CardboardChallenge 2015! Your work is beautiful and so inspiring! It would be great to have a challenge in Japan! Register here: cardboardchallenge.com

    Thank you!
    Your friends at Imagination Foundation

    • Thanks! I have participated in several cardboard challenges in the past and have planned one for this year. Unfortunately it has been delayed until November due to building maintenance at the site that agreed to host the event.

  15. Hello!

    My name is Lauren and I am a writer/blogger for a company called Little
    Critterz. I recently wrote an article on DIY Halloween costumes and
    showcased your DIY caterpillar costume where we used one of your images and
    linked it back to your site.

    I just wanted to make sure I had permission to do so, and if not I will
    gladly take the image down. Thanks a lot!

  16. Hmm…. I wish I could enter this! I was so inspired that I’m making my own realistic cardboard wolf costume. Wish me luck!

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