Paper Toad Costume


The Cardboard Collective: Paper ToadThe Cardboard Collective: Paper Toad CostumeThe Cardboard Collective: Paper Toad Costume The Cardboard Collective: Paper Toad The Cardboard Collective: Paper Toad

Paper Toad Costume by Amber

Made from recycled materials & recyclable

Cardboard, egg cartons, expandable packing paper, Japanese paper rice bags, thread, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, white glue, staples

Cardboard Costumes!


Snowy Owl by Lynn Towill

L. Towill’s “Snowy Owl”




M. Doran’s cardboard peg horse


J. deGroot’s cardboard stag

Wow! These are some of the incredible costumes that blog readers sent. Cardboard used in a variety of ways, and utilizing the natural tones and textures of the material. Outstanding!

A Visit from the Purple Unicorn



Mac Huynh, Writer: Unicorn, Photo by Patricia Chang for Racked


Malorie Lucich McGee, Tech Communications: Cereal Killer, Photo by Patricia Chang for Racked


Ben Chiaramonte, Brand Designer: Wolf of Wall Street, Photo by Patricia Chang for Racked

Our Cardboard Costumes Pinterest board was recently featured on The Pinterest Handmade Halloween Hub. Some Pinterest staffers even made their own costumes inspired by some on the board, including our own Cardboard and Newsprint Unicorn Costume, (top) which looks even better in purple, I think.

Cardboard and Newsprint Unicorn Costume by The Cardboard Collective

Cardboard Creatures & a Pinata too!


Mask Workshop by The Cardboard Collective in Tokyo, JapanOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


I had a great time with all the kids and parents that came to the mask-making workshop. Their creativity transformed a pile of cardboard and paper recyclables into a fun menagerie of hats, masks, wigs and mythical creatures. I also loved sharing my family’s long time tradition of making pinatas (this time in cardboard) with so many families who had no idea what pinatas were.

Thanks to everyone who helped with clean-up, spreading the word through email, my very kind friends who translated for me, and to everyone who came out on such a beautiful day to enjoy the fun of making and celebrating together.

Mask-Making Workshop


Cardboard Collective mask-making workshop in Tokyo, October 24, 2014

In cooperation with Play Park Kujira Yama ( a weekly pop-up adventure playground in Tokyo) I’ll be leading a Halloween mask-making workshop culminating with a cardboard pinata we’ll decorate the day of the event. Oide!

Who: preschool and elementary aged children and their parents

What: recyclable Halloween hat and mask making

Where: Koganei Musashino Park next to Kujira Yama

When: Friday, October 24th, 2014 from 2pm – 4:30pm

Please bring some light weight cardboard, a stapler and scissors (with your name on them) and okashi/snacks to fill  our pinata!

The Cardboard Collective

Cardboard Coin Bank


The Cardboard Collective:  Taiyaki cardboard coin bank

Steam-y, sweet taiyaki, is a well-loved treat here in Japan. It’s a food that gives everybody a warm, happy thought just dreaming about it. If you’ve never tried it, or even heard of it, I would describe it as something like a stuffed waffle. Typical fillings are cream, custard or sweet bean, but I’ve also seen an ice cream version.

You can use this bank to collect the coins you need to buy taiyaki with 10 and five yen coins, but even if you never do try taiyaki, I hope you use the idea to make a new kind of bank of your own. Think of the possibilities!

This is also the last project for my collaboration with Eco + waza for their Tomorrow Box subscription. It has been an exciting challenge to come up with projects that can be made from product packaging, and I hope to do more of this type of work in the future!

Cardboard Taiyaki Coin Bank by Amber / The Cardboard Collective

To make taiyaki you will need the template, scissors, utility knife, glue, clips and cardboard.

Simple steps:

1. Use the template to trace and cut two fish and one set of fins from the cardboard.

2. Use a utility knife to cut the slits and hole for the eye on one of the fish.

3. Glue the two halves of the fish together, using clips to secure until dry.

4. Attach fin and insert coins.

Our favorite place to get taiyaki in Tokyo is at Takane’s in Mitaka (after we dig seashells, by the seashore, Whew!) They’ve been making taiyaki and traditional Japanese sweets since the 50’s, and they are really really delicious!

Taiyaki from Takane's in Mitaka

Taiyaki at Takane in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan