Mask-Making Workshop

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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

How to Start a Cardboard Head, Hat or Helmet

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Cardboard Head Piece by Amber_The Cardboard Collective

Cardboard Head Piece by Amber_The Cardboard Collective

Cardboard Head Piece by The Cardboard Collective

These are the beginnings of the head pieces the girls will wear for their butterfly and moth costumes.  We will be attaching antennas and textured cardboard to complete them.

Simple Steps:

  1. Cut strips of cardboard about 1.5″ wide and longer than you need to wrap around your head.
  2. Measure cut and glue a strip of cardboard together so it fits around your head.
  3. Attach 2 more cardboard strips so that they cross over the mid point of your head.
  4. Add additional strips as desired.
  5. Use this base for attaching ears, horns, antennas, or a mask.

 

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.

Cardboard Playground circa 1967

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LIFE Magazine - November 3, 1967 (Volume 63, Number 18) 

Big Play back top Rescan
LIFE Magazine - November 3, 1967 (Volume 63, Number 18) Page 3 LIFE Magazine - November 3, 1967 (Volume 63, Number 18) Page 2LIFE Magazine - November 3, 1967 (Volume 63, Number 18) Page 1

LIFE Magazine – November 3, 1967 (Volume 63, Number 18) Modern Living — The Big Play in Paper, from Giraffes to Gazebos

Wow, check out this 1967 LIFE magazine article entitled, “The Big Play in Paper”, that was lovingly rescued and scanned by my friend Miss Meryl Ann Butler during a recent Spring cleaning.

Meryl Ann and I met while taking online classes from Diane Gilleland at Crafty Pod, (I learned almost everything I know about blogging from those classes) and I got to know Meryl Ann by her spit-your-tea-out-hilarious sense of humor and from the really helpful stuff she posted in the forums (she has a long and distinguished career in the craft industry.) She is the author of the book 90 Minute Quilts among, many others and she has an intensely joyful, vibrant style with a personality to match.

Meryl Ann recently sent me an email message explaining that:
“This clipping was in my “morgue file” which was a file we had in the olden days before electronic files… with clippings of images that might inspire future artwork. My file had thousands of clippings, and I just threw most of it away a couple of days ago – a hard thing to do, since I had collected images for a long time – well, at least from 1967, lol!  I only saved a couple of them, and of course the second I saw this I thought of you, Amber!”

How very thoughtful, and how entirely awesome. Enjoy a trip back to the glory days of cardboard………………….we’ll relive them again soon?

A Cardboard Glue Comb & Sneak Peak

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DIY cardboard glue comb

DIY cardboard glue comb

DIY cardboard glue comb

DIY cardboard glue comb

I’m in the final stages of pattern testing my first cardboard furniture pattern! While my husband sweetly refers to this step as the first pancake, I feel like I have flipped so many many pancakes already!

Last week I was on a mad search to find a glue comb (oddly a tool that is uncommon in the U.S.) to put in (yay!) my new Amazon Affiliates shop. A putty knife was the closest stand-in I could recommend. Then my brilliant pattern-testing mother told me about the piece of cardboard she cut from the handle of a box to make into a glue spreader.

Wonderful, I thought, one less product; one less thing to buy. But I was surprised at how well this solution really worked when I modified it slightly by removing a strip of paper to expose the corrugations. Identical glue stripe-ing!

If you make a second glue comb you can use the two combs to clean each other before the glue dries, otherwise  just trim off the end and then cut another strip to make more corrugations.

OK, I’m in the home stretch now, hopefully I’ll have the pattern up any day now (whew!), and here’s a little sneak peak for all of you who follow the blog:

The Cardboard Collective

Brighten up Your Cardboard

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Winter is grey and cardboard is brown! I’ve been feeling the need to share some of my favorite ideas for bringing energizing color into your cardboard projects…

The Cardboard Collective

Layered columns of boldly colored Origami paper…

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

What I call Amazon Chevron. (Textured cardboard that requires a coat of decoupage glue.)

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Coloring book pages, kids can decorate them with marker after you’ve decoupaged them. These are from Tokyo Street Art Coloring book by my friend Chris B of a Small Lab. https://gumroad.com/l/tokyo-colour-in

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Water colors: Add a coat of decoupage glue to preserve the intensity of color.

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Tiled Chiyogami papers

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Spliced album covers.

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Cheerful graphics from the Produce Department.

And don’t forget all the good old decoupage ideas from around the web!

A Cardboard Toolbox for Kids

Cardboard Toolbox for Kids

Note to readers: Washi tape has since been removed from the toolbox (only to be rein-listed with parental supervision (full focus parental supervision)).

As a family of makers, a kids’ cardboard toolbox was next up on our cardboard making list. I found a smaller box with smaller handholds for the toolbox with real tools, real nuts and bolts and other real stuff, for real cardboard projects…

Cardboard Toolbox for Kids

Child sized tools: embellishment hammer, round tipped serrated cutting blade, spackling blade, screwdriver and safety scissors

The Cardboard Collective

Assorted screws, bolts, nuts and washers

Cardboard Toolbox for Kids

Here’s a peek at our first project. I originally saw this idea in what I believe was a February 2012 issue of Family Fun Magazine. They used dry wall screws and a rock for pounding, which would work too.

Cardboard Toolbox for Kids

We enjoyed the opportunity to do some parallel “making”. It was great to all be focused on different cardboard projects while we pounded, sawed and glued to our heart’s content.

Cardboard Toolbox for Kids

The accordion cardboard drop cloth is a great addition to this ensemble. I blogged about it last fall here.

The Cardboard Collective

Cardboard Toolbox for Kids

Do you have a cardboard tool kit or set of tools for your kids? I’d love to hear how others are making cardboard construction play accessible for kids of all ages…

 

Make a Cardboard Toolbox

Cardboard Toolbox by the Cardboard Collective

Two years ago I found a beautiful old wooden sheep shearing box at Camberwell Market during a trip to Australia with my family.

It was beautifully worn and even had tiny little strands of wool still caught in some of the corners. I quickly filled it up with my favorite sewing tools and supplies, and have enjoyed toting it around immensely ever since.

Cardboard tool box

I have long thought about trying to replicate the design in cardboard for my cardboard tools. When I started working with banana boxes last year I realized I had found a possible solution.

I spent several weeks in late December and early January creating a variety of designs and assembly techniques that incorporated the pre-made features from the banana box like the pre-punched handholds.

I truly believe that this (essentially paper) toolbox could last a lifetime before being recycled.  It’s easy to build, strong, durable, and functional. Maybe someone will buy mine at a flea market some day. Wouldn’t that be a dream! (Although maybe now that I’ve built about 10 extras, I might get on that sooner than later…)

 

[vimeo 57671007 w=800&h=400]

 

The act of constructing a cardboard toolbox instantly transforms you from a passive Cardboard Aficionado into an energized Cardboard Maker– be prepared for this dynamic life change!

You’ll need:

  • Approx. 30 minutes of your time
  • 1 banana box
  • cutting tool
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • large binder clips or small clamps
  • white glue (I prefer low VOC eco glue