Monarch Caterpillar from Cardboard

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The Cardboard Collective: Monarch Caterpillar Costume The Cardboard Collective: Monarch Caterpillar CostumeThe Cardboard Collective: Monarch Caterpillar Costume

The Cardboard Collective: Monarch Caterpillar Costume

The Cardboard Collective: Monarch Caterpillar Costume  The Cardboard Collective: Monarch Caterpillar Costume

Cardboard Monarch Caterpillar Costume by Amber

Made from recycled materials and recyclable

cardboard, Japanese paper rice bags, white glue, staples, thread, steel-toothed zipper, caster wheels, acrylic paint

Decorative Repair

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Repairing a torn book page at The Cardboard CollectiveRepairing the torn pages of books with decorative paper at The Cardboard Collective

…some experiments in repairing books in a way that adds something.

Wouldn’t it be nice to add a little poem to a torn page, or a note saying something like…

It’s O.K.

Don’t worry.

Nori: Japanese rice paste at The Cardboard Collective

I used Japanese rice paste, (called Nori) and some pretty paper scraps. It was a hard choice sometimes between colors that follow the mood of a book and others that contrast it.

Washi paper book repair at The Cardboard Collective

I also tried to fix a glass apothecary jar I use for things like buttons. It broke in a way that created a large hole, but no cracks, so washi tape was enough….

Washi Tape apothecary jar repair at The Cardboard Collective

Decorative Papier Mache basket repair at The Cardboard Collective

And lastly, my basket for thread. The edges of the basket were cracked and the whole thing was falling apart. The colors of the paper always brighten my mood, and I can still see my thread peeking through patches of the basketry.

Blue Butterfly Wings

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recycled, paper, butterfly, wings recycled, paper, butterfly, wings

recycled, paper, butterfly, wings  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

paper, recycled, butterfly, wings

Amber
Little Blue Butterfly, 2013
Found cardboard and paper, melon and apple cartons, paper cord, watercolor, pastel chalk, white glue

part of the series:

“Insect Family”

(Inspired by this butterfly puppet by Octodrone that my daughter fell in love with.)

Cardboard & Newsprint Unicorn Costume

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Cardboard and Newsprint Unicorn Costume by The Cardboard Collective

Cardboard and Newsprint Unicorn Costume

To make the costume you’ll need:

  • white paper egg cartons
  • white newsprint or tissue paper (rainbow colors would be great!)
  • toilet paper tubes
  • metallic cardboard, (or rainbow paint your regular cardboard)
  • stapler

Simple Steps:

  1. cut a rectangular strip of cardboard about 4 inches wide and 10 inches long
  2. fringe newsprint, then fold the ends over the cardboard and staple
  3. cut ears from egg cartons and attach with stapler
  4. create cone shaped horn from metallic cardboard and staple down
  5. cut toilet paper tubes so that they can fit over your wrists and ankles like a cuff
  6. fringe more newsprint and staple to cuffs (place tape over staples to avoid irritation)
  7. shape the ends of the toilet paper tubes to look like hooves.

Unicorn Costume by The Cardboard Collective

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.

Nest Building with Kraft Paper

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nest building with children play open ended

Spring is in the air here in Tokyo and we’ve been blessed with more than a week of beautiful 60 degree days. While out spotting Ume blossoms, we’ve been watching lots of birds, and talking a lot about nest building. I’m totally fascinated with all kinds of animal (and people) homes, so I’ve been thinking about how we could make a nest that the girls could build, add to, and alter.

Last week I did some Spring cardboard cleaning and stumbled across some Kraft paper that I had fished out of a neighbor’s recycling some time ago. Kraft paper (the base material for cardboard) works great for this project, but you could also use large sheets of newspaper, or if you’re a teacher try used, crumpled bulletin board paper.

The Cardboard Collective

I let the girls work with the Kraft paper to build the nest shape and showed them how to use the screwdriver to push the ribbon through the paper.

They were not strong enough to puncture the paper on their own, so in the end I had to help them secure the sides….maybe in a few years they’ll be independent young nest builders!

Open Play

We watched a few BBC videos to show the girls how birds use different materials in their nests. They were inspired to add ribbons, play scarves, and lots of junky little things from around the house to the nest before they climbed in with a few good books.

Open Play

I recommend building the nest on some kind of platform. We made ours from pineapple and banana boxes.  There must be some kind of technical term for the fun factor that comes from elevating a play structure… the bird’s definitely know what I’m talking about.

Enjoy Mr. Attenborough with your cup of tea…….

 

Cardboard Tray with Handles

As you can see from the pictures above this tray was born out of necessity. Now that Isis is fully mobile and on a rocket course towards walking, nothing in our home is safe from the jaws and terrible Chiclet teeth of this four legged little beast.

If you find the right box with the handle holes at the right height this tray is a one step process. I had to do a little gluing and combine the parts from two different boxes, but all in all not too bad.

The big plan is for Electra to use this tray for doing craft projects with little baby hazard pieces that require a large work surface to spread the materials out. I think it will also be good for doing puzzles, and already I love the whisk – away – ability it gives me when rascal number 2 is on the warpath. Maybe a splendid cupcake carrier as well?