Small cardboard boxes, all sizes and shapes, may successfully be made into interesting articles. Those with labels and printing on them can be covered and are more serviceable than boxes that children make.

Gift Boxes

Any small boxes may be covered with hand decorated papers to make attractive gift boxes. Wall papers and other attractive papers or cloth may also be used. Cut, fold and paste paper on lid of box as shown on page 83. If the bottom of the box is plain it need not be covered, if it is necessary to cover it do it the same as the lid. Boxes may be covered with pieces of colored magazine advertisements as described for waste paper baskets on page 94. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Leaflet And Folder File

Cut out one side of a box and its lid. Cut a half circle in this edge as shown on page 83. Paste the box and lid together and cover with decorated paper, cloth or wall paper. Sew a small ring or button on the back which will facilitate removing the file from shelf. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Steps in the covering

Steps in the covering of a small box with decorated wrapping paper. a leaflet or folder file made from a small box covered with attractive paper.

Construction of a letter file

Construction of a letter file that looks like a book when finished.

Paper Or Letter File

Use either the lid or the bottom of a shallow box similar to a stocking box. Cut two pieces of heavy cardboard one-fourth inch wider and one-half inch longer than the box. Cut a third piece of cardboard as wide as the thickness of the box and one-half inch longer than the length of the box. Lay the three pieces of cardboard together leaving a space of one-eighth inch between. Paste a strip of cloth or adhesive tape over the openings making the two hinges. Cut decorated paper or wall paper one inch larger all the way around than the three cardboards. Paste this to what will be the right side of the cover pushing the paper well down into the hinges. Miter the corners of the paper as shown on page 84, and pull them to back of cardboard and paste. Paste on a lining paper which may be a plain wrapping paper. Paste the lining only on what will be the inside front cover of the book and across the two hinges. Press this cover under a pile of books. When dry paste the box to the right side of the cover. When left side is brought over for top of box the file looks like a closed book. Suitable for upper grades.

a toy savings bank

How to make a toy savings bank. Construction of a cabinet from match boxes, the completed cabinet and a second cabinet.

Toy Savings Bank

Cut a slit in the end of the box. Use any decorated paper, wall paper or cloth and cut covering for bank as shown on page 86. Paste on paper and make slit in top to correspond with that in the box. Tin boxes may be used. Suitable for lower grades.


Use any number of regular size match boxes. Set them together to make the cabinet any interesting shape. Glue or paste and sew lids of the boxes together. When dry remove the boxes from the lids and cover each one as shown on page 86. Use decorated paper, wall paper or cloth for covering drawers and cabinet. Cover the cabinet (lids of boxes) as shown on pagfe 86. Sew buttons on drawers for knobs. These cabinets are useful for storing a variety of small things. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Peep Shows

Use any box that is long and narrow similar to a shoe box. Cut a small hole, not larger than an inch in diameter, in one end of the box, one peeps through this to see the show. Make figures, trees, houses and any other objects, that are a part of the show, small enough to fit in the box and be seen as desired from the hole in the box. Flat objects, drawn and colored with crayon or painted, or colored pictures from magazines pasted on light weight cardboard may be used. Natural things such as twigs and egg shells are effective. Make the scenery with crayon on a piece of wrapping paper that will just fit around inside of the box and paste it in place. If flat paper objects are used they may have tabs at feet and props at back as shown on page 88 and may be pasted to the bottom of the box. A more satisfactory show can be made by covering the bottom of the box with a mixture of two parts salt, one part flour and enough water to make it plastic. Make the mixture approximately one inch thick on the bottom of the box. Irregular ground, hills, rivers and other things may be made this way. The objects are stuck in this mixture while it is wet and when it is dry it may be painted with water color-paints. Always judge the scene from the peep hole rather than the top of the box and remember if objects farther from the hole are smaller it will give the effect of distance. When scene is finished cover the top of the box with tissue or cellophane paper using the color to give the right lighting effect. Cover the outside of the show with any decorated or wall paper. Suitable for all grades.

Flat paper figures

Flat paper figures for a peep show and completed peep show. Two toy wagons, a bird and an airplane made from small boxes.

Toy Wagon

Use any small box, sew on milk bottle tops or small discs of heavy cardboard for wheels. A seat may be made of light weight cardboard and pasted in place. Circus wagons may be made by cutting out openings in the top of the lid and bottom of the box for bars. Boxes may be covered with bright papers or painted with colored calcimine paints or white calcimine colored with chalk. (See page 22). Automobiles, trucks and other things are made similar to wagons. Suitable for lower grades.

Toy Birds

Use a small box for the body. It may be covered with bright colored paper. Paste on wings and tail made of decorated wrapping paper. Cut a slit in the box and insert a circle of heavy cardboard for the head. Sew on two circles of heavy cardboard for the wheels. Animals may be made in the same way. Suitable for lower grades.

Toy Airplane

Use a long slender box for the body. Paste on light weight cardboard for wings. Cut slits and insert pieces for the tail. Make a propeller from paper and wheels from heavy cardboard. Suitable for lower grades.