The District School of Boxville. It is made from a shoe-box.


Inside view of the Boxville School. The desks are all cut from small oblong boxes. The benches are boxes also; and the stove is a spool with a pencil for a stove-pipe.

Material Required for Building a Toy School: one shoe-box with its cover, a half-sheet of cardboard, three small boxes about three inches long, the cover of some narrow little box which has an inner drawer, a pencil, a spool, and a box two inches long.

Did you ever before see a toy school-house? I don't believe you have ever seen anything like Box-ville School, so I am going to tell you how you may build one like it.

First, you will need a shoe-box to form the house itself. Its cover is the roof. To this, at either end of the box, are glued two side walls which hold the roof in place, slanting. The cover of some tiny narrow box which is made with an inner drawer is the chimney. Inside, the desks are made from the lower parts of three boxes about three inches long. Their three covers make the benches. A teacher's desk may be made from any small box you have. Its cover is teacher's chair. A spool forms the stove, and a pencil is the stovepipe.

Begin by taking the cover from your shoe-box. Place the box upon the table before you so that it stands upon one long side, with its bottom part facing you, open at the back. The base of your box, which now faces you, will be the part of the school which will need to have windows made in it.

These two windows must have blinds. The window spaces must be located on the face of the box, which fronts you. From these the blinds are cut. Two inches from either end of your box, mark upon the part which faces you two oblongs, each three inches high and two inches wide. Mark a vertical line down the center of each window space. This forms the blinds, which you will need to cut. (For cutting blinds, see Diagram One, 5, page 166.) Cut the top line, down the center line, and across the base line. Press the two sections of cardboard outward against the sides of the box building, and you will have made the window with blinds. Color these blinds, if you choose. Use crayons or water-color paints.

Next, you will need to make the cardboard side walls which support the box-cover roof. Take your sheet of cardboard and measure with pencil outline upon it the shape of one end of your box. Add to this four inches at the top, and cut this piece from the cardboard with its added height.

Make a second piece of cardboard identical with the first. Glue each to one end of the box upright. Cut from each the front upper corner point. (See Diagram Three, A, page 168, which shows the shape of the side walls when cut.)

Cut a door in one of these side walls, near its central part, where you see the door in the picture of Boxville School. To make this, first take pencil and ruler and make an oblong four inches high and two inches wide. (To cut door, see Diagram Two, A, page 167.) Cut top line, down one side line, and across the base line. Fold the door outward. The card-board under the door in the side wall may be cut out the shape of the door space. If you do this, your door will bend open more easily.

If you happen to have a round-headed paper-fastener, press its pointed prongs through the little door where a door-knob should go. The round head of the paper-fastener will form a door-knob. Its prongs, bent to one side, form the latch. It will catch the door securely when the "door-knob" is turned.

Now that the lower part of the school building is finished, you may begin upon the roof. This is the box cover. Place it upon the points of the side walls so that it fits down upon them. You will readily see how this is. (For placing a roof on a shoe-box building, see Diagram Three, A A, page 168.)

When the roof is placed, you will be able to judge where the chimney-hole should be cut in the box-cover roof. It should go near the top at the end of the box that is opposite the door. The cover of some narrow box which has a sliding inner drawer will make the chimney. It will be just the right shape, square and hollow.

Mark off upon the sides of this box the bricks of the chimney. Color them red, if you like. If you use a ruler, the work is easily and quickly done. You do not need to mark the bricks unless you like. Your box may be painted merely.

To place it on the roof, you will need to cut out of the school-house roof a piece of cardboard the size of the end of your box. Decide where the chimney should go. Mark the end of it with pencil upon the roof at this point. Cut the cardboard out. (For cutting hole for chimney in a box-cover roof, see Diagram Three, A A, page 168.) Press the end of the chimney down through this hole. Press the chimney backward to make it stand straight, and glue it. Some tiny bit of cotton stuffed into the upper hole of the chimney box will form smoke.

Of course, you will be anxious to furnish your school-house inside. You may make it like a real district school such as you see in the country. It will have desks, benches, a stove, and a blackboard - to say nothing of a teacher's desk and chair!

The lower halves of the three small boxes form desks. It is really a simple matter to make these. They are the kind that have a shelf beneath the top. They are open.

Take the lower half of one of these boxes. Place it upon one of its long rims. The upper rim will be the top of the desk. The ends of the box will need to be cut the shape of the sides of a desk. (For cutting a desk out of a small oblong cardboard box, see Diagram Six, E, page 179.)

Fit a bit of box rim beneath the top of the desk where the shelf should go, and glue its ends to the box desk. The desk may be painted black, if you choose. Make the two other desks like this one.

The benches are next cut from the box covers. To make a bench, make a cut with scissors in each box rim at the center of each end of the box. Cut each as far as the upper part of the cover. Half the box will be the back of the bench. Half will be the seat and legs.

First, cut the legs. Then bend the other half of the box upward, cut off the side piece at either end of the box, bend the long rim upward. This will make a bench with high back. (For cutting the legs of bench and its high back, see Diagram Six, B, page 176.) In following diagrams, always cut where you see the heavy black line. Bend where you see a dotted line. The bench may be painted to match the desks. Make other benches like the first one.

The teacher's desk is made from the lower half of another box - one about two inches long. It is made like a table, except that no legs are cut in its end rims. (For cutting a bench form for the teacher's desk, see Diagram Six, A, page 175.) The desk may be painted, if you like.

The chair for this desk is cut from the cover of the same box that made the desk. Cut the cover's rim half off the box, beginning at the center on one long side. The part of the cover left without rim will be the back of the chair. Cut legs at the corners of the other half of the cover and at each side on the rim. Remove the surplus cardboard from between them. (To cut chair, see Diagram Six, C, page 177.) Color the chair to match desks and benches.

Your school is almost done. The stove will need to be put up - I'm quite sure that you never heard of a district school-house without a. stove! It is as much a part of a district school as the dipper and the water-pail used to be. The stove of this toy school is just a spool painted black. Place it under the chimney, with the point of a long pencil run into its upper hole to represent a stovepipe. There! That is easy to do, I am sure!

The blackboard is a piece of black pinwheel paper cut oblong and pasted between the windows. If you have some old time-table in your home, perhaps you will find in it a small map that may be cut out and pasted to the walls of the school.

You can make text-books by folding pieces of paper together. These can be placed inside the desks.

Penny dolls make excellent scholars. A tumble toy figure may make a schoolmistress or a school-master.

In the picture of Boxville School, you can see three penny dolls and my tumble toy schoolmistress. The dolls are at recess. Violet is trying to do a sum at the board. Pansy is pretending to be "teacher." Lily has just finished her luncheon.

When does your school open? Now! The scholars will have to hurry or they'll be late!

I made a little Boxville School, and now in it each day I'm educating penny dolls, and it is splendid play! I teach them all my lessons every day when I am through - They have finished with my reader, and can divide by two.