From two-story colonials to level ranches, our homes are easy-to-spot everyday reminders of architectural engineering. Classroom teachers can help their students design and create their own unique house constructions using a simple shoebox and everyday art materials. Teachers can adapt the lesson plans for a shoebox house project depending on the students' ages and developmental levels/abilities. Beginning students can try a more simplistic version, using basic shapes and artistic techniques, while older and advanced learners can tackle a more in-depth architectural exploration.
Things You'll Need
- Construction paper
- Card stock or other thick-weight paper
- Clear drying, non-toxic glue
- Tempera paint
- Paint brushes
- Colored pencils
- Modeling clay
Draw a blueprint for the shoebox house. Use colored pencils (preferably blue) and a ruler on 8-by-10-inch or larger white drawing paper. Measure and draw a rectangle to represent the shoebox's shape. The rectangle should be at least 4-by-6 inches in size. Divide the space into room sections using the pencil and ruler.
Cover the exterior of the shoebox and lid with cut construction paper. Choose a color that matches your house style. For example, use brown paper for a wooden house or red paper for a brick structure. Cut the paper to fit each side (excluding the bottom). Glue the cut paper directly onto the box and lid.
Re-create the rooms from the blueprint in the interior of the box by drawing lines on the bottom or floor. Lay the shoebox with the cover off on a flat work surface with the opening facing up toward you. Draw the room divisions with markers and a ruler.
Make 3-D furniture using small pieces of modeling clay and/or construction paper. Mold the clay into tables, chairs or a bed and glue to the bottom of the box. As an alternative, create pop-up furniture by cutting small (two-by-three-inch) rectangles from construction paper. Fold approximately 1/4 inch of the paper underneath itself to create a tab. Draw the furniture item onto the larger (non-tab) part. Glue the tab to the bottom of the box.
Create decorative windows and doors on the exterior of the shoebox house. Use markers or tempera paint and a thin brush to add color.
Leave the lid as is for a flat roof or construct a pitched rood using card stock or another similar thick paper. Choose a size of paper that, when folded in half, will cover the entire lid. The size will be based on the specific shoebox that you are using. Fold the paper and attach to the lid with glue. Place a thin line of glue along the two long edges of the box. Press the paper gently onto the glue.
Tips & Warnings
- Add architectural details and decorative touches with modeling clay. Mold your chosen feature and glue the item to the box.
- Create a skylight for a view into the box without lifting the lid. Cut a rectangle or square shaped hole in the lid of the box and cover with clear plastic wrap.
- Make a yard or outdoor area for your shoebox house by gluing the model to a large piece of cardboard. Add construction paper and tissue paper trees for a natural look.
- Always use non-toxic, child-friendly art materials that are appropriate-age graded.
- Supervise students during all aspects of the house-making process.
- Photo Credit PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
How to Make a Room Divider
A room divider can serve many purposes in addition to dividing a room. A room divider can be found in small rooms...
How to Make a Room into an Art Studio
Turning a room into an art studio can be a big step in your career as an artist. There are many things...
How to Make Outback's Ranch Dressing
Outback Steakhouse is one of America's most popular restaurant chains, producing a number of crowd-pleasing dishes under an Australian barbecue theme. An...
How to Build a Model House for a School Project
School projects help children to learn through hands-on experiences. Children learn best when the project is meaningful to their lives. When a...
How to Make a Mummy Coffin from a Shoe Box
Cut a shoe box down and shape it around a doll or figure to make a sarcophagus. Decoupage the finished shape, then...
How to Make an Egyptian Model House Project
The ancient Egyptians built most of their houses out of mud that was mixed with straw or pebbles and formed into bricks...
How to Make a Farm Diorama Using a Shoebox
Shoebox dioramas make fun and creative class projects for young students. In addition to challenging their art skills, dioramas can also contain...
Shoebox Project Ideas for School
One idea for school projects that gets overlooked too often is that of shoebox projects. There are so many different projects that...
Strategies for Decorating a Shoebox Parade Float Project for Children
Shoebox parade floats allow children an opportunity to use their minds as well as their arts and crafts skills, as they create...