Cardboard Bus Cat House Tutorial

Surf's up, cat lovers! We've got an adorable project that is purrfect for your feline friends. Transform a cardboard box into a vintage-style VW bus where kitties can jump and play and nap all day.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Things You'll Need

  • Large cardboard box
  • Painter's or masking tape
  • Ruler
  • Box cutter
  • Scrap cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Non-toxic craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot glue gun
(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 1

Turn a large cardboard box on its side.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Tape the bottom end of the box shut with painter's tape or masking tape.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Tip

  • You could use stronger tape like duct tape or packing tape. However, if you plan to paint the box, those tapes don't accept paint as well as painter's tape or masking tape.

Step 2

On the top end of the box, cut off the top and both side flaps, but leave the bottom flap intact.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 3

Fold the bottom flap up and tape it in place. This will serve as the "hood" of the car.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 4

Measure 3 inches in from the side of the box and mark a point.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 5

Draw a diagonal line from the point you marked to the tip of the bottom flap.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 6

Cut along the diagonal line with a box cutter and remove the triangular shaped piece.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 7

Repeat Steps 4, 5 and 6 on the other side of the box. This will give your VW bus a slanted "hood" shape.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 8

You'll now have a 3-inch overhang on the top of the box. Cut this off with a box cutter.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 9

Cut a piece of scrap cardboard to the same size as the slanted opening in your box -- this will act as the "windshield." Cut out two large windows on the windshield (be sure to round the corners for true vintage style).

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 10

Place the windshield in the slanted opening of the box and tape it in place.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 11

Draw and cut out windows and doors. I cut a triangular-shaped window on both sides at the front of the bus, and then cut two square-shaped windows in the middle and back of the bus. Again, round the corners of the windows. I also cut a double door on one side of the bus for easy entry/exit.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 12

Paint the bus with non-toxic craft paint. I gave it a two-tone vintage paint finish with white on top and aqua on bottom, but customize it with your favorite colors. To create the signature U-shaped line on the front of the bus, I first used a ruler to lightly sketch a V-shape from each bottom corner of the windshield to the middle of the hood, and then I freehanded a deep U-shape at the point of the V.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Tip

  • To ensure a crisp line on your paint job, tape off the top half of the box first and paint it white. Once dry, remove the tape, tape off the bottom and paint it your color of choice.

Step 13

Now, for the details! I printed this VW logo off of Pinterest onto regular paper at 50% scale, cut it out, traced it onto cardboard and cut it out of cardboard. I then painted the logo silver and hot glued it to the hood.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

For the headlights, you'll want to cut out two small circles and two even smaller circles. Paint the bigger circles white with a silver outline and the smaller ones a peachy pink.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Cut out four round wheels and paint them black. Once dry, paint a silver hubcap in the middle of each tire and a white outline around the hubcap.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Lastly, to make the license plate, I cut out a small rectangle from scrap cardboard and painted it mustard yellow. I then printed the word "PAWS" from my computer onto regular paper, cut out the letters and glued them to the license plate.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

This is optional, but if you want to make your VW bus a surfer van, then cut a surfboard shape out of scrap cardboard and paint it. Cut out a fin shape, paint it, and hot glue it to the board.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Tuck a soft rug inside and invite your kitty friends to hang ten!

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)
(Image: Trisha Sprouse)
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