How to Make Little Cities Out of Cardboard

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Various levels of detail are possible when creating cities out of cardboard material.
Various levels of detail are possible when creating cities out of cardboard material. (Image: Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Whether you are stuck inside on a rainy day or looking to take on a new challenging craft, creating a city out of cardboard gives you the opportunity to build while having complete creative freedom and control. Using basic arts and craft supplies and a bit of imagination, you can create the city of your dreams scaled to fit inside of your actual home with ease.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Masking or duct tape
  • Glue
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cardstock
  • Construction paper
  • Ruler

Gather and organize all of the materials you plan to use when building your miniature city out of cardboard. Use old cardboard boxes or purchase cardboard from a local craft or office supply store. Other basic materials for building a colorful and detailed city out of cardboard include a ruler, cardstock or colorful construction paper, scissors, tape and glue, paintbrushes and acrylic paint or your favorite type of paint to use on cardboard. Pencils or markers are useful for creating outlines of your buildings.

Use a pencil or marker to draw and create an outline of each side of your building, complete with window, door and decoration markings for future reference. Use the ruler while creating the outlines to create cutouts of the same size for your building.

Cut the outlines using your scissors and place each building's sides and other pieces in separate piles to organize each project individually.

Line up the pieces of your building in an upright fashion to verify each side is equal to one another and has an even edge for gluing or taping.

Tape or glue the sides together, using duct or masking tape and sealing each side of the building with craft or instant super glue. Allow the building to dry before attempting to decorate the structure.

Add a roof to your building by cutting out an additional piece of cardboard to fit snugly over the top of the structure, or create the shape of a cone or triangle to top the building. Secure the roof to the top of the structure by using tape and glue as you did for the base of the building.

Paint the building with multiple coats to ensure the tape is covered thoroughly and that the building is entirely painted with the full color. Some cardboard soaks paint quicker, ridding the vibrancy of the color. Choose different colors for your doors and windows on your building to add contrast and life to the city.

Use cardstock or colored construction paper to create patches of grass, carpet or other street decorations in your miniature cardboard city.

References

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