How to Make a Cardboard Stable

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Things You'll Need

  • 15-by-18-21-inch cardboard box

  • 10-by-17-inch piece of cardboard

  • 10-by-10-inch piece of cardboard

  • Box cutter

  • Acrylic paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Kraft paper

A cardboard stable can serve in a nativity scene.

A cardboard stable provides an entertaining prop for a child's school project or at-home play. The stable can be used in a nativity scene or as a barn to shelter toy horses and farm animals. Building a cardboard stable is an appropriate activity for children but adult participation is needed for cutting the cardboard. Begin with a plan for a basic stable and use your imagination to personalize your stable with recycled accessories.


Step 1

Fold the two longer flaps of the box lid lengthwise, 2 inches from the edge, facing toward the inside. Attach a 2-inch strip of Velcro at the center of the folded flaps so when the Velcro meets, it creates a way to secure the roof flaps together. The Velcro enables the roof to be opened easily for access.

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Step 2

Stand the side flaps of the box lid up against the side spaces of the closed roof. Mark the excess cardboard with a pencil and trim it off with the box cutter. The sides of the roof should fit snugly into the space to create the sides for the roof.

Step 3

Draw two 5-by-8-inch rectangles on the front of the stable, centered and spaced apart to create two Dutch doors. The rectangles should be at least 2 inches from the the bottom, top and sides of the box. Cut through the top, right and bottom lines of the rectangle with a box cutter. Cut through the center of each rectangle to create the doors. Use a ruler as a guide to create a fold to enable the doors to open and close easily.


Step 4

Add windows to the barn by drawing a 4-by-6-inch rectangle for each window. Cut through the top and bottom lines of the rectangle with the box cutter. Cut a line down the center of the rectangle to create the shutter-style windows. Use a ruler as a straightedge to fold creases for the windows so they can easily be opened and closed.


Step 5

Create the stalls by cutting two 5-by-17-inch and two 5-by-10-inch pieces of cardboard. Make a 2 1/2-inch slit down the middle of each piece and interlock one of the 5-by-17-inch pieces and one of the 5-by-10-inch pieces of cardboard, creating the shape of a cross. Repeat for the other two pieces of cardboard. Place them inside the cardboard structure to serve as the stalls, positioning one on the left side and one on the right side of the box, leaving the middle area of the stable open.


Step 6

Add simulated straw by crumpling thin strips of kraft paper. Paint and decorate the stable, adding accessories such as recycled small cans for feed buckets.


Ensure that the box cutter is closed to the safety position when not in use.


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