This project was inspired by Boxitects, written and illustrated by Kim Smith. Boxitects is a picture book about a young brilliant Boxitect named Meg who creates extraordinary things out of ordinary cardboard boxes, with a twist: learning to work with others. In this activity, we will be creating from this prompt inspired by the book: Tiny Houses, Tall Towers, and Twisty Tunnels. We'll also be showing you some cardboard techniques to accomplish your boxitecture project!
We added this book to the Chill Zone at reDiscover Center. Find this book for some cardboard inspiration on your next visit.
STEP 1 - Gather Your Materials
- Something to draw/write with
- Tape, Liquid Glue, Glue Stick or all (or none and just use hot glue)
- Canary Cutter
*Optional: Hot Glue, Makedo tools and scrus.
- Lots of Cardboard
- Scrap paperboard, mylar, and other decorative materials.
What materials will you make with? If you don't have something, what alternatives can you use?
STEP 2 - BRAINSTORM AND SKETCH
You are a Boxitect! For your next project, you have to pick your next build from 3 prompts: Tiny Houses, Tall Towers, and Twisty Tunnels. You can do one, two, or do all three in one project.
In this activity guide, you have the option to create collaborative boxitecture or solo boxitecture. Solo boxitecture means you design and build by yourself. Collaborative boxitecture means you can collaborate with another maker! Each person brainstorms a design for one of the three themes, then the two of you come together to design a crazy amazing creation and build it out of cardboard. Alternatively, brainstorm two designs, one for each theme, then combine for your own creation.
For your design, start small with just one or two boxes. Keep going by adding more and improving what you have.
Sketches are guides for the boxitecture, but you can move away from it as you’re building. Sketches are tools to help you build a better creation–use it as you can, but it’s not a limit!
For this project, I collaborated with two other makers. I asked them to design two buildings that we'd build together. One wanted a tall tower. The other one wanted a tiny house. To connect them, we decided to create a short, twisty tunnel where they could pass things back and forth to each other.
STEP 3 - BASIC BOXITECTURE
When creating Boxitecture, we start with building the basic architecture/basic shapes. We don’t always have complete boxes for our buildings, with all 4 walls. Sometimes you have to patch up multiple sheets of cardboard together to create the building!
We use techniques like Cardboard Connections to accomplish this. Click through to learn about Cardboard Attachment techniques. Based on our drawn designs we planned to make two towers connected by a tunnel in the middle. We used techniques like L-Braces and sistering to make structures stronger and to create walls for the buildings. To minimize the usage of hot glue, we also used Makedo scrus!
Do you recognize any Cardboard Connection
techniques we used in the photos below?
STEP 4 - DECORATE!
Just like in the book Boxitects, let's make our creations colorful! Take some time to decorate the exterior of your boxitecture. Use colored paper, textures and paint to give life to your buildings.
Using hot glue is optional. There are many other adhesives young makers can use that won't require power. For any tips on how to use specific tools safely, visit our Youtube library for Tiny Techniques.
Visit the Techniques tab in reDiscover Center's Pedagogy Resources to access our Tiny Techniques videos and get tips for working safely and efficiently with tools.
Once you have finished your puppets, share it with friends and family. If you want to share a picture on social media, make sure to tag @reDiscoverCtr. We'd love to see your finger puppets!!