We recently moved, which means that brown boxes have become part of the décor. I am so tired of looking at them! I wish they were pink… or robin’s egg. Obviously, being the compulsive re-user that I am, we had to make something out of them. There is so much you can do with a brown box, oh my goodness! Since my daughter is studying French animal names and my son is obsessed with penguins, we went with animals.
Brown boxes, cereal boxes, or any cardboard
1. Trace your animals onto the cardboard. If you are tracing onto boxes, cut out shapes using a sharp X-acto knife. It will be very hard to use scissors on boxes, so if you don’t have an X-acto, now is the time to buy one! They are not expensive, and I use mine all the time. Ditto with the cutting mat, it comes in very handy so I would say to invest in one if you can. Cutting the shapes was the hardest part of this project. I mean, it really only took about a minute or two, but it’s hard cutting the small feet and ears. If you are using cereal boxes, poster board, or other cardboard, then you can use scissors.
2. We painted the animals with a solid color first, but this is optional.
3. I had this vision of patterned animals. I brought my kids to my computer and showed them my all of the prints and patterns on my Pinterest board. We talked about how a simple shape or line can take on a whole new look and feel when it is repeated. We talked about how pattern is really everywhere: From their sheets and placemats, to the rugs, their clothes, washi tape, and even the bandaids they use. They were totally into it!
4. I gave them some special foam brushes to help make shapes, and we also used a sharpie. We could have done some potato stamping, or rubber stamping, too. There are so many ways to create patterns! One other way to make these would be to use collage materials (like these owls). I think this would be especially fun for the little ones… and easier than paint. (In fact, a more open-ended free paint would be more fun for littles. The patterns create an amazing result, but can be frustrating if you don’t have good find motor control. )
I love these animal shapes so much, I want to do a whole new series with whales, elephants and birds. I sure have enough boxes to make this happen. Stay tuned!