Some people are very clever at coming up with great stuff that is also very simple. I am not one of those people, but I know a good idea when I see it, and I had four shoeboxes on hand from back-to-school purchases and a printer full of ink, so I gave this a go.
Here are the finished boxes: each kid got a bedroom and a Paris street scene (totally copied from Be A Fun Mum - go here to see how to make them).
You can save on printer ink by using coloured paper and wrapping paper for carpet and bedclothes and wallpaper, but I didn't do that this time round. I printed pictures of cobblestones and 'wallpaper' designs for wallpaper, and I printed out pictures of blankets to use as blankets for the little beds. TOTES CUTE but very expensive on the printer ink, as you can imagine. I was feeling rich and reckless I guess.
I have to say, without irony, that the kids' reactions when I gave them these boxes were totally worth every penny. They LOVED them, and they have played with them a lot.
A couple of weeks later and armed with fresh shoeboxes from a couple of long overdue shoe purchases for myself, I was itching to make some more rooms. I rescued another box from the garage and one from my mother, and rifled through my wrapping paper and craft paper stores for 'wallpaper' and 'carpet'. I cut out pictures from magazines for furniture and French doors. That part actually took the longest. It's quite hard to get enough good pictures, and windows are especially hard to find. Sometimes they're on a foreshortened angle, or they cross a double-page spread, or they're overlaid with text. But you only want a couple of things in the room anyway, so the kids can add their own dollhouse furniture and the rooms are flexible (bedroom / loungeroom / one-room apartment).
I also made each kid a double-garage, using narrower shoe-boxes, as these were too small for rooms.
To make these, I turned the boxes upside down so they made a box with no 'floor', then I covered the top (bottom of the upside down box) and front with white paper, and drew garage doors with black ink. The last step was to cut the sides of the two doors so they open upwards like an old-fashioned garage door.
I also made a little door at the back, so they would look a bit like our garage at home.
So last week I made these second rooms and the garages, and gave them to the kids. They loved them!
So Be a Fun Mum, thank you - this was an excellent, easy, enjoyable craft that even I had success with, and that doesn't happen very often!