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As a review blogger, I get a lot of boxes – a lot! Some manufacturers go the extra distance and put a box inside a box. While it’s always fun to get a delivery to my door and my kids are super-excited about packages, it can be overwhelming even when we put them in recycling. (I’m sure the garbage men are not happy to come to our home!)
With the holidays and CyberMonday on the horizon, I’m sure you too may be overwhelmed with boxes and packages over the next few weeks. What better way to make the most of your deliveries than to build a play house for some old toys (specifically our Furbys) that can double as a cat play area? Here is what you will need for this simple tutorial:
Recycled Cardboard Play Set Tutorial
What You’ll Need:
Because this project requires upcycling, the best thing you can do is use what you already have. I have leftover paint from our last indoor painting project (it’s also nontoxic VOC-free paint too), several boxes, some of which fit inside each other, pipe cleaners and clean lettuce containers and a few little toys that both my Furbys and my cat will love. What is around your house that you can use? Go through your recycling and old storage areas to finds some ideas.
- big cardboard boxes and smaller recyclable items. Make sure they are in very good shape.
- pipe cleaners
- wood glue
- decorative masking tape
- nontoxic paint
- accessories to decorate for your purposes. I bought cat nip and a cat scratcher, plus stickers
Step 1: Envision Your Plan
It’s important to start by putting the pieces together so that you can envision the layout and make sure it works. You might want to try a few different arrangements. If this will just be a toy house, you can make it shorter but a cat home will need to be taller and sturdier. Insert boxes inside boxes. Rifle through your recycling bin to see what else you can use, like interesting paper, comics, old containers, etc. Fit things inside each other taking care to make enough room for your cat or your Furby. 🙂
We thought the flipped up lip box from Nutiva, stuffed full of shredded paper, was perfect for this project.
Step 2: Paint It
I opted for painting the outside a calming blue with housepaint (again, I had it so it didn’t go to waste). We also used rollers to get in the crevices and smooth out labels and such that we could not get off the outside of the box. The Thrive box was a lovely shade of green inside, so we left it, and because we are inserting a flip up lidded box inside the bigger box, we left that unpainted as well. Naturally, make sure the paint is all dry.
Step 3: Assemble
Once the paint is dry, you’ll need to construct it making sure you have what you need to make everything stay put when your pet jumps on it. I used nontoxic wood glue on the cardboard and wedged the inside box in the bottom to make it strong. Make sure it is sturdy (if it’s for a pet) or you’ll need to add supports to make it strong enough for your pet. Of course, stacked boxes glued together are ideal for Furby’s! I used decorative masking tape to cover up cracks in the box ends, which I glued in place, and cat stickers to make sure you’d know it was a cat home.
Step 4: Decorate!
Finally, for my cat, I added in shredded paper and a cat toy, plus I made a catnip hanging object. I just put the catnip (organic too!) into the brown bag, recycled from some organic makeup I have, and tied it with the brown pipe cleaner before pasting onto the box. I glued a cat scratch board outside the box. Finally, I used the plastic box that once held lettuce doubled as a play Furby “bath tub.” (Note: don’t put your Furby in water!! It’s not water safe.)
Step 5: Fill Your Play Set
Next up, we recharged our old Furby’s and put them in their new luxury home! They loved it and were so content those silly Furbys fell right asleep, LOL! I’m hoping Bello will go in and explore tonight but we have another visitor in our home who adores this play set. too (I can’t elaborate on that just yet, you’ll have to come back next week to learn more!)
Greener Batteries for Your Home
Those are a lot! Batteries are a necessary tool in today’s world and while we don’t normally think of them as “green,” there is a new product out there that can help you reduce waste.
- Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ is a breakthrough in creating value for recycled battery materials – which until today had little use or economic value.
- This is the world’s first AA battery made with 4% recycled batteries, which is nearly ten percent of a key active ingredient. Energizer’s® goal is to increase the amount of recycled battery material ten-fold to forty percent by 2025.
- EcoAdvanced™ batteries are available in AAA and AA and are “Energizer’s® longest lasting alkaline ever,” reducing even more waste and powering up your old toys too.
- This innovative new product is the first battery on the market to use recycled batteries and materials.
- Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ batteries are available at many popular retailers, including Walmart, where I purchased them.
Cool, right? Now you can use “must have” batteries guilt free! Learn more about Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ or check out Energizer® on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have an idea you have to recycle – reuse – or repurpose something in your home?
I hope you enjoyed this recycled cardboard play set tutorial. Share your projects and ideas with us, so readers can get creative with their own ideas for recycling!