We love recycling cardboard boxex! This time my daughter and I made a studio flat (very flat! 😉) for Barbie from a cardboard box, convertible from day mode to night mode! 

It is a minimalist house with a dining area and a kitchen corner when in day mode. In night mode it has a bedroom and a bathroom.

Different skills by little hands are involved in making this project: cutting straight and tiny shapes, painting, gluing, attaching tape and vinyl film, hand sewing.

How to make it


  • 1 medium flat cardboard box (ours was 42x31x10 cm)
  • small food boxes
  • cardboard 4-beer bottle carrier
  • cardboard scraps
  • self-adhesive vinyl film (wood-like)
  • clippings from magazines/catalogues
  • offcuts of fabric
  • a few stuffing
  • a button and a little elastic band.


  • scissors
  • PVA glue
  • strong clear tape
  • white duct tape
  • black or blue permanent marker
  • paint and paintbrushes
  • needle and thread.


To create a cardboard house like ours it tooks 3 sessions of about 1.5 hours each.

1- Creating the house structure and furniture

The idea was to use the two bottom flaps of the cardboard box to change the setting. The left one is left attached, one side will be a kitchen wall, the other one a bathroom wall. The right one is cut and re-attached on the short side using a strong clear tape. It will become a vertical wall bed.

With cardboard scraps we made a foldable table, a chair and a toilet.

2- Painting and decorating

Firstly, we painted in white all the interior walls, then attached vinyl film (floor, bed, table) and decorated the bathroom in two colours and kitchen with pink dots, and finally painted the chair.

3- Creating home accessories

Small boxes completely covered in white duct tape and decorated with a dark permanent marker became home appliances: a hob/oven and a sink reversible in washing machine. We cut out decorative objects from magazines/catalogues: bookcases, photo frames, a mirror and a sink for the toilet, gluing them to the walls with PVA glue. Cookware items are left unglued.

We attached a pair of shelves in the kitchen wall and a button as a doorknob held by a rubber band fixed to the wall.

The last activity was sewing two small pillows and a bed sheet.

Lots of fun in creating this Barbie’s minimalist house together with my little one… and endlessly playing imaginatively with it!!!

For a bit more elaborate version of a Barbie’s house have a look at the post Barbie’s time – DIY cardboard box house.

No-sew Barbie outfits? Check out Instagram @craftymessymom for some ideas!

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