Ah, what fun can be had with a box! What beauty can be created with humble corrugated cardboard!
We’ve had the pleasure of participating in TinkerLab’s cardboard box challenge (along with 20 or so other creative bloggers), and this is what we came up with :: A nature suncatcher. A flower petal art box. A flower fairy house. A 3-D stained glass viewer. A nature lamp shade. A shadow box. A firefly lamp? A ? Hmm…
We’re in love with it but are not sure exactly what to call it. Perhaps you can help us name this project?
Here’s how we made this 3-D nature suncatcher as well as some simple flower petal stained glass windows from a simple cardboard box.
A 3D Nature Suncatcher for Kids
- A cardboard box
- Transparent contact paper (also called sticky back plastic)
- Nature items such as flowers, leaves, and ferns
Step 1: I started with a simple cardboard box. It was relatively small so I taped the flaps up using packaging tape. Then, with an x-acto knife, I cut rectangles out of each side, leaving an inch or two cardboard “frame” around each opening.
Step 2: Then I cut pieces of transparent contact paper to cover each of the framed openings. I applied the contact paper to the inside of box with the sticky side facing out.
By the way, no cardboard was wasted! The rectangles that I cut out from the box were turned into frames themselves (and contact paper attached) and the centers of those frames were used by Daphne for drawing as I finished the set up. While I did the prep that involved the sharp x-acto knife, the rest of the project was completed by the girls.
Step 3: Maia, her friend Stella, and Daphne all collected flowers, leaves, and ferns from around the garden for the nature suncatchers.
Step 4: The flowers were dumped in the center of the kitchen table and everyone went to work attaching them to the sticky contact paper on the box and within the frames.
Maia applied whole flowers, but found that they didn’t stick as well as individual petals.
Stella used her scissors to cut flower petals and leaves into smaller pieces to apply to her framed triptych.
Daphne added flower petals then took them back off, added them, took them back off…
Step 5: Finally, we added another sheet of contact paper over the top of the flower petals and hung the nature suncatchers up to the windows to see the light shine through the colorful and translucent flower petals. Beautiful, eh?
We also looked at our flower box a couple of other ways.
First we replaced a lamp shade with the flower box temporarily to see how it would look with a light source inside. Very cool! It would be fun to rig up something with wire to hold it in place over the lamp more permanently (we were using our hands). Or to use this to create shadows.
We also went outside and looked through the box up at the sun, to see how it would look with the light source on the outside. Also beautiful!
This 3-D nature suncatcher was such a fun project to work on! It’s also rather ephemeral. (Although if you wanted to create a more permanent version, you could press and dry the flowers and leaves first.) Let me know if you try this!
Here the flower box is a house for Maia’s little horse figure.
Okay, now go check out what everyone else did with their cardboard boxes!
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