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How to Make a Cardboard Haunted House

by Anna Harpe
October 25, 2023
Spooky cardboard Halloween house

Here’s how to craft a spooky little cardboard haunted house with your kids. A fun Halloween arts and crafts project that kids can play with after making!

Updated September 2023

Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara is one of my all-time favorite Halloween reads.  It’s the perfect mix of sweet and spooky, plus it’s an absolute treat for the eyes. 

After reading this story, your little witches and wizards are definitely going to want a haunted house of their own. It’s easy to craft up this spooky home with a few simple materials.

And who doesn’t love a project that extends imaginative play?

cardboard house pinterest
Photo by Anna Harpe

How to Make a Cardboard Haunted House



  1. Make the house base

    This all depends on the shape of your cardboard box.  We started with a medium-sized rectangular box, so we taped all sides together except for one end.  On this end, we cut off the flaps and left it completely open for easy play.

    Pro tip: Box cutters make cutting cardboard SO MUCH EASIER. I highly recommend it. Just be extra careful to keep it away from little ones! You can also give older kids more independence with a cardboard construction kit like this one.

  2. Cut out windows and doors

    My six-year-old had fun planning out the specifics.  I let her go to town with a sharpie on the house, deciding where to put windows and the door.  Then I took over and carefully cut out her designs with the box cutter. 

    If you want a door that opens and closes, just cut around ¾ of it and leave one side attached.

    Drawing windows for cardboard Halloween house

  3. Create the roof and accessories

    Using a box cutter or scissors, cut 2 long rectangular pieces from your extra cardboard for the roof.  Hot glue or tape roof pieces to the main box. 

    My daughter kept thinking of things to add at this point.  A chimney! A front yard! A second story!  The possibilities are really endless, and you can do just about anything with cardboard and hot glue.

  4. Decorate!

    Of course this is the most fun part!  We used tempera paint sticks for fast drying time, but any kind of paint would work. 

    My daughter thought a haunted house isn’t complete without a witch, so she drew one on sturdy paper, and I helped cut her out. 

    Our house is VERY spooky, so we added lots of tissue paper ghosts as well!

    making ghosts _ anna harpe

  5. Play, play, play!

    It’s extra fun to play with something that you helped create.

    My daughter immediately gathered all her tiny toys to come live in the haunted house, and she spent all afternoon in her own imaginative world. 

    playing with cardboard house_anna harpe

We had a blast with this project and might make it an annual tradition!

Do your kids love Halloween? You’re in luck! The Artful Parent has tons of creative Halloween costumes, decorations and activities for kids this October!

More Halloween Activities for Kids

Want even more Halloween fun?

Check out our Halloween Creativity Pack!

This 45-page printable eBook is full of seasonal coloring pages, drawing prompts, games, and art projects.

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cardboard haunted house pinterest
How to Make a Cardboard Haunted HouseHow to Make a Cardboard Haunted House

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