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How to Make a Cardboard Halloween House

by Anna Harpe
October 11, 2021
Spooky cardboard Halloween house

Here’s how to craft a spooky little cardboard Halloween house with your kids. A fun holiday make & play project for seasonal fun!

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.  (That orange and black color scheme!)

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?

How to Make a Cardboard Halloween House_Pin

Cardboard Halloween House for Kids

  • Cardboard box
  • Extra cardboard for the roof and accessories
  • A box cutter or sharp scissors (Box cutters make cutting cardboard SO MUCH EASIER.  I highly recommend it.  Just be extra careful to keep it away from little ones!)
  • Duct tape or hot glue
  • Paint (we used tempera paint sticks)
  • White tissue paper
  • Black sharpie


  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.

  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. 

    painting cardboard ghost house _ anna harpe

    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

2021 Halloween Course Graphics

Autumn Arts & Crafts Ideas & Supplies

Download our FREE printable idea list of 31 Halloween activities for kids & families! Or just check out the blog post with the links. So many fun ideas for Halloween!

And be sure to check out our FALL family fun list in our Amazon store! It includes supplies for fall arts & crafts, autumn toys, Halloween ideas, and picture books about autumn.

PLUS: We’re offering 50% OFF and MORE on our Kids Art Spot Halloween workshops, Fall workshops and bundles. (Sale ends October 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST)

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How to Make a Cardboard Halloween House_Pin
How to Make a Cardboard Halloween House

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