Make Your Own Cardboard Box Theatre at Home

If like us you’ve accumulated cardboard boxes galore this year from the Christmas shopping deliveries then we have the perfect crafty activity for you, taken from our Spot On At Home magazine!


Materials needed 

  • Cardboard box with lid, (shoebox or a vegetable box)
  • Pieces of large cardboard, Look in the egg sections of supermarkets for these!
  • Craft knife, metal ruler and cutting mat
  • Glue either a hot glue gun or PVA
  • Pens or paints to decorate your theatre (I used black, white and grey marker pens.)





Step 1 Use the width of your ruler to draw a border around the lid of your box. Using your craft knife cut out the central panel.

Step 2 Measure out two slots running the width of your box, one 1 cm away from the back edge of your box, the other 1 cm away from the front edge. You will need to make a slot 1 cm away from the front edge of your lid as well. Cut these slots out from your box and lid using the craft knife.

Step 3 Cut similar slots in the sides of your theatre and cut those out.

Step 4 Secure the lid to your box using glue. If you are using PVA glue, allow it to dry thoroughly, making sure that the slots in your lid and base line up.



Step 5 Measure the length of the slots along the top of the box and also measure the height of the box. Cut out two pieces of your spare cardboard into a rectangle using these measurements. Use the extra height to make a handle at the top of your panel. One of these will be your safety curtain and one will be your inter-changeable backdrop. Use your pens or paints to decorate your panels. You can make a new backdrop for every different story you want to perform!

Step 6 Using the left over spare cardboard, cut some irregular shapes leaving a 90° angle on one side, cut a small rectangular notch out of the bottom edge close to the corner. These will be your scenery, decorate with your paints or pens.

Step 7 To make the sign for the top of your theatre, measure the width of your box add 6 cm then cut out a section of card. Mark the centre of your card and also mark the end 3 cm on each end. Using a circular object, like a plate, make a curved edge in the centre of your piece of card. Add scrolls on either side of your curved sections, then cut it out and decorate your sign. Once it is dry, Fold over the extra 3 cm on each end and glue to the top edge of your box so that the sign wraps around both top corners.

Step 8 Then fill up with your little toys or paper puppets! Stick pokey barbecue sticks to the back of your toys using masking tape and manoeuvre them through the side slots!

My name is Elizabeth Emmens-Wilson and my ethos is to use sustainable, reclaimed materials to create thoughtful, hand made, personal and unique ceramics, jewellery items, gifts, cards and decorations. My ceramics are decorated using reclaimed onglaze colours, lustres and glazes. My embroideries, whether done by machine or hand, utilise both reclaimed fabrics and threads.

The glass lens decorations are made from engraving my designs onto reclaimed glasses lenses. All my packaging is all hand made out of reclaimed paper and card. I repurpose my bubble wrap from supermarket fruit and veg aisles! My greetings cards and craft packs are made from reclaimed and found paper. All the ribbon I use is also reclaimed.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and on my website :


If you loved this, you can download our Autumn Spot On At Home magazine here.

It’s full of great activities you can do at home!

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