Easy and budget friendly princess cardboard box tutorial
Cardboard boxes are cheap (free) and extremely easy to find which is why I ended up making this post. We had so many cardboard boxes from our Costco shopping trips that my young toddler would often get lost in play with the mounds of boxes next to the front door. She would grab one, drag it downstairs, and play her toys in it for hours! She loves playing in her boxes so much that I decided to make one into a princess cardboard box throne.
The cardboard box on its own just looked a little too…trashy?… for my decorating self and decided that since my daughter spends all her time in it, I might as well make it look more playful.
Starting with a plain cardboard box, the first thing I did was cut an entryway with scissors for my toddler because she was really struggling to get in the box.
Next I painted the princess cardboard box with a basic white paint that we used on our walls.
Originally I tried to use my acrylic paint but because the cardboard box is so porous, it sucked up that paint really quickly. You could use chalk paint for this DIY as well but I do not have a big stash and didn’t want to waste that either.
This box took about FOUR coats of paint and even that didn’t quite cover the black markings on the box.
I also sewed a pink pillowcase together as a cushion.
So, here’s where things get a little tricky: I was really not fond of the rough,exposed edges on the box.
I was making a princess throne after all and the rough edges were not blending in. At first I tried using a long strip of a leftover wall decal I had but for the life of me I could not get the edges to stick.
My second attempt was using regular printer paper to cover the edges but it just looked too tacky.
In my third and final attempt I decided to try pink crêpe paper and mod podged that sucker to the box. The crêpe paper worked fairly well, I just had to be very careful because it could rip by a sneeze from across the room! However, once the mod podge dried the crêpe paper stiffened.
Below is a picture of the crêpe paper after being applied. The wrinkles in the paper wasn’t my favorite look but I decided it looked better than those nasty exposed edges.
I decided to paint the crêpe paper a darker pink because the material I had to use for the cushion was a dark fluorescent pink. To cover-up the unevenness of the crêpe paper, I also added a thinner gold line underneath the pink.
Below is a picture of most of the materials I used to decorate the box (minus the mod podge and tissue paper). I used the Martha Stewart gold metallic acrylic paint for the gold line and the crown. You could also use Martha Stewart’s liquid gilding which is what I use for a lot of my projects because of how vibrant it is.
The paper crown was used as an outline. Since I was doing two of them I was worried one would look completely different than the other. All I did was quickly sketched up an outline on a piece of printer paper and cut it out.
After I traced the crown on the box, I painted two coats of the metallic gold. Once dried, I added a couple of beads for embellishment. I only added three beads because I am a simple girl with simple means but if you like bling, feel free to add more! After all, most crowns are blingy (is that even a word?) and not simple.
The final step for the princess cardboard box was to add my daughter’s name at the head of her throne.
Originally I wanted to put princess Yvette but the box is fairly small and I wanted the letters to be very noticeable. I quickly wrote her name on by hand but if that is not up your alley, you could certainly use a stencil.
I have heard that some crafters print out their letters and then cover the back of the paper with lead. This technique makes it so that you can directly set the paper on your project and trace over it which leaves a faint lead line. I have never tried this so I can’t fully recommend it.
However, if you’re curious about the art of hand lettering then I really recommend the book Creative Lettering and Beyond. This book is a huge wealth of fun information and provides detailed examples of exactly how to hand letter. I wouldn’t recommend getting the Kindle version because with the book you can trace the examples on a piece of paper. I suppose you might be able to print a page from the Kindle book version to trace but I have never tried that? Anyways, the book is really great and explains all the different but popular fonts and how to work with them.
This princess cardboard box is officially my daughters absolute favorite hang out spot! She plays her toys in there, she eats her snacks in there, and she watches her movies while lounging in there!
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