Thursday, February 2, 2012

Upcycled Cardboard Barn Tutorial

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barn tutorial

upcycled barn made from cardboard
barnI am so excited to share this tutorial with you!  I started with this inspiration barn that I posted a few weeks ago.   It was a really simple and cute but most importantly, Baby Bear LOVED it and could not stop playing with it.  It was at the library and it was made out of wood.  I would love to be able to make it out of wood, but I do not have all of the equipment and I do not want the mess that working with wood creates.  One of the key things that I noticed about the barn was that it was thin.  I knew that I could make something similar out of a cardboard box and give the cardboard another life before getting recycled.  
upcycled cardboard barn tutorial
barn supplies
photo of supplies for barn
Baby Bear Hugs Barn Template (link at the end of post)
legal size paper
large cardboard Box 
blue painter's tape or scotch tape 
tacky glue
exacto knife or box cutter
ruler or straight edge
6 small hinges
optional-glue gun, sanding block, paint

It is important to print out the BBH Barn Templates on LEGAL size paper (letter size will not work unless you scale the pattern down to fit.  You will also need to choose Legal size paper in your printer preferences to make sure that it will print properly.  Print 2 of the roof pattern. You will then tape- barn bottom and top, cut the side walls, cut the floor/roof apart and attach the two roof pieces.  

cut pattern
photo of the printed and cut templates
Next, gently cut the box open down the seam and lay it out in one piece.


Lay out the pattern pieces so that they all fit.  The hardest piece to lay out is the roof since it is so long.  You can place the roof point on a seam because you will be folding it on the seam. 

cardboard with template
cardboard with the printed template
Take out your exacto knife.  You will need to cut 2 barn patterns.   You will want to find as flat of an area as possible.  If you cannot find a large flat area, make sure to place the seam in a place that it looks intentional.  

cut with ruler
barn with seam and cutting tools
I had to reinforce my barn sides from the back because I cut on a seam.  Just cut another piece that you will glue over the fold on the inside of the barn.  

reinforced barn
barn with reinforced backing
Pay careful attention on the doors and windows so that the cuts look nice and even (you can sand with the sanding block if they do not). Then you will cut 1 roof and one floor and glue with down with tacky glue on another piece of cardboard and let it dry before you cut the second piece. The double thickness will give you a really nice roof line and a solid base foundation. Lastly, cut out the 2 side walls.

Now you have all of your pieces ready! If you have any edges that you do not like, this is the time to fix or sand them .  You will also want to start heating the glue gun if you have one.  

Take out the floor, side walls and one barn.  Place the barn face down on the 'good side'.  Take the bottom piece and make a neat glue line on 3 edges.  Use the glue gun to put a hidden bead that will hold the bottom perpendicular to the barn.  If you do not have a glue gun, you can use anything that will hold it in the correct position until dry.   You can then put glue on the edge of the side walls and glue them in place as well.  Reinforce the connections with a few glue gun tacks.  

start the glue

Next, place the 2nd barn face down and put a bead of glue along the exposed edges of sides and bottom and glue.  Let it dry completely before beginning to glue to roof.  

When you are ready to glue the roof, you will first need to score the roof so that it will bend over the 3 peaks of the roof.  Put a bead of glue on the edge of the first angle.  It should slightly over hang on the front and back.  I put a roll of tape and glue to hold it in place while the glue dried.  

roof glue
placement of the roof and how to glue
I had to alternate glueing on the last two sides while placing a heavy object so that the glue would hold.  Let the entire structure dry.  You can now paint the barn any way you want before attaching the hinges.  
glue side
pans holding the side to glue them down
The last step would be placing the hinges on the openings.  I found some brass plated picture hangers that looked like barn door hardware and I used these to glue the barn doors.  You might have to make the doors and windows slightly smaller if they are too tight to easily open with the hinges.

Click Here for Barn Template 

Now your barn is ready for playing!

baby bear playing with her new upcycled barn made by mom

barn set-up
homemade cardboard barn with toys
Tip Junkie handmade projects

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