Cardboard Crafts with a Nugget Pillow Pack Box

Pillow Pack boxes may be smaller than the #BigOrangeBox, but they still pack a whole lot of fun! We’re not just talking about the two pillows inside the box — although two extra pillows do open up a whole new world of play — we’re focused on the box itself. We teamed up with our incredibly creative friend, Emily of @makingwithmommy, to bring you a few ideas for repurposing the Pillow Pack Box into hours of fun.

For the Smallest Nuggeteers: A Baby Play Box

Turn your Nugget Pillow Pack Box into an engaging toy for your smallest Nuggeteer! This baby box has so many different features for a newly sitting baby to explore. Baby sitting in front of homemade baby activity centerYou’ll want to include a variety of different play areas. First, cut holes in the sides of the box so that your baby can place toys into the box or pull toys out. Next, use some ribbon to hang some rings from a stacking toy towards the top of the box — this is a great way to encourage your baby to practice reaching. Use tape to attach a mirror and high-contrast images that your baby can interact with. Finally, add a ribbon pulling section for your baby by running ribbons through holes in the box and tying small toys on each end.

A few tips to help make your baby box a success: 1. Keep the top of the box open so that you can retrieve toys and pull ribbons back in place as needed! 2. Place a few heavy books in the bottom of your box to keep it from tipping over. 3. Use one of your Nugget pillows behind your baby to help prop them up if they start to wobble!

Fit for Royalty: Make a Cardboard Castle

Cardboard castle made out of a Nugget Pillow Pack boxTo create the castle, cut the top and bottom flaps off of your box. Use clear packing tape to tape the four longest flaps together to make a tower for the center of your castle. Next, use scissors to cut out a drawbridge (leaving about 1 inch along the bottom intact!) and notches out of the top of your castle. Tape the two blue flaps together and cut along one edge to make a river. Place this under your drawbridge. Cut two pieces of yarn for the drawbridge. Poke holes on each side of the drawbridge and castle wall. Run your yarn through the holes and tie a knot on each end. 

Now, decoration time! Use cardboard scraps, markers, stickers, and any other supplies you like to decorate your castle. “We added windows, stones made from small cardboard rectangles, an alligator in the moat, and flags on the top (made from pencils!),” shares Emily. Once your decorations are complete, place the tall tower inside your large castle and you are ready to play.

What’s Cooking? Construct a Play Kitchen!

Play kitchen made out of a Nugget Pillow Pack boxAll you need to make your very own play kitchen is a Nugget Pillow Pack box, some tape, and glue. Here’s how to do it:

Begin by assembling your box and cutting all of the flaps off the bottom. If you need to, you can also cut down the open side of the box to make it the right height for your child. Use packing tape to tape one of the long flaps you cut off to the back of the stove to make a space for knobs and buttons. Cut circles from the blue box flaps and glue them onto the top of the stove to make burners. Carefully use a knife to cut out an oven door on the front of your box - be sure to leave the bottom edge uncut so that your door can be opened and closed! Use your spare cardboard flaps to cut a long strip and glue it on as the oven door handle.Grinning child wearing chef hat and playing with pretend kitchenOnce your oven and stove are built, you can use your extra cardboard along with recycled items like bottle caps, jar lids, toilet paper tubes, and more to add buttons and knobs to your stove. Now the only thing left to decide is what’s first on the menu!

You’ve Got Snail Mail: Build a Mailbox

Who doesn’t love to get mail? Set your kids up for hours of pretend play with their very own mailbox.

Two kids standing by a pretend mailbox holding pretend mailStart by cutting out the front and back pieces of the mailbox from one of the flaps. These don’t have to be perfect, but they do need to be the same! Cut out one and then trace it before cutting out the other one. Cut one of the side flaps off of the box and tape one of the pieces you cut (the back of the mailbox) to one end of the flap. This flap will be the bottom of the mailbox. Next, cut out one of the large sides of the box. Use scissors to gently score the back, making a mark every ½ inch or so. This will help the cardboard curve! Curve this large piece of cardboard around the back of the mailbox to ensure it is long enough to cover the whole thing. Carefully and slowly use a hot glue gun to glue this piece on and make the body of the mailbox. If you have any excess cardboard, you can cut it off. Finally, use tape to attach the front of the mailbox, just along the bottom so that it can open and close.

Emily adds, “I added a loop of string at the top of this piece and glued a small bead to the top of the mailbox. You can use that as a fastener to keep it closed!” Once your mailbox is built, you can use your remaining cardboard to add a flag, numbers, a post, and any other details you like. Cut out your shapes and use hot glue to attach them. Don’t forget some play mail as well!

Seeing Stars: Create a Custom Stargazing Fort

The sky’s the limit with this project. Voyage to distant space — beyond Neptune, all the way to Pluto and Planet X? — with this magical stargazing fort.Child lying on their back looking up at a homemade stargazing fortTo start, cut off the bottom and top flaps and the front of your box. Open up what remains and paint the box using acrylic paint! Drop paint straight onto the cardboard and spread it out with a brush or roller to create a galaxy effect. Once the paint dries, add some white paint and a little water to a cup. Use a brush to gently splatter this all over the dark background (You may want to do this outside!). Next, paint the top front panel of the box black.

Once the paint has dried, use a screwdriver to poke holes in the solid black piece you painted. This will become the top of your box. Once you have your holes, cut this piece to fit along the top of your fort and tape it in place with packing tape. Take a string of twinkle lights and poke one light through each hole in the top of your box. You can also use some tape to hold them in place or drape them down the sides. Plug in your lights, add a blanket and a pillow and enjoy your new fort!

We are always so impressed by the creativity that Emily brings to her projects — thank you, @makingwithmommy, for such wonderful ideas. Now, Nuggeteers, it’s your turn: pick a favorite and make your own Nuggety creation with your Pillow Pack box! Don’t forget to tag us @nuggetcomfort.