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picklebums.com · Jul 12, 2016

DIY Cardboard Tube Construction Toy

Cold, windy, rainy weather.

Two bored children.

A whole heap of cardboard tubes.

What do you do with these three items???

Make a cool DIY cardboard tube construction toy!

This simple DIY construction set slots together to make all kinds of funky cardboard shapes and sculptures. You can build a one off piece of art to display on the shelf, or take it apart and build something new.

To make your cardboard tube construction set you’ll need:

  • Cardboard tubes
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • Paint and brushes (optional)

We’d been collecting cardboard tubes for quite a while and had a whole heap. The more you can collect the more you can build, but it’s easy to add extra pieces to the set as you collect more cardboard tubes.

Start by cutting the tubes into smaller pieces. We cut some of the tubes into pieces 5 cms long, and some into pieces 10 cms long. Try to be as accurate as you can when cutting the pieces, but don’t worry too much. My nine year old cut our pieces and some of them are a bit wonky, but they still work fine.

Next you need to cut small slots into the top and bottom of each tube.

Use a ruler to make approximate marks on all four side of the tube and cut a narrow slot at each mark. Then turn it over and do the same on the bottom. The slots don’t need to be very wide, just the width of the cardboard, and again, it doesn’t matter too much if you are not perfect.

Now you can see how the pieces will slot together.

You can leave the tubes plain and just build with them as they are, or you can add some colour!

We used our favourite fluro water colour paints to add some colour to our construction set, because it’s easy to use and dries really fast, and then we had a pile of brightly coloured pieces to build with!

Slot the tubes together to make towers, or scultptures, or whatever you can imagine!

The kids have had loads of fun building and rebuilding their cardboard tube constructions.

We’ve decided we need more pieces so we can build a really big sculpture, so we have started collecting tubes again!

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