Maker Monday: Kids can make adorable cardboard tube houses

All it takes is a few cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper rolls for kids to create their own imagined world. Our Maker Monday project lets kids build cardboard tube houses and then use their homemade play set for imagined adventures.

Our session’s final products included a castle, a birdhouse, a whimsical fairy home and even SpongeBob SquarePants’ pineapple house under the sea. We’d love to see photos of the houses your kids create, too — send us a photo at or message us on Facebook or Instagram.

As with all Maker Monday projects, the steps are easy and they’re all laid out in detail below. You may already have the supplies around the house and if not, you can get them at a dollar store.

A safety note to kid makers: Please work with a parent or caregiver on any Maker Monday project and always be very careful when using tools of any kind. 

Maker Monday supplies you’ll need:

  • cardboard tubes (from used rolls of toilet paper or paper towels)
  • construction paper, card stock and/or any paper
  • glue (glue sticks work well) or tape
  • scissors
  • markers, pencils or crayons
  • a ruler
  • optional: paper cupcake liners (they’re good for a “roof”)

Maker Monday directions:

STEP 1: Measure the height of the tube against the paper, then mark the paper with a ruler and cut the paper so that it’s the same height as the tube.

STEP 2: Roll the paper around the tube, mark where to cut it so that it overlaps a bit, then trim it to fit. (After you decorate this paper in the next step, you’ll want this paper to wrap fully around the tube. This paper will be the outside of your house, castle or whatever building you’re making.)

STEP 3: Lay the paper flat and begin to decorate it according to your design idea. (It is much easier to draw and paste details on a flat piece of paper than to try to do it on the rounded tube surface. So we decorate the paper first, and then wrap it around afterward.)

STEP 4: Once your paper is fully decorated, wrap the paper around the tube and slowly tape it or glue it in place.

STEP 5: Now it’s time to make a roof for your house. You can top it with a paper cupcake liner or build your own. (We made spiky pineapple leaves for SpongeBob’s house and trimmed the birdhouse cupcake paper to resemble leafy palms.)

IDEAS: Below, you’ll see how we made the castle with a longer paper towel roll. It might be cool to add a pennant and maybe a person waving from the top. You can cut your cardboard tubes to various sizes to make a village of buildings of all different heights. You can also draw some characters on a piece of card stock or cardboard and cut them out to populate your village!

Want more at-home fun making beautiful things? Check out more Maker Monday projects right here.

Do you have an idea for a Maker Monday craft project? If so, please share it with Kidsburgh! Send your maker activities to