Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Homemade Home from Cardboard, Trash, and Glue

milk carton and cardboard house I made last week

There's no place like home, and there's nothing like spending a month being home bound to brainstorm ideas for homemade student projects...about home. 
Scissors, glue and paint transform trash to treasure
Architects are sculptors. They have to figure out how to make form follow function. They think through appropriate building materials and aesthetically pleasing color combinations. I want my students to think about rooms in houses, what they are used for and how the architect met those needs (ie. Where does the plumbing go? What rooms have closets?)
 I want them to think about what their ideal house would look like? Would it have a fire pole or a slide to go from one floor to another. Would there be a greenhouse or a maybe a swimming pool?  It's fun to dream and draw. 
jar and card stock house
Then I want to see what kind of magic they can work with an exterior, using every day objects. This week, I took clean garbage and turned it into some miniature homey homes, beginning with a simple jar, wrapped in card stock. Windows and doors can be glued or drawn, a cone roof for the cylindrical house is made from matching card stock.
For a more elaborate project, I took a milk carton, added a cardboard roof, traced and measured to cover the sides with cardboard. I hot glued cut shingles of various sizes, during family movie night.  

Then I cut and glued cardboard strips to create siding, being sure to trim the strips to make room for windows and doors.

 Once the siding was on, the fun part started: adding all the details, like door framing, shutters, and balcony. 
Painting is like icing on the cake, except I did a couple of layers of paint and added some painted trim (balcony railing, molding, and chimney) after painting it, so it would look neater. Between the hot glue and paint that I already had, the project cost about $3, but if you were to buy a big package of hot glue sticks and 3 small bottles of acrylic it would probably cost $8.  Of course you could make several houses with the supplies once you had them. The project took 3 days, working 3 or 4 hours a day. I think this would be perfect for a 2 week (10 hour) project for my high schoolers. I would love to see what they could come up with in a couple weeks.

To make the jar house, check out this video:

The cardboard house video can be found at this link: 

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