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Keep It Weird: Cardboard

Oct 28, 2011

by Michelle Traub handmade and vintage goods

You don’t have to tell a 6-year-old that collapsed corrugated boxes are prime imagination material, they’re already rocketing towards Mars with a jacuzzi and a pet giraffe. An unsuspecting and humble foundation, no doubt, paper’s husky older brother is the ultimate in blank canvas. Keep It Weird pulls the packing tape from cardboard’s corners and releases its inner spirit.

Cardboard Smart Shoes (quavers)


Cardboard Smart Shoes

Cupcake With Marbled Chocolate And Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate And Vanilla Sugar Paste Decoration With Fondant Rose On Doily


Cupcake From the Cardboard Kitchen

Check out the Related Items below for more souvenirs from the cardboard city.


  • Colettesboutique

    Colettesboutique said 5 years ago

    So many amazing card board creations! No wonder kids will sometimes ignore their toys and play with the cardboard box.... The power of imagination.

  • PolkaDotToadstool

    PolkaDotToadstool said 5 years ago

    I've always loved the interesting texture of cardboard, love seeing it being used in such artistic ways.

  • LeatherheadOriginals

    LeatherheadOriginals said 5 years ago

    I loved playing with boxes as a kid! Built many a cool village/ Star Wars set from them! Now, I still use cardboard to make my hat patterns!

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns said 5 years ago

    Creative minds. Keep it weird!

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    VoleedeMoineaux said 5 years ago

    Hell YES!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 5 years ago

    so clever! this makes me want to get creative with my packaging!!!

  • redyellowandblueink

    redyellowandblueink said 5 years ago

    well shucks, if cardboard has made the weird post then call me weird. Or maybe it is my ultra fascination with cardboard, which I am obsessed. show me a sturdy well proportioned cardboard box and I am weak in the knees. And if the box isn't perfect my imagination starts running and sees the potential. I just can't explain my obsessive love of cardboard. "................pulls the packing tape from cardboard’s corners and releases its inner spirit." now that's the truth! You know what really knocks my socks off is making my own box from a flat sheet of cardboard. OK, I'll stop now. oh jeez i just saw the Neapolitan ice cream up there, you just pushed me over the edge, square ice cream, three perfect and simple flavors, inside a waxed cardboard box, joy!

  • picklehead

    picklehead said 5 years ago

    wow, this is amazing! I love it! I remember how much I loved to make houses out of cardboard boxes as a kid. Now my cats hog all the boxes!

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 5 years ago

    I have a long history of cardboard construction projects but none quite so fanciful as these! Fabulous!

  • zasra

    zasra said 5 years ago

    Wildly creativity with the cardboard here .... nice~ haha

  • Peachygirl

    Peachygirl said 5 years ago

    The creativity of some folks never ceases to amaze me and this is yet another case in point! Just an incredible display of talent behind these designs...just wow. I think my fave is the cupcake but I admire them all! Thanks for the inspiration! *•.♥.•*

  • amusebeads

    amusebeads said 5 years ago

    Structure and simplicity, all in one package. I love cardboard constructions!

  • HauteStuffVixens

    HauteStuffVixens said 5 years ago

    Yeay...I love it! I just made my toddler the coolest cardboard truck costume for Halloween, it's the perfect medium.

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 5 years ago

    wow, what creativity!

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees said 5 years ago

    So clever! Love those ideas!!!!

  • bedouin

    bedouin said 5 years ago

    beautifully strange as always ~

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 5 years ago

    Love the cupcake!

  • mzube

    mzube said 5 years ago

    Great cool and retro style in a way and wouldn't look out of place on

  • foxpots

    foxpots said 5 years ago

    There's a great cardboard sculpture in Vancouver - it's a full-scale cardboard bulldozer, built from recycled material from the Vancouver Olympics. It sits outside, left intentionally to decompose and provide support for organic growth. Very cool!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 5 years ago

    How fabulously creative!!

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 5 years ago

    It's a creative and fun way to recycle. Great !

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 5 years ago

    oh my gosh, how cute would that typewriter be on my book case!

  • piecesofelises

    piecesofelises said 5 years ago

    I love it! This is probably my favorite keep it weird post :)

  • audreytolove

    audreytolove said 5 years ago

    Really amazing and cute!

  • piebirdqueen

    piebirdqueen said 5 years ago

    I admire your creativity.

  • everythingok

    everythingok said 5 years ago

    Cardboard is my paper hero. It's by far my favourite surface to make paintings on!

  • yourauntiespanties

    yourauntiespanties said 5 years ago

    That typewriter caught my eye right away! Amazing! The cupcake is great too!!

  • SeaSand

    SeaSand said 5 years ago

    As a kid who loved to play and create with cardboard... I am so inspired!

  • SuePetriPhotos

    SuePetriPhotos said 5 years ago

    Love Love Love Cardboard Creations!

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 5 years ago

    heheh! love the card board cupcake!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 5 years ago

    Oh my goodness what creativity with cardbox who would have thunk it. wow. The cupcake and shoes are awesome and typewriter too. Fun finds.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 5 years ago

    Love these finds!!!

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 5 years ago

    great imaginations

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 5 years ago

    The one who invented cardboard should get Nobel Prize!

  • ladyhawthorne

    ladyhawthorne said 5 years ago

    love the shoes!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 5 years ago

    Love everything about cardboard, even the smell! That sofa is amazing, & I'm drooling about the acres of pristine cardboard you must need to make an item like that!

  • notApplicable

    notApplicable said 5 years ago

    so reSouRceFul!

  • peshka

    peshka said 5 years ago

    Wow ! This work is amazing!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 5 years ago

    Really cool! Getting great ideas for class art projects!

  • vtriece

    vtriece said 5 years ago


  • blainedesign

    blainedesign said 5 years ago

    Super great!

  • CruteStudio

    CruteStudio said 5 years ago

    Seeing these charming works was great timing for me. Candy for the eye. I just got a wonderful book called PUSH Paper curated by Jaime Zollars (a wonderful illustrator) and published by Lark Crafts featuring 30 artists who use paper, cardstock or corrugated cardboard. As a paper sculpturer I found their works amazing and inspiring.

  • frenchonion

    frenchonion said 5 years ago

    Wow these are incredible! Who would have thought?

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie said 5 years ago

    Michelle, I just forwarded this blog to my 24 year old son who used to make everything out of cardboard and boxes. He had an entire room of saved boxes for "future work." Until he was invaded by mice. :-( He'll be inspired, I know.

  • PoppyFandango

    PoppyFandango said 5 years ago

    This really gets me thinkin about some new uses for my recyclables :)

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 5 years ago

    Cardboard boxes are awsome!! I made many forts and houses out of old boxes when I was a kid. It was so much fun! The shoes are so cool!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 5 years ago

    Very clever. Love the shoes. I have a hard time throwing away a piece of cardboard or a box. Now I know what o do with it all. I need some boots for winter.

  • hubinshow

    hubinshow said 5 years ago

    Great design ~

  • isitsecretisitsafe

    isitsecretisitsafe said 5 years ago

    That's so cool! The typewriter reminds me of The Science of Sleep!

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt said 5 years ago

    i cannot throw card board away .. I confess! I have such great ways to use it in my shop .. loved the post here today!!

  • JennasRedRhino

    JennasRedRhino said 5 years ago

    Ha ha! And I always think of a cardboard box as a toy for the cats!

  • MarleneCDesigns

    MarleneCDesigns said 5 years ago

    Love it,I love to create with paper!

  • amberstudios

    amberstudios said 5 years ago

    Innovative minds! Keep it weird!

  • Jessonchan

    Jessonchan said 5 years ago

    look very lovely . Great Job.

  • peonyandthistle

    peonyandthistle said 5 years ago

    These are wonderful creations! Great way to upcycle and have fun!

  • WhiteLyme

    WhiteLyme said 5 years ago

    I am always impressed by anything made from cardboard, at my work in just one week we end up with a huge mound of it (which we do recycle) but I stand there looking at it with desires to use it. Luckily we do put some of it to use making cardboard sales displays in competition with our other stores!

  • bernabermek

    bernabermek said 5 years ago


  • Iammie

    Iammie said 5 years ago


  • alycerosemary

    alycerosemary said 5 years ago

    I love it! My daughter has special needs and we get tons of boxes of supplies shipped to us every month. I try to resuse them as much as i can or think of things to do with them like inside hopscotch boards, containors to hold our recycle stuff, picture frames. I'm super impressed and am inspired to do more!

  • TheMysticCircleArt

    TheMysticCircleArt said 5 years ago

    This is so awesome. I too love working with cardboard. I love the beer box corset with skirt,how amazing everything is.

  • honeystreasures

    honeystreasures said 5 years ago

    Wow! I never would have dreamed of this even though I can remember playing with cardboard boxes for hours, making forts, etc.. My children played with them, too. What kid hasn't? Great imaginations at work here!

  • MarkofBrien

    MarkofBrien said 5 years ago

    Collettesboutique said - "No wonder kids will sometimes ignore their toys and play with the cardboard box" That's exactly it! I love to create objects from just plain cardboard and a little imagination.

  • HoneyThistle

    HoneyThistle said 5 years ago

    cardboard's one of my favourite media to use when I'm doing arts & crafts activities with kids. I remember when I used to make little paper cakes out of cardboard & paper mache. These are such great takes!

  • jimrose200

    jimrose200 said 5 years ago

    good one

  • BrittneyWest

    BrittneyWest said 5 years ago

    Weird people (and things) make the world go round. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article with awesome cardboard art! "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."--Rumi

  • cuteandcreepy

    cuteandcreepy said 5 years ago

    love that typewriter!!

  • JypsyJewels

    JypsyJewels said 5 years ago

    What imagination! Remember when we would get a shoe box, cut square out of center, put holes at top and bottom on both sides. Draw pictures, wrap around two pencils and turn one pencil, and it would advance frame by frame and it looked like a tv set. That's going back pretty far; telling my age here. It is amazing the things we made with not much. I love that typewriter too!!!!!!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 5 years ago

    wow that cardboard sofa is something else, I always used to create cutout 'dolls' with leftover card. Puts my efforts to shame!

  • Relydesign

    Relydesign said 5 years ago

    oh gosh these creations with cardboard are awesome :) love the man shoes :)

  • robertcoffin

    robertcoffin said 5 years ago

    Super cool. While running an art program for children we did many projects using boxes and packing material. The kids loved it and so did we!

  • DearJames

    DearJames said 5 years ago

    your wonderful, I once made a foot tredle loom out of a box. less than desirable tension though xD

  • tsubasafan

    tsubasafan said 5 years ago

    I have a 3D foundations class this semester and we make sculptures out of cardboard. So far I've made a hippocampus and my next project is a carousel dragon that people can sit on and take pictures.

  • AMSkrafts

    AMSkrafts said 5 years ago

    The smart shoes are so well made, it's such an amazing likeness! And the cupcake is just adorable, I could eat it up in a second!...If it wasn't made of cardboard. Wonderful collection! Keep It Weird is my favorite series.

  • atelierpompadour

    atelierpompadour said 5 years ago

    Cardboard shoes!! never seen !! can I have a pair of wedges?

  • askewcreations

    askewcreations said 5 years ago

    Yep, you had me with the shoes!

  • chickydoddle

    chickydoddle said 5 years ago

    Awesome!! They look like they're made out of wood rather than cardboard. My kids are 6 and 9 and one of their favorite toy is a gigantic cardboard box. They will decorate it with lights and their own drawings to make it a cool hiding spot. I would love to have that cupcake please :)

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 5 years ago

    People who make realistic things out of cardboard are amazing. There was a video out there somewhere of a man who makes completely realistic and functional larger than life cameras out of cardboard. The video was fascinating. Love the weird stuff, keep it coming!!!

  • lachemisedepeau

    lachemisedepeau said 5 years ago

    this is awesome!

  • 2LittleFeet

    2LittleFeet said 5 years ago

    omygahd i love the things you can make from paper, it's so awesome

  • Mitmunk

    Mitmunk said 5 years ago

    Amazing! Some imaginative planning and play with cardboard can result in some cool models, as can be seen here :)

  • lauraboyter

    lauraboyter said 5 years ago

    Fabulous creations! How long the artist must have worked on that typewriter! Amazing!

  • QuercusQuercus

    QuercusQuercus said 5 years ago

    Why did I only discover Etsy *after* I lost my job as a packaging designer? D'oh!

  • junebugandco

    junebugandco said 5 years ago

    In awe over the fabulous creativity featured! Pure awesomeness!!!

  • needlenerd

    needlenerd said 5 years ago

    this is amazing

  • mynield

    mynield said 5 years ago

    This is so cool! I learned to type on a manual typewriter, your creation brings back happy memories. Thanks x

  • Artefactsonoma

    Artefactsonoma said 5 years ago

    Well done.

  • Fabritorium

    Fabritorium said 5 years ago

    Amazing finds as always! I love this column..

  • bonspielcreation

    bonspielcreation said 5 years ago

    Cardboard boxes are an important part of my life, I use them to package bags that people buy from all over the world. I keep a fishing gaff in my van to snag them out of that weird?

  • dollypoppin

    dollypoppin said 5 years ago

    So in-love with the cardboard typewriter. <3

  • skw02001

    skw02001 said 5 years ago

    If you like this, see Chris Gilmour - absolute master of cardboard. Also see the Museum of Art and Design's "Slash - Paper Under the Knife".

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