• Stephanie Lemmo

Cardboard Homes from Around the World

Join us on an exploration of homes from around the world which we made primarily out of cardboard and other simple household materials. We begin in our home city of Vancouver, British Columbia.


Stay Home. A simple, ubiquitous message that is guiding the lives of billions of people around the world. Billions. The magnitude of this is mystifying. While some parts of the world are now beginning to open up, home will continue to be the axis of many of our lives.

Living in this new socially distant normal, I began to explore the meaning and the idea of home with my three children. While they are too young to understand that not every home is a peaceful home, I wanted them to appreciate that homes may be as similar as they are different. We embarked on a creative project to research homes around the world and create them out of cardboard and other simple household or recyclable items. Some of our homes represent areas that have been severely affected by the pandemic, where our family members’ or friends’ lives have looked very different than ours. These are not meant to stereotype countries, but embrace diversity and encourage understanding.

These projects ranged from simple to complex and my children (mostly my 7 year old) had roles which included: counting materials, organizing, painting, gluing and decorating. While this project progressed very organically without the intention to be a crafting tutorial, I’ve captured some steps of each home which I’ve included. Creating has become a great outlet for myself and my children and I hope it gives you inspiration to what is possible with things found in your own home.


To all the mothers, grandmothers and mother figures who are the pulse of their homes~ I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day this weekend. Enjoy!


1) VANCOUVER HERITAGE HOME








The Vancouver heritage home process:




A few notes:

The blue-grey fabric on the house (siding), was saved from a bouquet of flowers and added depth and texture to the home. I used recycled ziplock bags for the window glass, with wrapping tissue paper behind for curtains and white tape for the basement and attic siding. The box was well worn, which added character charm to the stairs (technique outlined below). This is an open back which will be turned into a play house for my children.


2) ITALIAN APARTMENT BUILDING













The Italian apartment process:



A few notes:

This was the first home we created and it provided the greatest "architectural" learning. We made the balconies from q-tips, popsicle sticks and cardboard. It was the most complicated part of the project and a hot glue gun is necessary (careful of burning fingers if you try this at home!). As I was looking through my cupboards for something to use as curtains, I came across cheese cloth which has proved to be such an inexpensive, versatile material that I've used quite a few times now!


3) INDIGENOUS HOME: AMAZON RIVER, BRAZIL








4) CORRUGATED METAL HOMES: THE DEVELOPING WORLD





The corrugated metal homes process:


5) NEW YORK BROWNSTONE








The New York brownstone process:



A few notes:

For the stairs, we flattened macaroni boxes, reconstructed them "inside out", positioned and glued them together, then added the cardboard ends for stability. The post tops are made from egg carton cups trimmed down and glued together, the post is a toilet paper roll sliced and rolled a bit smaller. The railings are paper tower rolls sliced and tightly rolled (you will cut half off lengthwise), with trimmed popsicle sticks. The windows are a decorative vellum that I found in my craft supplies~ many materials could work for this. As the New York brownstone is my "dream home", this was my favourite house to create!


6) NORTH AMERICAN MOBILE HOME





The North American mobile home process:



A few notes:

The vinyl siding was created with layered white duct tape. I tried painters tape and masking tape, but neither created the same effect. The tulle, saved from a kid dress that had ripped beyond repair, was used for the screens, with origami paper behind it. I faced the light side of the paper against the tulle for depth. The flower pots are painted egg carton cups.


7) MAASAI TRADITIONAL HOME: MASAI MARA, KENYA







The Maasai home process:


A few notes:

I used a thinner cardboard, from a recycled box of soda cans, so it could be bent into a round shape. My kids loved covering this with glue and dusting it with dirt. The cone top was made from a a thin card stock and covered with dry grass, a plant from the garden that didn't make it through the winter! This is the same grass that was used for the Brazilian Indigenous home.


8) GREEK HOMES: SANTORINI, GREECE







The Greek homes process:


Towers:

Homes:

Stairs:

A few notes:

We created these like modular blocks and my kids have really enjoyed repositioning them and creating new combinations. This is the same technique I used for the Vancouver heritage home stairs as well as the mobile home stairs.


9) MEXICAN HOMES








The Mexican homes process:


A few notes:

This was the only facade we created - partly because I didn't have enough recycle cardboard at the time we made this. Each house facade is from a small pizza box, cut along the top crease, preserving the crenellation effect. The wrought iron bars are created from q-tips and the pots are egg carton cups painted black. My daughter loved researching and drawing plants and cacti found in Mexico.



THANK YOU!

I appreciate you dedicating a few moments of your day to our project. If you want to follow along on our creative crafting adventures, including more homes in the future, you can find us on instagram @theheartofsunday. I will be talking a bit more about these homes in the coming weeks.


Have a great day,


Stephanie


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