STEAM Cardboard Projects for Barbie or Monster High Dolls

My girls are probably way too old to be playing with dolls since they are ten and eleven, but, really, how old is too old?  I encourage imaginative play because it  makes great writers, movie makers, Imagineers (Disney), or any design job.  We traveled for a year in an RV and made the girls get rid of all their play houses, little doll furniture, and any small pieces that they had lying around for Barbie, Monster High, or Little Pet Shop. This was especially hard for my youngest daughter who has a HUGE imagination, and those dolls were her whole life.

cardboard runway

We are now back in a stick house, and I have told her that I still don’t want to buy all those plastic toys for her dolls.  So my amazing kid came across YouTube videos that show you how to build doll furniture out of cardboard, tissue boxes, and shoe boxes.  STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) is a huge part of the creative process.

To make the runway, we had to first watch a video from MyFroggyStuff and then redesigned her stage.  We had to use our imagination, mathematics, measurement, and learn how to safely use tools.  We made a budget and went to the craft store to find more items we might need to finish our project. The discussion of recycling, reducing, and reusing  came up a lot, and we found a place where we could keep more empty boxes for later use.  We put on many hats and became architects, engineers, contractors, interior designers, photographers, and movie stars for this project. Here are some more questions that we discussed:

christmas gifts

cardboard christmas treeWhat makes some cardboard structures stronger than others? Why do other designs support more weight? What’s the best way to orient, combine, and join the cardboard for maximum strength? How can we design a chair that you can lean back on? What’s the best way to hold the different parts of the chair together? How do you keep the chair from wobbling and twisting when you sit on it? How do you keep the seat or back from tearing and breaking? How can we add design elements that look good?

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We started with an easy project – Cardboard Christmas Tree

STEM Cardboard projects for Barbie, Monster High Doll or Ever After Dolls
  • cardstock/thick paper/ or this cardboard
  • Cardboard
  • Glue/ Glue gun or
  • duck tape
  • garland
  • small ornaments
  1. We wrapped a piece of paper to for a cone - then duck taped the side
  2. (with adult supervision) we put tabs of very hot glue, using a glue gun around the cone
  3. tack the garland to the cone
  4. wrapped it up to the top
  5. then you have a christmas tree

Hugs wanted to do a video for this project, but we got super excited, dad got involved, and we only took pictures once the main structure was put together.  Please follow with the slide show underneath.




Cardboard projects fashion runway

Prep time: 

Total time: 

  • cardboard
  • hot glue gun
  • white glue
  • scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • ruler
  • scrapbook paper
  • duct tape
  • jumbo craft sticks
  • rubber band
  • Command strip for pictures
  1. watch video get an idea how to do this
  2. design your layout for first layer
  3. measure your runway and make lines of where you want to cut
  4. use Exacto knife or scissors and cut out your platform
  5. add one inch around back of platform and cut out second layer - make stairs
  6. add another inch to second layer - to add another layer of stairs
  7. now copy each layer two more times - to get three complete layers of cardboard
  8. you should have a total of 9 layers
  9. glue each layer together with hot glue gun
  10. wrap duct tape around edges - to give more support
  11. cut out fun scrap book paper for your runway and top of stairs
  12. glue with white school glue -
  13. lay piece cardboard out measure your doll add about 2 inches
  14. cut out your cardboard - 3 layers for the panels
  15. glue together with hot glue gun
  16. duck tape sides - for support
  17. glue fun scrapbook paper to each side of panels
  18. you should have 3 panels - total
  19. glue - with hot glue - jumbo craft stick to bottom
  20. put command strip for - pictures in bottom of panel and attach to front of runway
  21. put one panel in middle
  22. we added jumbo craft sticks for support to panels by cutting a slit in runway and sliding stick into holes - they should be right behind the panels
  23. we also added large rubber bands to wrap around panels and jumbo craft sticks
  24. good luck!


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About Chrissie

Follow our crazy journey across America as we visit roadside oddities, historical land marks and beautiful landscapes. I have ton of ideas and review educational products that will help you get the most on your home school adventure. We are an Unschool family that believes the world is our classroom and is teaching our children to self direct their education to a better future.

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