make baby stuff

Upcycled Baby Blocks Instructions from Packaging

Make some upcycled baby blocks from packaging and wallpaper samples! Start saving your product packaging now so in a few weeks you'll have a nice little blocks set to work with. If you are one of those amazing families that buys no product packaging (wow, good for you!) ask a friend to save their packages for you. I mostly use food packaging and toilet paper rolls but you could do this project with any old boxes you have around.

upcycled blocks

I use old wallpaper samples to decorate my upcycled baby blocks because it is very sturdy and gives them extra weight and they it be wiped clean! You can sometimes get free used wallpaper sample books from interior design shops (they just throw them out) and you can even buy them cheaply on eBay, which is where I got mine. They are huge books with hundreds of pages of the actual wallpaper and can be used in tons of crafty projects. Just one wallpaper sample book goes a long way in card making, box covering, collage, scrapbooking, dollhouse wallpapering, etc.

wallpaper crafts

Materials - Product packaging, wallpaper sample books or wallpaper scraps or decorative paper, non-toxic glue (I use Tacky Glue or Elmer's), x-acto, self healing cutting mat or a scissors, pencil, tape

milk carton crafts

1) Prep Boxes - First, prep your boxes. Make sure they are all clean and dry and if you are using cardboard milk cartons cut the tops off as shown above. For plain boxes with the ends still intact you can just tape the ends shut.

milk carton upcycled crafts

baby toys upcycled

2) Double Up Boxes - I like to have doubles of all the boxes for my upcycled baby blocks so I can insert them inside one another to create extra sturdy boxes. Especially with milk cartons, this is an easy way to have all ends closed. Bend the edges of one carton or box as shown and insert inside of the other one. Do this for all flimsy boxes or any that you have doubles of. This creates a very sturdy baby block with perfectly closed ends with no openings to tape.

milk carton trace

3) Trace Boxes & Glue - Now simply trace your carton, cut out and glue! You can use different papers for each side or one large piece of paper that "wraps" the box like a present.

toilet paper roll crafts

4) Toilet Paper Rolls - Toilet paper rolls take some extra consideration if you want to cover the open circular ends. You can also just leave them open! If you'd like to close them though, trace the circle of your toilet paper roll and then draw a larger circle around it as shown above.

toilet paper roll crafts

5) Cut Notches & Bend - Cut out the larger circles and cut notches all the way around the circle up to the smaller circle and then bend them up to create a cap for the toilet paper rolls.

toilet paper roll upcycled crafts

6) Tape Caps - Position the cap on the toilet paper roll and then tape on. Glue does not tend to hold it very well, so tape works well here. The tape will be completely covered up in the end.

toilet roll upcycled

7) Glue - Finally, glue down your wallpaper all the way around the tube. Use rubber bands to keep it closed while drying.

Let your blocks dry overnight before letting baby play with them. They will be sturdy enough to last a very long time and they are a nice large size for little ones to practice stacking yet they are very lightweight and easy to handle. Not to mention they are cheap to make!

finished blocks

Variations: - Leave some ends completely open for babies to put things in and out of them. You can also put things inside of them to make them rattle. I threw the scraps of the milk carton tops inside of the milk carton and that is his very favorite one since it makes a rattling sound.

tbaby recycled blocks

My son adores his blocks! Afterall, what kid doesn't love to play with boxes? These are boxes, just pretty ones!

Go to the Make Baby Toys Section for more project ideas!

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