I love the amazing versatility of cardboard. It’s a fantastic material for creativity, being cheap, light, strong, and sustainable. We have lots and lots of it at home, since all the stock for the Artful Kids store arrives in boxes of various shapes and sizes, and we manage to recycle and re-use a large quantity of them ourselves, either in the business itself, or for various creative projects.
In spite of its many uses however, you may not normally associate cardboard with furniture even though the use of paper for furniture, (in the form of papier mache particularly) has a venerable history. Cardboard is in fact an ideal material for low-cost furniture, as it can be easily customised, stored (think self-assembly and flat pack but without the screws!) and is easily recycled. It’s great for children’s furniture and temporary furniture in general really.
We were able to put it to the test ourselves recently when we were sent a children’s cardboard bedside table. This was supplied to us flat-packed and plain, by The Cardboard Man, ready to be customised with paint, decoupage, stickers, or anything we chose. When we first received it, I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed by the huge number of possibilities that it offered in terms of decoration, but in the end I decided to opt for a fairly minimal trompe l’oeil approach, using a white paint pen to draw the outlines of toys on ‘shelves’ on the back and sides.
For the top, I invited my boys to invent and draw a game. The one they came up with is pretty simple, but was based on a pirate theme, with rewards or penalties depending upon the square you landed on. The object of the game of course being to get to the treasure first! This worked quite well, with the more dense and colourful design on the top complementing the simplicity of the sides and back.
So, with the boys back at school again after Easter, I have now almost caught up with the back log of work. It was great to have a few days away, but I always pay the price trying to catch up afterwards (hence the rather long period of inactivity here.) However with half term only a couple of weeks away, I suspect I shall get horribly behind again all too soon!
And finally, I have decided (for a trial period) to switch off comments for Artful Adventures. Things have moved on a lot since this blog first started, and I have noticed that most comments now arrive by email or social networks. The big exception to this is the huge amount of spam comments I receive. I am getting really fed up of moderating and deleting them, so hopefully it’s not going to offend anyone too much if I switch comments off for the time being at least as an experiment.