You see cardboard! Kids see fun! Do you remember your kids first presents…the best part was the cardboard…right? This is what gave me the inspiration to create my first cardboard party! So, what’s not to like?? For this party firstly you forage for empty cardboard boxes, throughout the party you can relax because nothing valuable can get broken and after the party is all over it gets recycled!! Winner winner!! with our family and friends these parties have gone down as the cheapest reuse best party ever!
My son is now coming up to 12 and through all his birthday party years we have tried different themes! From hot tub parties to pirate parties…So when you ask “what party would you like this year?” there was huge excitement when I showed him my ideas of making everything (well nearly everything!) out of cardboard!
So here is a 5-step blog to share my creative knowledge to help you organise your own successful cardboard maze party. I have also made a board on Pinterest to give you more visual inspiration and to make it easier for you to plan.
1/What you need to build your maze!
An idea of your theme, whether it is a birthday or possibly Halloween. It could be based around a Film, Kids Tv programme, Pirates, Cars, or maybe Dinosaurs. The choice is endless! Mixture of cardboard and packaging. Reuse of course!, A Glue gun, A Bread knife (Possibly an electric one too), A Mail hand guard to protect your hands when cutting the cardboard, Brown packing tape, “This way up” stickers, Fragile tape or any other tapes and packing stickers to make it look authentic. Helium and balloons and ribbon.
2/Where and how to source your cardboard
My first party was not so organised and I ran round last-minute finding boxes in a desperate way! Not to be recommended as a little stressful! The next party was much more organised. I visited local businesses who may have some throw away boxes, the larger the better! I found electrical companies and bike shops had some very large boxes, ideal for structural mazes! It’s a good idea to go in a couple of weeks before your party and see what may be available, they also may put some of the boxes by for you.
3/How to make the Maze/Fort
The first thing you need to do is to draw a quick sketch of how you’d like your maze to look, this way you can plan where you’d like to cut your doors, possibly have false tunnels and plan a game within the maze. It will also help you visualise the finished maze or Fort and how many and what size cardboard boxes you need. Once I drew my plan, I decided which box would go where and numbered them on the plan and box so I wouldn’t get confused! I would always recommend that you do this the day before the party especially if the maze is going to be outside so you can put it together quickly the next day. (If the cardboard gets wet it can go very soft so protect from rain)
Once you have decided the position of each box its time to start connecting them. I found if you opened the top and bottom flaps of each box you can inter connect them. Using a bread knife (please be careful and use a mail gauntlet for this!) I cut 1.5” slits in the sides of the boxes so I could attach them together using the packaging tape. I also found hard cardboard corner brackets useful to strengthen the corners of the construction. Once a few of the boxes where connected I started to cut the openings and door ways. Some boxes I would leave flaps, some I would have “pop your head up” openings and some of the boxes I would leave as dead ends. The more mix you do the more the fun! Our maze had a game within it!! After crawling through to the end, you then had to throw balls into a recycled packaging net and race back to the beginning! The quickest won!
4/Party ideas, games/ competitions
Painting the outside of the maze, making models out of cardboard competition, Painting the Fort, best cardboard fancy dress mask, Cardboard booth with homemade masks (masks with printed of pictures of famous people on). Incorporating a game and/or treasure hunt within the maze.
5/When it’s all over!
My age 8–10 year old party seemed to turn out a little rougher and tumble than the first one we did! By the end of the party, they were in and out of the maze and running around chasing each other with packaging tape! After playing in the maze, they then took great pleasure in demolishing it! All we had to do was wait for the rain to soften it and then put it out for recycling! Great fun was had by all!
What the kids say…
“It was the best party ever!” Archie Age 11
“Very fun! Lots of things to do, the best part was going into the maze and chasing about!” Isabella Age 9
Health & safety
Make sure you use a mail glove when cutting the cardboard
Make sure that any staples in the boxes are removed before the kids crawl through.
Want to take your reusing further? We run regular reuse and upcycling workshops where you can come and learn with us at ReVamp Boutique anything from a upcycling a piece of furniture to Paper mache Angel Wings or make a Treasure Memory Journal out of a cardboard box!
Not hands on but love the thought of a ReVamp? At ReVamp Boutique we love to source individual unloved pieces to sell. We adapt and redesign them for you, creating statement furniture available for purchase.
We would love to hear from you regarding any enquiry!