21 Cardboard Projects for Creative Classrooms and ‘Thinking like a designer!’ 

Customizable cardboard project designs for middle school post featured image

These projects are perfect for giving students a way to grow creatively and get their first hundred mistakes out of the way. We use them as our way to learn how to create, brainstorm, persevere, and gain confidence! The article below will give you even more ideas for using cardboard in a classroom and why it is a great way to start creating!

In this resource:

Below your will find:

  • Beginner projects
  • Customizable projects
  • Why choose cardboard?
  • Cardboard Projects Encourage Student Autonomy 
  • How To Create Unique Projects With Cardboard 
  • This site is built for middle school autonomy and creativity!

Select Beginner Cardboard Projects

These are a select group of customizable projects to get you started as a creator!

More Customizable Cardboard Projects

 Cardboard projects are the perfect way to get students thinking like designers and learning how to express their creativity. With cardboard, they can experiment with a variety of shapes and sizes without spending too much money. It’s also an excellent way for them to learn about the basics of design, such as color theory, composition, and balance. Plus, it’s an easy material to customize with paint or paper! Let’s take a look at the benefits of working with cardboard in the classroom. 

Why Use Cardboard? 

The best part about working with cardboard is that it is accessible and affordable. Most people have access to some kind of cardboard at home (or know someone who does!), making it easy for students to get started on their projects without having to wait for supplies. Additionally, cardboard projects allow students to practice problem-solving skills as they figure out how to turn a piece of cardboard into something unique and meaningful. 

Cardboard is a great material for creative projects because they can be light yet sturdy. It is also easy to customize—you can cut it into different shapes and sizes or use paint or paper to decorate it. The possibilities are endless! Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about making a mess in your classroom; since cardboard is so affordable, you can easily replace any pieces that get damaged during the process. 

Cardboard is an excellent material to use in any classroom setting because it is lightweight yet durable. It also encourages creativity since it is so versatile—it can be cut into shapes and customized with markers, paint, or even paper. Additionally, it’s easier to work with than other heavier materials like wood or metal; therefore students don’t have to worry about getting injured while handling it. Finally, it’s very affordable— often free! 

Cardboard Projects Encourage Student Autonomy 

In addition to being creative and having fun designing their own unique project out of cardboard, learning how to work independently will help your students grow as individuals and better equip them for future challenges in life. Encourage student autonomy during class by providing guidance but allowing them enough space so that they feel confident showing off their own ideas and creations! This will not only show them that you trust them but will also give them a sense of pride knowing that their project was entirely ‘their own’ from start-to-finish! 

How To Create Unique Projects With Cardboard 

When creating projects with cardboard, it’s important to give students autonomy over their work. Allow them to personalize each project by using their imaginations and expressing their individual styles. This will help foster critical thinking skills and encourage them to develop creative solutions for problems they encounter during the design process. Additionally, you can give students ideas on how to make their projects more interesting by adding decorative elements or changing up the shape and size of the cardboard pieces they use. By doing this, they’ll be able to make unique creations while still having structure within their design parameters.  

Cardboard projects are perfect for encouraging students to think like designers. Students can customize their projects with paint or markers, or even paper.  As far as paint goes, there are so many options available – from acrylic paints and spray paints, to chalk paints and even glow-in-the-dark paints! Adding paper is another great way for students to personalize their project; simply glue patterned paper onto any part of the project that needs an extra touch of color or texture.They could also paint their pieces different colors or draw patterns on them using markers. Maybe cardboard projects can have added texture by using embossing tools or stamping onto the surface. If they want their project to look more professional, they can glue fabric over the entire piece once they’ve assembled all of its pieces together! 

Other resources on this site:

In conclusion, working with cardboard in the classroom is an excellent way for students to learn how to think like designers and express themselves creatively through hands-on projects. Not only is it cost-effective and easy-to-use; but it also allows them autonomy over their work while still providing guidance through structured parameters set by teachers such as shape and size changes or decorative elements added on top of the base layer of cardboard materials used in each project! So why not try out some fun cardboard projects in your creative classrooms today? You won’t regret it!

This site is built for middle school autonomy and creativity!

Check out the mission and resources available:

Innovative Arts classes are a fantastic way to encourage student autonomy and creativity in the classroom—and what better material than cardboard? It’s lightweight yet durable; it’s relatively cheap; and best of all—it’s endlessly customizable! With just some basic supplies (paint/markers/paper) from your nearest art supply store, your students can use this versatile material to showcase their creative abilities while learning how to work independently too! So why wait? Start inspiring your students today with exciting new projects using cardboard!


I am creating this site to advance student creativity and help students to take ownership of their learning. The resources on this site are intentionally open-ended and a part of my Innovative Arts curriculum.

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