For the Love of Cardboard

Rupert, a DIY octopus cardboard puppet / mobile by Gommini

Yes, I love toys. Toys that are well-designed, stimulating, aesthetically pleasing and kind to the environment. I could (and do!) spend hours looking for vintage and modern toys for my own children or to share. I also know that my kids would be just as happy making something out of an empty cardboard box. They love the challenge of creating something of their own.

Several of my favorite up-and-coming European toymakers work with cardboard or paper (Milimbo, Trzy Myszy, Unlimited Design, to name but a few). I love the versatility and seemingly endless possibilities of this medium and the fact that many of the toys can be made in part by children. In my experience, even if it’s “only” made of paper or cardboard, proud kids will take good care of and cherish something they have helped put together or paint and decorate themselves.

DIY Cardboard Puppet Mobiles

DIY Cardboard Puppet Mobiles
available for $20 from gommini

Have you heard? Rupert the jumping cardboard octopus (pictured at the top of this post) is about to make a new friend, Albertine the frog. We don’t know what color he will be yet, that all depends on the creative flair of the little artist that adopts him. I’m sure kids love making, decorating and playing with these original mobiles/puppets by Gommini, so I’m delighted to see they’re expanding their original range. Easy-to-assemble, Rupert and Albertine are fun eco-toys that would also look great on display. Love!

A card that folds into a toy cargo ship by Foldable Cuts - cool! Card that folds into a toy boat by Foldable Cuts

DIY Foldable Toy Boat Cards
available for $8 each from foldable cuts (via dezeen)

I have a thing for boats. Usually I fall for expensive vintage toy ships, so finding these cut-and-make boats by Foldable Cuts made my day! This collection of five DIY boat-themed cards looks fairly straightforward to assemble and would make an unique gift for a water and craft loving child. The multicolored cargo ship is striking, don’t you think?

cardboard chair for kids by fdk DIY Cardboard Castle

Cardboard Chair for Kids & DIY Cardboard Castle
available for $115 (chair) and $26 (castle) from fdk

Relatively new on the scene, Fdk specializes in eco-friendly toys and kids’ décor made out of cardboard. Their products are deliberately simple, in white or natural, and have been designed to encourage collaborative play. I particularly love their cardboard versions of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, shown above, and the sturdy chair, which children can also decorate once assembled. Fdk’s products are available through their own website and the new Spanish Dawanda, in addition to numerous retailers in Barcelona. One to watch!