Build Your Own Collapsible Cardboard Tent

DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent Craft
DIY Tents are all the rage right now. They’re so cute and super easy to make. But what if you’re like me, and not particularly handy with power tools? Or what if you have a child who loves making things and always wants to help out? Well, I’ve got the perfect craft for you! Today we’re making a DIY collapsible tent… from cardboard! Yes, cardboard! Creative kiddos will love getting in on the building fun and you’ll love leaving that toolbox in the closet.

Let’s make ourselves a tent!

Materials for DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent Craft

What You Need

  • Cardboard TV moving box
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
  • Paint (I used craft and tempera paint)
  • Paint brushes
  • Duct tape
  • Masking tape
  • Exacto knife
  • Tape measure
  • White craft paper
DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent


Step 1:
Your cardboard TV moving box will come in 2 parts- an inner box and an outer box. Pull them apart and use either one to make the tent. Cut out two similarly sized rectangles on each side of the tent. Make sure that the height of your rectangle is smaller than the width of your craft paper. The craft paper needs to cover the holes.

Now cut the tent straight through its midsection so that it opens up. Trim the bottoms of your legs so that the tent rests squarely on the ground. (I started off using scissors, but then switched to using a box cutter.)

DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent Pattern
Step 2
Measure the rectangular holes and cut out a piece of craft paper that is slightly larger than the hole. Cover your work area (I laid an old tablecloth across the floor.) Now call the kids over and paint a design with tempera paint onto the paper. Repeat this process with another sheet of paper.

DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent
Step 3
Continue the painting fun and use craft paint to decorate the outside of your tent!

DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent
Step 4
Once your two sheets of craft paper dry, tape them onto both sides of the tent. I first used pieces of masking tape to hold the paper in place. I then used duct tape and an exacto knife to cover the edges completely.

DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent Craft

Tada! You now have a lightweight tent that can easily open up for play and fold down to store around the house when not being used. Wouldn’t this be a fun weekend project to do with the kids? It’s such a cool collaborative craft and certainly encourages creativity! The perfect place for children to hide, read, play, and dream :)

DIY Collapsible Cardboard Tent Craft

Have fun and until next time, happy making!