Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Low Tech Cardboard Tv

It amazes me to look at the pile of toys in our living room.  The living room is basically Avery's play room with toys stacked up, in baskets and scattered all over the floor.  I don't even know why I bought a new rug, as almost every square inch of it is covered in a sea of toys.

Growing up I very few toys toys, not nearly as many as my peers and definitely significantly less than what my daughter Avery has now.  I use to dream of having a roomful of toys.  I was a bit envious and jealous of my friends whose parents could afford to buy them toys for Christmas and their birthday.  As I look back, I can see that what I lacked in toys I made up for with imagination.  I do credit many of the posts in this blog to the fact that I didn't have much growing up, but was able to I make much with the little that I had.

This is a toy that I made as a child, I recreated it so I could share it with Avery.  The basic concept is its a "low tech tv" that plays a film strip.


One small cardboard box
2 cardboard toilet paper/paper towel tubes or wrapping paper cardboard tubes (needs to be longer than the width of small cardboard box
1 plastic cover from a toy box (optional - see red toy box "stainless steel play cookware"  image below for example)
Scissors or utility knife

Take box and open it up by carefully pulling apart the glues seams.

Cut 4 circles on the sides of the box the same diameter as the toilet paper roll.  Cut out a rectangle from the center of the box between the 4 circles.

This step is optional.  If you want a more realist looking tv you can create one from another piece of cardboard and some plastic film from a toy package.

Tape the "tv" onto the box.  If you did not create this you can skip down to the next step.

Find comic strips and pictures or make have your children draw up a story line.  Cut them out and tape it together into one long strip.  You want to make sure that your comic strips are about the same width as the opening you created.  I used a variety of things, comic strips, pictures printed from my printer, and a few drawings.  Tape each end of the strip to each cardboard tube.

Roll up the tube like shown above.  insert the rubes into the box and seal up the box using tape or glue.  Tape 

Once box is sealed the tv is ready for use.


  1. This is such a cool idea! My niece is really into American Girl dolls right now and I am going to make one of these with her for her dolls.

  2. How Adorable! I found your blog through Instructibles-in case you are wondering. I am so glad I did...funny, because rading it reminds me of how I think to myself. LOL I will definitely be looking forward to reading through your very amazing ideas!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. this is so cute!!! I'll definately make one :)
    thank you!

  5. What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of toilet paper roll crafts! Check it out here:

    Have a great day!

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