Upcycled Cardboard Camera


Does your child like to be in front of the camera or always want to view the photos you've taken of them? Are they interested in photography but aren't quite ready for a real camera of their own? If so, use your "create" token to make this upcycled cardboard camera made from common household items. 

Talk with your child about why we take photographs and ask them what they might want to take photographs of. Do they want to capture special moments with family and friends or do they want to take pictures of things that interest them? They might enjoy looking through some family albums to see what you've taken photos of or browsing through the photographs in cooking, garden, home or travel magazines. You can even discuss how some people take pictures professionally. 

Younger children will enjoy using their camera a part of their dramatic play at home. Older children will enjoy the creative and design process and can view their camera as a piece of art. You can follow this simple simple camera design or make yours as complex as you'd like! Provide various boxes, tubes, containers, caps, straws, paper etc. and let your child's imagination run wild. 



  • cardboard box
  • paper towel tube
  • water bottle cap
  • washi tape
  • ribbon
  • plastic wrap or plastic baggie
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • Other possible ideas: paper straw, washi tape, wrapping paper scraps, disposable cup, egg carton, bottle lids...any odds and ends you can find around the house.


  • Cut a small rectangular hole above the lens on the front of the box. Cut a similar hole in the same place on the back to create a viewfinder. Tape plastic wrap or a piece of a sandwich bag over both holes on the inside of the box.
  • Cut a 2 inch piece of paper towel roll to make a lens and glue it to the front of the camera.
  • Decorate the camera and lens with washi tape.
  • Hot glue a water bottle cap to the top.
  • Add any extras here: flash, buttons, dials, designs, etc. 
  • Glue ribbon on the sides of the box to create a shoulder strap.


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