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It's Gingerbread House Day: Build Your Cat An Amazing Cardboard House

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    What Will you need?

    2 large cardboard moving boxes (ours are 18? x 18? x 24?)

    1 small cardboard moving box (ours is 12? x 12? x 12?)

    craft knife + extra blades

    cut resistant gloves 

    self-healing cutting mat

    large, clear ruler 

    Free printable PDF cut plans

    White chalky paint 

    Colorful craft acrylic paints - Lily Pad (green), Pink Dahlia, Purple Yam, Love Bird (red), Pollen (yellow), Marmalade (orange).

    Various paintbrushes


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    Let's start with the cardboard boxes:

    The project will require two new moving boxes at Walmart, specifically, 2 of their sized large (18? x 18? x 24?) and 1 box with little to no markings that measured 12? x 12? x 12?. Because there are markings on the outside with a perfectly unblemished inside for the bigger boxes, it's a good idea to turn those inside out so we don't have to paint them a base color. Cardboard is awfully close to cooked gingerbread cookies, right? Each box has a little flap that is glued onto the other side of the box to make it a continuous shape. You need to keep that flap intact as much as possible to put your box back together with the wrong side facing out.

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    Here are the house plans:

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    Now cut the boxes according to the plans:

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    Once your boxes are cut to size lay them out flat and decorate using your choice of paints:

    Using your favorite gingerbread house decorations as inspiration, paint your white icing and colored candies onto the cardboard however you please and give plenty of time to dry. Once dry glue your boxes back into box shapes with something super strong. We used Gorilla glue and those boxes are NOT coming apart any time soon.

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    Using the scrap cardboard you create make small rectangles that are approximately 2? wide and 1? tall for smaller spaces, or 2? x 2? for larger spaces, with the corrugation inside of the cardboard running vertically

    About in the center of this piece slice a thin line running your craft knife only through the topmost part of the cardboard.

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    Bend the piece and it should pop or snap and make a corner brace shape.

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    Using hot glue on the two halves of the cut side, place the cardboard brace in the corners to support your pieces that might need a little help with sturdiness.

    Up above you can see the corner reinforcements I made for the dormer from inside of the cat house.

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    Apply a heavy spiral of Gorilla glue onto the top of the bottom story box. Stack the second story box onto the bottom with the dormer opening facing the front. Allow time for the glue to fully dry, overnight is best.

    Pop your dormer into the cut hole for it (you'll want your roof on top of it already). Apply hot glue around the edges and opening, holding the dormer in place as you do, like a caulk in between where the two boxes meet. There will need to be some overlap where the dormer actually sits about an inch inside of the 2nd story box. Using corner brace pieces made out of scrap, attach the dormer inside of the 2nd story wherever possible using the cat entry on the back to get inside and secure things.

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    Next, Cut around 60 cardboard pieces into 3? x 6? rectangles.

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    Paint or otherwise decorate, if needed, to match the house.

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    Apply the dried tiles to the roof of the house gluing one row at a time and overlapping any glued seams (like for the dormer) to both cover them up and make their hold a little sturdier.

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    You’ll need to reinforce this from the inside of the awning to the front of the cardboard house using the corner brace method just in case your cat thinks she can stand on it.

    If your cat is small to more average-sized cat, it should do fine

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    Here’s the cat house from the back. See how neat that little entrance is for the cats to get in the “attic”?


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