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A football table will provide you and your children with many hours of entertainment, fun and lots of laughter. In order to make it yourself and with materials that are easy to find, all you have to do is follow this step-by-step tutorial on how to create your very own cardboard football table. If you need extra assistance, you can always ask the little ones to help you make it.

You can create plenty of children’s toys with just a cardboard box and a bit of creativity. This DIY cardboard football table will stimulate your child’s imagination, their manual dexterity and it will also teach them the importance of recycling and reusing materials which can be easily found in our homes.

Tools and materials

materials to make your cardboard football table

Cost, time and difficulty

If you already have all the necessary tools, the cost of materials is about 10€, and it will be even less if you recycle materials that you have lying around the house!

In addition, you will be able to finish this DIY project in just a couple of hours and the level of difficulty is easy. It is an ideal project to do with your children. The’ll enjoy the process and will be able to let their imagination run wild when customising the football players. 🙂

How to make a cardboard football table step by step

Table football is a classic table game that both children and adults can enjoy and have lots of fun with. Luckily you can easily make one with the following step by step guide.

1. Make the players

In order to create the table football players we will use clothes pegs and wooden balls. You can also use buttons instead of the wooden balls.

First we fix a ball to the base of a clothes peg with the glue gun. We will repeat this step with 10 clothes pegs, in order to have 5 players per team.

Next we paint the top half of the clothes pegs with acrylic paint and a brush. We recommend that you use two contrasting colours in order to make both teams easy to tell apart.

Lastly, draw the eyes of the players with the permanent marker.

make your table football players

2. Build the field

In order to make the football field we have used a cardboard tray. You can use cardboard shoe boxes or even packing boxes, supermarket fruit boxes, etc. In order to customise it, follow these steps:

  1. Cut the shorter sides of the box with the scissors, leaving a gap measuring 8 x 5 cm. This will be the goal posts.
  2. Make 4 holes in each of the longer sides of the box. For this tutorial, we have made the holes at a height of 5.5 cm from the base and with a distance of 6.5 cm in-between.
  3. Cut a green coloured card the size of the box base, which will represent your football field.
  4. Draw the field lines on the green card using the white chalk, as per the images below.
  5. Place the card on the bottom of the box. We recommend that you use double sided tape in order to fix it to the box.
how to make your table football field out of cardboard

3. Build the football table

The last step is to build your cardboard football table! First, insert the players into the wooden skewers and slide them into the holes on the side of the box.

Glue pierced wooden balls to the ends of the skewers to make sure they stay in place. You can also glue the players to the skewers to prevent them from moving.

Lastly, use double sided tape to fix netting or mesh around the goal post. For this tutorial we have used the mesh bag from garlic bought in the supermarket!

Finishing touches on your cardboard football table

And last but not least, after following all the steps in this tutorial, all that is left for you to do is throw the wooden ball that we will use as the ball into the football table and start playing. Enjoy! 🙂

enjoy the game!

This is a table game for the whole family. Both kids and adults will love it. You can even set up your own league, and have hours and hours of fun!

player to player passing

Did you enjoy making this homemade cardboard football table? If you are looking for more toys that are easy to make with your children, don’t miss this post about Montessori toys that you can create in a few hours.

Visit manomano.co.uk for all your DIY, home & gardening needs or for advice on your projects!

Kids love sleeping in tents, tipis and cabins of all kinds – and now yours can sleep tight under the stars from the comfort of their own room. This minimalist tipi tent bed frame is not only super cute, it can also be decorated in a million different ways. Better yet, it’s a whole lot easier than setting up a tent in the middle of a field: all you need is a saw and a few screws for this fun bed frame.

To make your tipi tent bed frame, you’ll need:

Please note: our frame is for a mattress measuring 60 x 120 cm, but it can easily be adapted to fit any child-sized mattress, such as 70 x 140 or 90 x 190. You can even build it on top of an existing bed frame for a tent bed with a bed base.

Choosing the right paint for a child’s bedroom

When it comes to painting children’s rooms or furniture, it’s important to read the ingredients carefully to avoid chemicals that could be dangerous to children.

– Ban the use of oil-based paints: they contain too many VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde, substances that are very harmful to human health and the environment.
– Water-based acrylic paints are less dangerous, but may also contain some harmful substances. Check the ingredients and avoid paints containing glycol ethers.
– Whenever possible, opt for paint that is specifically made for children’s rooms or environmentally-friendly or natural paints.
– No matter what paint you choose, make sure to air out the room for several hours after application.

For more information, see our guide, “How to paint a room”.

How to make a tipi tent bed frame for your children

Step 1: take the correct measurements

Create a unique tent bed frame for your children

Lay a wooden strip next to the mattress lengthwise and use a pencil to mark off the length you need for the frame (here it’s 120 cm). Next, measure the width you’ll need making sure to factor in the width of the strips (here it’s 60 cm + 2 x 2.8 cm = 65.6 cm).

Step 2: cut the wood and build the base frame

Cut the wood panel & build the base frame

Cut the wood strips with a jigsaw and then lightly sand the ends (you may also want to sand the edges if you’re using unfinished wood).

Build the base frame

Put the strips together to form a rectangle.

put the strips together to form a rectangle

One each side, pre-drill holes in the strips using one of the shorter wood drill bits. Then screw the 50 mm screws into the four corners.

Tip: For a professional look, use a countersink to form a small cavity in the wood before screwing. That will stop the head of your screw from sticking out.

Step 3: make the ends of the tipi tent

make the end of the tent bed frame

Put two wooden strips together to form a triangle, where the base is the head and foot of your frame, and check to see which height that would be best for your child’s bed. On one strip, use a pencil to mark the top of the tent frame and the point where the two strips will intersect. Use the same dimension to mark the other three strips with your pencil.

make the end of the tent bed frame

Cut the strips with a jigsaw and drill them at the point where they intersect. Use a bit that’s wider than your screws, as the latter will need to move around in the holes you’ve made. Sand everything until it’s smooth and splinter-free.

make the end of the tent bed frame

Screw the top ends together and attach the strips to the frame at the bottom after pre-drilling (it’s normal if they aren’t perfectly symmetrical).
This step is easier with the help of another person.

Step 4: attach the tent frame crossbar

Attach the cross bar to the tent bed frame

Once the sides are attached to the frame, measure the length you need for the central bar, which will reinforce your frame. To do this, place the uncut strip at the top of the ends (as seen here) and mark the inside of the strip with the pencil.

Attach the cross bar to the tent bed frame

Pre-drill the end of the crossbar in the middle, taking care not to split the wood, and attach the crossbar with the larger screw, drilling it into the end braces beforehand (as seen here).

Step 5: paint your tipi tent bed frame

paint your tipi tent bed frame

For the finishing touch, we decided to paint only the top of the frame. If you want the same effect, protect the strips with some masking tape at the desired height and then paint the top of the ends and the crossbar.

your children's very own tipi tent bed frame

Are your kids ready for more at home adventures? Make them a Montessori tangram puzzle and other toys, DIY connect 4 or even a Lego table with one of our tutorials.

Why not visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden project needs?

Does your child love playing with Barbies, swear by Sylvanian families or enjoy playing house with other favourite figurines? Perhaps you’d like to get them a big wooden dollhouse for a Christmas or birthday present, but you’re put off by the hefty price tag.

We’ve got a solution with this simple hack: repurpose a bookcase where each cube can be turned into a dollhouse room. So put the credit card away and spend a little time instead – even one hour should do the job. However, we can’t estimate the time you’ll need to decorate it, should you find yourself enticed by the results!

Materials to make your life size dollhouse

  • a bookcase with cubes: ideally upcycle it or choose the size that suits your project and your home (here we’ve chosen a model with 6 cubes for a dollhouse that measures around 1.5 metres, ideal for children aged 5 to 8),
  • two plywood sheets about 1 cm thick, the same width as your bookcase (the length may vary depending on your bookcase; for a unit with 6 cubes, we’ve used 600 mm boards),
  • two angled brackets,
  • a square wood strip measuring around 40 mm long,
  • large rigid cardboard and/or 3 mm MDF board for the back of the dollhouse (factor in both the back of the unit and height of roof you want to add),
  • a pack of 25 mm screws,
  • two small nuts and 10 mm bolts (the diameter must fit your angled brackets),
  • wide flat-headed nails,
  • balsa wood boards and rolls of adhesive vinyl (which will serve as floors),
  • patterned sheets of paper or wallpaper samples (to cover the walls),
  • white glue and wood glue
  • drill driver
  • 2 or 3 mm wood drill bit 

What material can I use to make miniature furniture for my dollhouse?
Balsa wood! This material is made from the wood of the tree of the same name. Extremely lightweight, it’s often used for making models. By choosing a rather thin model (here we used 3 mm-thick balsa boards for furniture), you can cut it with a box cutter.

How to make your DIY dollhouse

Follow the steps in the tutorial by referring to the photos – it’s a snap!

Step 1: make the dollhouse roof

make your dollhouse roof

Cut a piece of your wood strip the width of the roof and attach the two plywood sheets at right angles to the strip. Add two screws on each side to keep the sheets on the strip.

Step 2: attach the roof to the bookcase

attach the roof to the bookcase

Place the roof on the bookcase, make sure it’s centred and use the angled brackets to secure it to the sides of the case on the back of the dollhouse. If the boards you’re using for the roof are especially thin, we suggest pre-drilling them using a wood drill bit with a small diameter (2/3 mm).

attach the roof to the bookcase using angled brackets

Locate the bracket holes on the roof and drill a hole using a bit that’s wide enough to fit your bolt through. Put the bolt through the wood and bracket and then tighten the nut.

Step 3: add a back to the bookcase

add a back to the bookcase

For the back, use MDF, grey cardboard or any other hard cardboard. Just nail it directly onto the wood.

Tip: If you want white walls in the dollhouse, it’s easier to paint the back beforehand.

Step 4: add the attic wall

add a back to the roof on your bookcase

First, use a pencil to draw the shape of the roof on your wood board or rigid cardboard. Cut it out.

cut the backing off the back of your roof wall

Cover with wallpaper or paint before nailing it to the strip at the top of the roof.

Step 5: decorate your wooden dollhouse!

decorate your wooden dollhouse

This step is definitely the most fun. First, lay the floors. Use 3 mm balsa boards for parquet, patterned adhesive for vinyl floors or even mosaic for a tiled effect.

For walls, opt for paint or stick on some wallpaper or patterned paper.

If you are champion when it comes to finishes, you can also cut strips of balsa to make baseboards.

Now that everything is ready, you only need to furnish your wooden dollhouse!

Inside your wooden dollhouse

Did you enjoy building your own wooden dollhouse? Are you looking for other easy DIY ideas to surprise your kids? Make them a tent bed, DIY Connect 4, create light from a potato or build a Lego table with our tutorials.

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden project needs!

Tired of stepping on small bricks every morning and picking them up every night after the kids are tucked in? Have you had enough of seeing them in tears when one of their incredible masterpieces has toppled in a heap on the floor? Now it’s your turn to get creative! We’re not joking… Start by stealing 4 large base plates and get to work laying the groundwork for your kids very own Lego® table, which should take no longer than 20 minutes to make. Your kids will be so thrilled they won’t miss the stolen pieces! 🙂

Things you’ll need:

  • a coffee table (we used 55 x 55 cm, the perfect dimensions)
  • large Lego® base plates (for us, 4 plates each measuring 25 x 25 cm)
  • joists (2.5 cm wide on one side and at least 220 cm long)
  • suitable glue (we used “All Purpose Adhesive”, which can be used for both the corner strips and Lego® plates)
  • tape measure
  • sandpaper
  • wood saw and a mitre box (or mitre saw if you have one)
  • pencil

How to make your Lego® table

The Lego® table is made up of base plates and a wooden frame. The latter is made from wood corner strips to make an edge that’s comfy for little arms and aesthetically pleasing as well.
Before you start to panic, don’t worry: making the frame is child’s play!

Step 1: Measure and calculate the length of the frame

For this first step, we must return to primary school because it requires a bit of maths.
Measure the table width and add the thickness of your wood corner strip + 1 mm. Our table (seen here) measured 55 cm and our wood corner strip, 3 mm. That gave us 55 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 55.4 mm.

Measure and calculate the length of the frame

Step 2: Cut bevelled edges for your frame

Use the mitre box to cut the ends of your strip at 45° angles. The measurements, which we calculated in step 1, correspond to the outer edge of the strip (where the angle is) so the inner edge will be smaller.

Cut wood for your frame

Step 3: Sand the strips for your frame

Sand the corners of your strips with sandpaper so that they are smooth and splinter-free.

Sand the strips of wood to create your DIY Lego table

Step 4: Glue the strips on the edge of your table

Add a line of adhesive along the edge of the table and glue each strip on top. Adjust the ends of each strip so that the connection fits together as tightly as possible.

Glue the strips on the edge of your Lego table

Tips: 

  • You can use a clamp, which is a great way of keeping your strips in place while the glue dries.
  • If your connection doesn’t fit together perfectly, add some matching wood filler.

Step 5: Glue the Lego® base plates onto your table

Glue the base plates together edge-to-edge. Add glue beads at all four angles of each plate and one in the centre. Leave the whole thing to dry and place a weight on each plate.

Glue the Lego plates onto your table

Presto: your table is finished, and the fun can now begin! Unless you want to turn the project into an art class too, in which case you can paint it in your little one’s favourite colour.

Create your very own DIY Lego table - tutorial DIY

Level up!
Want to keep playing? Take your skills to the next level with more tutorials! Check out our fun articles for children for lots of inspiring ideas!

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home and garden project needs.

Would you like instil in your children a love of reading from early on? With this tutorial on how to make a Montessori method bookcase you will be able to create an inspiring reading corner in your children’s room. They will be able to have all their stories and books at hand and enjoy reading them at any time. And not only that, thanks to this method to build your Montessori bookcase, you will also be stimulating their development and growth.

Reading brings many benefits to children and it is therefore important to get them started early on. Parents are advised to introduce children to reading from the age of one with books containing large drawings and a small amount of text. By encouraging your child to read you will be helping:

  • Develop their memory and language, increasing their vocabulary
  • Foster their imagination, as they will create a representation of what they read in their mind
  • Become familiar with texts and make a habit of reading by the time they get to school

On the other hand, if you want this reading corner to be an authentic Montessori method bookcase, it needs to have the following characteristics:

  • Storybooks should be easily accessible for the child, and the height of the bookcase should be adjusted to them
  • Books should be easy to locate for the child, so that they can pick one up and put it back once they have finished reading it
  • The book covers should be visible, for the child to be able to easily select their preferred book
  • The bookcase should be in a comfortable and calm area, so that the child can read in peace

We have built this Montessori bookcase following these guidelines, and now you can build it yourself with this tutorial.

Tools and materials

herramientas y materiales para hacer una librería Montessori

Cost, time and difficulty

If you already have the necessary tools, the total cost of materials is less than 50€. Considering that this type of bookcases can cost anything between 70€ and 170€, you could save a significant amount of money! And what’s more, since you are building it yourself, you will be able to adapt the bookcase to the dimensions and decoration of your children’s room.

The level of difficulty is medium, as it requires some experience using some of the tools, like for example the jigsaw. It is for this reason the perfect project for DIY-ers already used to small projects.

It has taken us about 8 hours to finish this Montessori method bookcase, but keep in mind that a significant amount of this time was spent painting and decorating it.

How to make your Montessori method bookcase step by step

Montessori furniture is tailored to the children’s height, to make sure that they can reach everything without anybody’s help. This allows for the healthy development of their curiosity and independence.

This Montessori method bookcase will not only make for a wonderful reading corner to encourage your children’s love of reading from a small age, it will also play an integral role in their playtime. In order to achieve this, we have painted piano keys on the front of the bookcase, as well as various musical notes all over it. The bookcase not only helps organise the child’s storybooks, it will also stimulate their senses.

You can easily build a DIY Montessori bookcase like the one in this tutorial by following these steps:

1. Cut the pieces

First we cut the MDF or DM board, with which we will build the bookcase structure. Cut the following pieces with the jigsaw:

  • 2 triangles measuring 50 cm on each side and 1,9 cm thick, which will make up the bookcase’s sides. In addition to this, cut one side of each triangle –  the diagonal sides of the bookcase – in the shape of waves
  • 6 strips measuring 50x6x1.9 cm to join the sides of the bookcase together. These will be attached at the base and at the height of each shelf
  • 1 backboard measuring 50x50x0.3 cm, 1 backboard measuring 50x30x0.3 cm and 1 backboard measuring 50x8x0.3 cm for each shelf
  • 1 board measuring 50x28x0.3 cm and 1 board measuring 50x12x0.3 cm for the back of the middle and the top shelves
cut the pieces of plywood to make your bookcase

We recommend that you sand the wave patterns that you have cut with the jigsaw in order to have uniform and smooth edges.

2. How to assemble the bookcase structure

In the following step we will assemble the bookcase structure. First join with screws the strips measuring 6 cm in height to the sides of the bookcase in order to create three different levels.

Next nail the 0,3 cm thick backboards at each level, such that:

  • the 50 cm deep backboard is nailed to the strips at the base of the bookcase
  • the 30 cm deep backboard is nailed to the bottom part of the middle shelf, which is at a height of 24 cm
  • the 8 cm deep backboard is nailed to the bottom part of the top shelf, which is at a height of 44 cm

Lastly, the 28 cm tall panel is joined with carpenter’s glue to the back part of the middle shelf – its bottom part will stand on 3 square strips measuring 8 cm long. The 12 cm tall panel is then glued to the top shelf.

assemble the Montessori method bookcase

3. Painting and decorating your Montessori method bookcase

Next we will paint and decorate this Montessori method bookcase. For this tutorial we have chosen a white water-based varnish to paint the bookcase structure and a black varnish for the decorative motifs.

We have aimed to integrate the idea of play into the decoration, and so we have painted piano keys on the front, and various musical notes all over the bookcase. The idea is to stimulate our children’s senses and their creativity.

We have used painter’s tape and a permanent marker to paint the piano keys. You can use stencils for the musical notes.

paint and decorate your montessori method bookcase

We recommend that you use eco-friendly paints, free of toxic ingredients, in order to reduce the risk of your children developing chemical sensitivity.

4. How to build the drawers

In the last step we will build the drawers which will rest on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. With these drawers the child will easily access all parts of the bookcase. These are the steps we will follow:

  1. Cut 4 wooden boards measuring 25x9x1 cm each and another 4 measuring 35x9x1 cm each, as well as 8 strips measuring 9×2.2×2.2 cm, with the help of the saw and the miter box
  2. Glue the strips to each of the corners that will make up the drawer
  3. Secure the joining points with the nailer
  4. Cut and attach the MDF backboard measuring 35x25x0.3 cm
cut & glue your wooden boards together

After following these steps, all that is left to do is to insert the drawers and our bookcase will be ready.

Montessori method bookcase

We can also encourage the child to be part of making their own reading corner, by having them organise the storybooks themselves.

Montessori method bookcase

This bookcase will clearly not only help nurture their love of reading, but it will also stimulate your children’s fun and play thanks to its piano shape.

montessori method bookcase and piano

Did you enjoy this tutorial on how to make an original piano shaped Montessori method bookcase? If you liked it and would like to build more according to the Montessori learning method, check out this article on creating your very own Montessori tangram puzzle and toys. Or why not check out our fun articles for children?

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden and project needs.