Matt and His Cardboard Box Barn


This image popped up on my Facebook feed today. I had posted it 13 years ago))) Matt was only three and will be 16 next week! But I’m sharing the old post because it brings to mind some of the perks you enjoy when you run your own business. Whether your business is small or large, most of the time you have the freedom to take a few hours off if you want. We did this project in the early years when the Trendy Tree shop was adjacent to our home.

Matt’s Barn

A cardboard box barn is just one of the things you can make from big boxes, a few supplies, and a little imagination!

Those days of doing fun things like making a cardboard box barn are behind us now but we sure had a lot of fun)) Indulge me while I show you a few pics of some fun times with our grandchildren.

cardboard box barn on the back porch
Grandson Matt

Our grandkids have grown up and we are left with the memories of those fun times. I’m so glad I always had a camera handy to save snapshots from some of the projects we did with the kids.


This post isn’t really to tell you how to make your cardboard box barn, but rather to encourage you to make memories with your grandchildren.

Involve the Older Children

Matt was really too young to help out much on the creation of the cardboard box barn, but AJ and Maggie were big enough to help.

They took turns at spray painting, all the while making it perfectly clear that they were too “big” to play with the barn, but they would help make it.

spray painting cardboard box barn

Building the Barn

We found two large boxes at the shop and cut one up to make a roof. The Old World Christmas ornaments always came in huge boxes and were perfect for making a cardboard box barn. We cut front doors into the base box and windows at the top and sides.

cut windows in the cardboard box barn
Matt and His Horse

The kids sprayed the bottom part with red paint and the roof with black paint. I used white duct tape to make a frame-like look around the doors and the windows.

We made pull handles for the front door out of jute roping and reinforced them with tape here and there.

For the most part, the cardboard box barn found a home on the back porch. It was safe there, out of the weather and it was easy for us to sit on the porch to keep an eye on Matt.

matt petting his horse in the cardboard box barn
Proper attire – cowboy boots go with anything. Take time out to feed your faithful steed.
kids playing in the cardboard box barn
Oh, and scratch that about the other kids being too big to play with the cardboard box barn.

Cowboy Phase

I think all kids go through that “wanting to be a cowboy” phase. So indulge them when you can!

on the bus at the buffalo park, thinking about making a cardboard box barn!
Riding the bus around the Buffalo Park in Tupelo, MS – Home of the pony rides!
riding ponies at the buffalo park
Ride real ponies at the Buffalo Park.

Better yet, visit a great uncle who is an old cowboy who can fix you up on a real horse….now that’s being a cowboy)

matt on wayne's horse scooter
Riding Uncle Wayne’s Horse

And when all else fails…..

maggie leading matt on his stick horse
Get your sister to lead you around on your stick horse!
matt blowing bubbles on the back porch, horse in the cardboard box barn
Take a break from your cowboy duties and blow some bubbles.
riding the mechanical horse on the back porch
Take a free ride on a mechanical horse!

Yep, that’s right. It’s a mechanical horse that you could take a ride on for 10 cents in the 1950’s. It still works! We drove all the way to Dallas and back to bring that horse home so it could sit on the back porch for the kids to ride.

I’ll have to say once the grandkids had all grown up and we downsized and moved from our house in the country….I still hated to let that horse go! It still had the original saddle and had been repainted when we got it, but you could still see the old palomino color underneath the wear and tear.

Well, I’ve rambled on a bit from the original reason for this post – making a cardboard box barn. But my point is, spend as much time with your grandchildren as you can. Make memories, take pictures, and let them eat cake! I’m sure that not all the time they spent with us was all fun and games, but there was a lot of it)))

Have fun!

Vintage Valentines

The Masked Helper

My Craft Table

Hunting Easter Eggs

Homemade Whipped Cream


  1. Jeannie…totally enjoyed your post about Matt and His Cardboard Box Barn!! I am so thankful to subscribe to someone’s blog, that is the kind of person that would do these awesome things with/for their grandchildren!! The red cardboard box barn, the mechanical horse, the priceless photos, all of it…just wonderful!!

    1. Thank you Bonnie for the kind words))) Our grandchildren are all grown now and I miss those fun projects))) Not trying to hurry things up or anything, but looking forward to the day that we might have some great grands)).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *