I really enjoyed making things out of cardboard as a kid and my daughter (10) loves physical construction as well. Some of the things I'd like to provide her tools for :

  • Easily cutting cardboard

  • Connecting Cardboard. I'm thinking maybe brads.

What would be a good selection of materials and tools to provide my daughter that would allow her to make cardboard-based construction projects safely? What level of supervision would be required given the materials recommended?

  • 1
    Those are called brads. :)
    – Aarthi
    Sep 20, 2011 at 14:01
  • I've edited the question a bit. Feel free to roll the edits back if you think the edits deviate from your intent.
    – user420
    Sep 20, 2011 at 14:11
  • 1
    Brads are particularly cool because then she can make joints that can move, like a waving arm or some such. I used to make hand fans out of cardstock and brads when I was younger. They wore out fast, though.
    – Aarthi
    Sep 20, 2011 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


[I'm reposting my answer from your cardboard-cutting question at DIY.SE here, since it was closed there as off-topic.]

When I was the age to be cutting holes in cardboard boxes for fun, the tool I had was a serrated knife — I think it was sold as a very cheap steak knife. The blade was, basically as dull as a letter opener (and somewhat flexible), but the serrations made it quite effective at cutting cardboard like a saw, either neatly or roughly depending on the force applied. It did have an end pointy enough to require some care, but that was never a problem that I recall. It also makes a great noise when cutting a large panel, especially the side of a box, as the cardboard vibrates.

I don't have any specific product recommendations as this was a few decades ago, but I do want to emphasize that this is a dull knife — the serrations do the work. I think this may be the principle used by "won't break skin" kids' woodworking tool sets, also, but I haven't ever tried one of those.

(This is for corrugated cardboard. On non-corrugated cardboard, the serrated knife will still work but the cut will have a thicker edge of torn-up fibers.)

As to fastening cardboard, I always used clear package-sealing tape. (It's much better looking, and less messy, than duct tape.) You can't peel it off to reuse the cardboard without possibly stripping off a layer from the cardboard, but you can cut the tape and leave it on, if you don't mind the looks.


Powered scissors work very well. My 10 year old daughter can use them independently.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .