How to Build a Barn Out of a Shoebox

Things You'll Need

  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Red and white paint
  • Paint brushes

Building a shoe box barn is a fun craft project for children and parents to work on together, and the barn can be used over and over again as a toy. This simple and inexpensive creation can be decorated and painted in any style you like. You may use another shoe box or other household items to create fencing or animal shapes. In addition to being fun, making a shoebox barn also provides an opportunity to teach kids about farming and food.

Wedge one shoe box top inside another lengthwise, so that about 1 inch of each box top overlaps. They should form a right angle. Glue them together in this manner.

Turn the shoe box upside down, so the flat bottom is facing up. Glue the box tops on the edges of the flat bottom of the shoe box, lengthwise. The box and tops should now resemble a building with an open attic and roof.

Cut a double-door into one end of the box. Begin with a slit up the middle of the box end (between the two adjacent doors). Stop cutting about halfway up the box end, then cut 2 or 3 inches to each side, at right angles from the middle slit, to define the tops of the double doors. The cuts should make a "T" shape. Bend outwards to open the doors.

Lay down newspaper and paint the barn red. Let it dry.

Paint white trim around and crossing through the doors. Paint other details as desired, such as windows and animals.


  • Cut animal shapes from extra shoe boxes, then paint and prop them up. To prop them up, cut a small slit in the bottom of the animal shape and insert a half-circle of the same height into the slit.


About the Author

Darci Pauser began writing in 2001. Her work has been featured in publications such as the "UC Berkeley Undergraduate Journal," Indybay and the West Texas Weekly. Pauser holds a certificate in sustainable agriculture from California's Green String Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.