How to Model the Emerald City From a Cardboard Box

Things You'll Need

  • Box in size you desire
  • Paper toweling cardboard tubes
  • Pale green wrapping or crafting paper
  • Green cardstock
  • Clear packing tape
  • Decorative chalk, pastel chalk or colored pencils
  • Rubber cement
  • Emerald green rhinestones
  • White tacky craft glue

2008 through 2009 marks 70 years since the premiere of the movie, "The Wizard of Oz." The characters and settings of this Frank L. Baum classic are familiar to generations of fans. You may need a replica of the Emerald City to be a backdrop for a memorabilia collection or a setting for paper dolls. You can make the Emerald City from a recyclable cardboard box and other supplies.

Set box on the work surface. Find a photo of the Emerald City on your home video, DVD cover or a book. The photo will be a guide to decorating the box.

Tape at least 8 cardboard toweling tubes to the sides of the box with packing tape. These are the turrets of the buildings. The turrets should be at varying heights. Photos of the Emerald City in Mr. Baum's book and the movie show dozens of turrets in the Emerald City area.

Place double stick tape on the cardboard and tubes. Cover the box and tubes with paper just as if you are wrapping a gift. Strip off the protective film from the double stick tape as you roll out the pale green wrapping paper. Wrap paper around the tubes and smooth it as you go. Cover the top of the box with a square of the green wrapping paper.

Cut out a one-inch round window from green paper. Measure and cut out a 5-inch by 4-inch rectangle for a doorway from light green cardstock. This is the doorway that Dorothy and her traveling companions knock on when they arrive at the city.

Adhere the window and doorway to the center of the front of the box with rubber cement . The round window is in the top of the doorway. The guard opens the window to speak with the travelers before he allows them in to the Emerald City.

Trace 8 or more circles on to the green cardstock or construction paper using a drinking glass as the template. Cut out the circles. Cut a pie wedge shape out of each circle. Pull the two sides of the wedge shape together forming a cone or dome shape. Tape to secure. Tape to the paper towel rolls. These are the turret roofs. Use pencils or chalk to color in lines of medium and dark greens on the surface of the entire box. The city has coloring like an emerald with facets of green hues.

Adhere emerald rhinestones to the buildings using white tacky glue to highlight the fact that this is the Emerald City. The fake emeralds can be placed randomly on the towers and building. This is to depict the sparkling that can be seen in Emerald City movie photos.

Place the Emerald City you have made on to a piece of yellow foam board or construction paper lined cardboard. Use a marker to sketch in the pattern of bricks. If desired add in low green bushes made from silk leaves and tiny red flowers to symbolize poppies in the fields on the outskirts of Emerald City.


  • This is Emerald City, a place of fantasy. Decorate it using your imagination.


  • Glossy paper will not work with chalk.