6 Steps to Build Awesome Cardboard Washing Machines for Kids!

Are your kids always insisting on helping you out with doing the laundry? Let them – by making them a cardboard washing machine!

OK, it might not actually clean some dirty clothes, but it will definitely keep the kids busy while you are busy doing the actual laundry!

Cardboard Washing Machine for Kids

You’ll love this as it’s so easy to make and it practically won’t cost you anything but a bit of time. You can make a very simple version of it, but we’re quite confident you’re going to enjoy making it as detailed as possible! To make their playset even more realistic, you can give them additional accessories like an empty detergent bottle and an extra small plastic basket for carrying the clothes.

The benefit of building your own DIY washing machine playset is that it’s not just easy and cheap, but it’s also one that your little helper would surely love to have! Money’s no object as you can choose to give your kid the washing machine model that you want!

Building this playset can be a great bonding time with you and your kids. You can teach them how to do it, and they will be your small assistants. This will help them learn new things, boost their creativity, DIY skills, knowledge and confidence.

Get some inspiration from our album below. :)

Cardboard Washing Machine
Cardboard Washing Machine

Do you need an extra washing machine at home for the kids?

You’ll be needing the following tools and materials to build your DIY cardboard washing machine.


  • Used Cardboard Box
  • Duct Tape
  • Electrical Tape
  • Kraft Paper
  • Round Laundry Basket
  • Round Objects (such as bottle caps; to serve as control switches)


  • Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Glue Gun

Cardboard Washing Machine for Kids

How to build a DIY cardboard washing machine

1. Disassemble the box

If your cardboard is still assembled as a box. You may want to disassemble this, to make it easier for you to design the front or top panel and cut a circle on it. Whatever size you want, as long as you enjoy building it and surely your kids will enjoy to help!

2. Design the front panel

Using the recycled cardboard box, draw the design you desire. First, you can draw a big circle for its door. You can use your laundry basket as a pattern. Then, draw some small circles for the buttons. You can add some, numbers and other features. Then colour them according to what design you want. You can even paint it. Anything creative.

3. Make a door

Since the pattern for the door has been drafted. It’s time to cut the circle. You can choose to have the washing door on the front or at the top. Attach a small and light door handle. Then, re-attach the door using a hinge.

4. Assemble the body

After finishing your design with the door. You can now assemble the box to make the body of the washing machine.

5. Add a laundry basket

before enclosing your box, don’t forget to add your laundry basket. This will serve as the washing basket.

6. Check the sides

Make sure the sides are fully attached. You can use a glue gun and support with a duck to maintain the shape.

Finally, your kids can now enjoy using it. Enjoy!

Cute cardboard washing machine ideas for kids

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. ?

Thanks to Nancy Clark for this great project. You can get step-by-step instructions here

If you liked this project, you might also like to view DIY Cardboard Bonsai Tree…



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