I don’t know about you but my kids love cartoon characters. These weird little creatures draw them in and let them explore where all things are possible. Now I’m not a big fan of using a TV as a babysitter for my kids when they’re bored. Don’t get me wrong I’m not anti-TV, I just don’t think it’s the best thing to fill up those “MooooooooMMM, I’m bored” moments. Kids should be outside, exploring and living in their imaginative worlds, not those created by others. To encourage them we got our kids to help make a little cartoon village out of pallet scraps and recycled stuff.

Turn scrap wood and recycled sandwich containers into a cute cartoon village for the kids.

You can use whatever you have lying around to make the village. A empty milk carton or cardboard boxes are all good starting points. I bet your kids will come up with a whole bunch of ideas. And if you don’t have kids or they’re all grown up you make a fairy version to use in pot plants and kokedamas. I even made a few more for our holiday home.

Turn scrap wood and recycled sandwich containers into a cute cartoon village for the kids.

So, if you’re looking for a easy recycled craft idea to make playtime fun, then we’ve got you covered. But, before we get there, please do me a favor and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What we used

We love recycling and used the following to make this cartoon village:

  • Pallet off cuts
  • A wedgie sandwich holder
  • Pen and paper
  • Paint
  • Artist Fixative (optional)
  • Outdoor Mod Podge
  • Matt Transfer Meduim
  • Bowl of water

Empty sandwich wedge packaging and pallet bits make a beautiful cartoon village

How to make a cartoon village

This is a quick project  Any scrap bits and pieces you have lying around will work, as long as you have a stable base. I used pallet off cuts with flat bottoms. You don’t want the village falling over. Place the pallet off cuts on a piece of paper and trace around the edges . We’ll use the outlines to plan the cartoon village.

Trace the outline of the bits of pallets

Give the pallets a good scrub with a hard bristle brush and paint them in a color of your choice. You can use craft paint or spray paint for this step.

Lightly spray paint the pallets for the cartoon village

Making a sandwich wedge roof

Cut the sandwich wedge container and lightly sand the top.

Cut the plastic sandwich container and sand lightly

Paint the plastic wedge in a color of your choice.

Spray the sandwich container for the cartoon village

Drawing the village

While you wait for everything to dry, grab some paper and let the kids doodle some cartoon doors, windows, cats, dogs, or whatever the kids feel should be added to their village.

Oodles of doodles of the cartoon village

Using the pallet outlines as a guide play around and do a “mock up” what each little house in the village will look like.

The cartoon village mock up

When you’re happy with the mock ups, redraw the real thing onto the pallet outlines.  I was a little worried that the ball point pen I used would smudge so used artist’s fixative to stop the ink from running.

Transfer the cartoon village image and seal with artist fixative

Transferring the images to the pallets

Cut the images out and apply a few coats of matt transfer medium over the top of the drawings.

Cut out and apply transfer glaze to the cartoon village

Once the transfer medium dries, dunk the drawing in a bowl of water. Use your finger to rub the paper off. The ink drawing should stay behind and the more paper you rub off, the more of the wood grain will show through adding  a whole bunch of character.

Soak the picture and rub off the paper

Since the kids will be playing outside with the cartoon village, I used outdoor Mod Podge to glue and seal the pictures onto the pallet scraps.

Use Outdoor Mod Podge to stick the cartoon village to the pallets

Glue the recycled sandwich wedge onto one of the pallets for a roof.

Turn scrap wood and recycled sandwich containers into a cute cartoon village for the kids.

And added an wire antenna to the tallest block of wood. Guess there’s some kids living in that apartment that need a TV!!

Turn scrap wood and recycled sandwich containers into a cute cartoon village for the kids.

And that’s it. A easy way to recycle what you have at home to make something fun.

Turn scrap wood and recycled sandwich containers into a cute cartoon village for the kids.

Oh nooooo, we’re being attacked by dinosaurs. Heeelllp!!!!! We had such a laugh while playing. Zia, our Alsatian x Husky, completely freaked out when she saw the T-Rex. She didn’t know whether to run a mile or do her guard dog duty and protect the kids from the village monster.

If you like the idea of making a cartoon village for the kids, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Turn scrap wood and recycled sandwich containers into a cute cartoon village for the kids.

Sharing is caring.

Turn scrap wood and recycled sandwich containers into a cute cartoon village for the kids.

Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you.

Amazon Basics Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper, 8.5' x 11', 20 lb, 1 Ream, 500 Sheets, 92 Bright, White
Liquitex Professional Matte Medium, 237ml (8-oz)
Sale Zebra Pen Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, 1.0mm, Black Ink, 24 Pack (Packaging may vary)

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, perhaps these beauties will appeal.

Easy Playhouse Cardboard Dinosaur House - Kids Art & Craft for Indoor & Outdoor Fun, Color Dino Species, 32inchesX26.5inchesX40.5inches
Adventure Awaits! Kids Cardboard Circus Playhouse - Color, Draw, and Customize - Great for Playtime and Arts-and-Crafts Time
Easy Playhouse Barn - Kids Art & Craft for Indoor & Outdoor Fun, Color Favorite Farm Animals – Decorate & Personalize The Cardboard Fort, 32' X 26. 5' X 40. 5' - Made in USA, Age 3+

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with laughter and love. Thank you for popping in for a visit and let me know in the comments what you do with the kids to keep them busy in the holidays.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix