Eames-inspired House of Cards

Charles and Ray Eames designed their House of Cards in 1952 to celebrate “familiar and nostalgic objects from the animal, mineral and vegetable kingdoms.” We decided to make our own version, with some help from Todd Oldham’s Kid Made Modern, my favorite kids craft book (see previous crafts from the book here and here).


  • Cardboard
  • Ruler + pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint, stickers, paper, etc. for decorating

The version in Kid Made Modern is to build a Fort of Cards out of 18″ square pieces of cardboard. I decided to scale the project down to 6″ square cards (though I love a good fort!).

What you need to know is below – it’s very simple:

1. Cut out cardboard squares, all the same size. You can use old boxes, but for a couple of bucks, I bought one of those big pieces of cardboard you use for school presentations. I used a rotary cutter and a cutting mat to make the cutting easy.

2. Measure and make a mark in the middle of each side of your square; at the mark, draw a line about an inch long in toward the middle of the square. Use scissors to make notches along these lines on all four sides of the square.

You can do this for one square and then use it as a template for all the others, rather than measuring every square.

3. Decorate your squares with whatever supplies sound fun and look pretty. We used paint, stickers, glitter, markers and an old Snow & Graham desk calendar (I knew I’d find a use for it!).

(Incidentally, you can do steps 2 and 3 in reverse order, if you want to decorate first, then cut notches later).

4. Build to your heart’s content.

If you want to interpret Eames’ House of Cards a little more closely, you could take photos of everyday objects around your house and yard, and mount them on cardboard. Or you could cut photos from magazines and decoupage them onto cardboard.

If I were going to make these again, I think I would cut the cards to resemble the Eames’ design, including the 6 notches, which offer more interesting building possibilities.

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9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by joyababy, Molly de Aguiar. Molly de Aguiar said: An easy, creative Eames-inspired House of Cards craft for your kids: http://bit.ly/aSZpul […]

  2. 2

    Two Cherries said,

    This is so incredibly awesome! I have Kid Made Modern and have been wanting to do this project. The scaling down idea is so doable and amazing I am going to start with this first. Thank you for sharing!!! Awesome.

  3. 3

    This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing–I’m inspired to give it a try.

  4. 4

    […] are here (Marimekko inspired scarves), here (Alexander Girard inspired wooden spoon puppets) and here (Eames inspired house of […]

  5. 5

    Brenda said,

    Great idea to scale it down .

  6. 6

    Hi Charlotte, thank you so much for this beautiful post, it was such a great inspiration for me. We have made our house or it’s better saying castle, farm, and a lot of other thing. My four years old boy loves it.
    I’ve also posted it on my blog, is in italian but if you want you can use the translator on the right column.
    C’era una volta…le carte di Eames
    Obviously I’ve linked your post.
    So, thanks again!

    • 7

      Molly said,

      Daniela –
      Thank you for your kind words. I love how your project turned out! Using the rectangular shape and the additional slots, like the original Eames house of cards, is definitely the way to go!

  7. 8

    […] Kvadratna, inspirisana radom Charles-a i Ray-a Eames, sa bloga Charlote fancy. […]

  8. 9

    […] linki: źródła zdjęć: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,   oficjalna strona Eames , tutoriale DIY z kart, […]

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