Kyle Makes A Cardboard Apartment Building (Complete With Dumpster!)

For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to experiment with making model buildings out of cardboard. I love the textures (brick, stone, concrete) that you can make by varying the shapes, and I wanted to try putting a bunch of them together to create one building. So the other day, I decided to put together a little three-story walkup apartment building.

I started with the basic shape, which for some reason I made triangular instead of square. This mostly had to do with the piece of cardboard I started out with, but then I liked the quirky shape so I just went with it.

From the picture you probably can’t tell it’s triangular, but trust me. The side walls come to a point in the back.


Once I had the basic elements in place (windows, stairs, door, etc.) I started adding bricks.


Next I decided to bring the building up to code with a fire escape and a dumpster. I even filled the dumpster with actual trash, which consisted of cardboard scraps I had accumulated during the project.


Finally, at the last minute, I decided to turn the whole thing into a lamp. I cut out all the windows and door panels, added some opaque plastic sheeting to diffuse the light, and threw in a low-temperature LED light strip. I’ve got to admit, it looks really cool lit up in the dark. Check it out!

A video posted by Kyle Scheele (@kylescheele) on

Altogether the project took me a few days, but I wasn’t really working on it full-time or anything. It was a really fun project, and I hope to do more buildings in the future.

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