Creative Mom Makes Household Items Out of Cardboard for Her Kids to Learn How to Use Them

Cardboard Artist Sydney Piercey with children

One London-based mom has answered the call of sustainability in an innovative and fun way. Sydney Piercey recycles and repurposes her excess cardboard into delightful replicas of everyday items for her children to enjoy. Starting as a few projects (a quarantine hobby) for the amusement of kids in her neighborhood, it soon shifted as Piercey’s young daughter drew interest in the creations as well. Piercey’ love of creativity and engineering kicked in further as she started brainstorming different types of items to construct and materials to use.

“We buy dog food, beer, baby wipes and the like in bulk, and these boxes turned inside out become perfect for creating appliances out of,” Piercey tells My Modern Met. The pieces not only afford her with ample opportunities to continue in a day to day practice of sustainability—something that she’s committed to—but also adds an entertaining spin on early childhood education.

Piercey's charming detail-oriented designs are based on actual items in her home—including a toaster, an iron, a dishwasher, a washing machine, and a record player. The items are equipped with lovely details like rotating knobs, pull-out drawers, storage nooks, and sliding features. “I use recyclable tape to secure everything together,” Piercey explains, “and cardboard scraps or empty loo roll tubes to create inner mechanisms so as the creations ‘work’ too.”

The projects not only serve as an alluring creative challenge for Piercey but also assists in teaching her eldest child how to use certain items safely and correctly. Much to Piercey’s delight, the replicas also allow her child to mimic her actions in real-time, gaining those valuable life skills. “It brings me great joy to produce them, not just because my daughter so enjoys playing and learning with my creations, but also for the satisfaction and sense of achievement it gives me. The feeling of giving your child a toy that they absolutely love, or have wanted for such a long time, is doubled with the achievement of having made it for her myself.”

Piercey’s work illustrates and emphasizes the value of using items (that otherwise would just go to a recycling bin) as useful tools in environmental consciousness and parenting.

Cardboard artist and mom Sydney Piercey creates delightful replicas of real-life items for her young children to play with.

Cardboard artist Sydney Piercey spy kit

Each of Piercey's pieces has details like buttons and symbols to help her children become familiar with real-life appliances and objects.

Cardboard Artist Sydney Piercey Baby Macbook

Piercey's crafts inspire new ways to be creative while practicing sustainability.

Cardboard Artist Sydney Piercey Baby Mac book

Here are more examples of her projects below:

A Camera…

Cardboard Artist Sydney Piercey camera

A toaster…

Cardboard artist Sydney Piercey toaster

A record player…

Cardboard Artist Sydney Piercey record player

An iron…

Cardboard Artist Sydney Piercey Iron

A washing machine…

Cardboard artist Sydney Piercey washing machine

…and a (fully loaded) dishwasher!

Cardboard artist Sydney Piercey child Dishwasher

Sydney Piercey: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Sydney Piercey.

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Sonya Harris

Sonya Harris is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a multi-platform artist and storyteller based in Seattle, Washington. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and has worked in Audio Production for Seattle NPR station KUOW. With a passion for storytelling in podcasting, Sonya is also an avid lover of tea, watercolors, photography, and film. She considers herself a voracious learner and seeker of the peculiar, whimsical, and inspiring.
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