DIY: safari made out of a shoe box


Buying nothing new is not only about shopping. It is also about making use of what we have in our houses already. I had a shoe box and quite a bit of felt from my craft projects that I did as far back as two years ago. I decided to make something out of them. When I started I wasn’t sure what it will be… I thought that the fabric and scissors will lead me somewhere and I was right… it was quite a journey… a safari in fact.

First I ironed the felt that I wanted to use. Then I tightly covered the box with black felt and folded it diagonally to make nice and clean looking creases. I used big binder clips to help me with fabric adjustments. Once I knew how the fabric would cover the bottom part of the box I started unfolding bits of felt and gluing them back to the box with a double-sided adhesive tape. I glued the felt onto all the walls of the box and inside the box too.

I used green felt to cover the top of the box.  I glued the felt to its flat horizontal surface and its side walls using the double-sided adhesive tape again. Around 3 cm of felt was hanging down from the side walls of the cover. I cut out small triangles on this hanging fabric using the pinking shears. And this is when I decided that it’s going to be a safari box. I left the off-cuts to use them for the grass and foliage inside it.

I remembered about an elephant stencil that I had in one of my books ( Stencils by Lotta Jansdotter) and decided to use it on the box. I tried it first on paper but it didn’t work very well when I wanted to fill the cut out with paint so instead I decided to use yellow paint on its edges and make an imprint on the cover. I corrected the imprint on the cover when it was required. (If you would like to do it for yourself you can just cut an elephant, a heart or a flower out of paper and try to paint around the edges. It will give the same effect.)

Next, I cut out two leaves out of brown felt and glued them to the cover.

I flipped the box on its side, glued the remaining scraps of the green felt to the bottom of the box and onto its one side. Cut out a red circle and glued it to the back to make it look like the sun. I looked for some animals in my son’s toy collection and placed them in the scene. (These can be made of paper too. No need to buy special animals for it.) Placed the box cover on top and here it is… a lovely safari to play with. Perfect for a good pretend play with your child or between your children during a rainy or sunny afternoon. :)

All I used was:

iron, 1 shoe box, felt in 3 different colours, self-adhesive tape, yellow paint, an elephant stencil, large binder clips, pinking shears and small toy animals (nothing new was bought for this project)

Safari przybory

folding felt making a safari boxadding colour and elephantsleavessafarism3safari smgrass and leaves

Nothing New Challenge was started by Sash at Inked in Colour. Have you visited her blog recently? It’s the most amazing place online I’ve come across so far. Have a peek, it’s well worth it.

6 thoughts on “DIY: safari made out of a shoe box

  1. I love the photo,
    Very resourceful use of materials…The Elephant may be from a Devon craftsman – carved from lime-wood – as part of a Noah’s Arc set. Saw one of these at a Christmas Fair. He told me he produces five sets each year to help pay his water bills! ( In the South West water is charged at over £5 per cubic meter). I bet this must be the most expensive water in Europe..


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