As a teacher, I always looked for ways to stretch my budget. Cardboard is not only inexpensive but also Earth-friendly media. Every recycling day, as I drive down my street, I see all these great cardboard boxes, and my creative energy kicks in: “What can I do with this cardboard?” I ask myself. Cardboard is flexible, strong, and adaptable, in addition to being cost-effective and eco-conscious. As we celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22, it seemed the perfect time to celebrate this media with an article on how art teachers use cardboard in their art projects.

1. Portraits of Character
Art teacher Kathy Ayers created this portrait lesson. Students select a person they admire to create a portrait on cardboard. This lesson requires students to plan areas where cardboard will be peeled off to create a texture.

2. Haunted Houses
Ëmįłý Jane created haunted houses with her students while remote teaching

3. Charcoal Cardboard Self-Portraits
Check out Davis Art’s Charcoal Cardboard Self-Portrait Lesson HERE.

4. Cardboard Relief of Animals
Middle School Art teacher, Kelly Morin’s students, created these painted cardboard reliefs of animals in their environment.

5. Cardboard Wearable
Check out this lesson by Ellen Mueller. It’s for a college class, but I think it could be retooled for high school.

6. Nature Themed Collagraph
You can find this lesson right here on My Art Lesson. Art teacher Su O’Grady contributed this lesson.

7. Michael Murphy Inspired 3D Portraits
This is another lesson you can find right here on My Art Lesson. Art teacher Nicole Diem contributed this lesson. Michael Murphy’s example is below.

8. Kimmy Cantrell-inspired Cardboard Reliefs

Middle School Art teacher Judy Klima created this cardboard lesson based on Kimmy Cantrell.

9. Warving with Cardboard Looms
High School art teacher Lauren Ruhlin does a cardboard loom weaving project. She recommends the Spruce and Linen YouTube channel for students to learn different weaving techniques.