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How To Make Fun DIY Cardboard Penguin Christmas Decorations

DIY Christmas decorations recycling cardboard: With all the online Christmas shopping arriving at my house I have my very own cardboard mountain. Most of it I stick in the recycling, but I do keep some back for crafting. My popular fabric birdhouses are made with cardboard.

Every year, I love to repurpose some of that cardboard mountain into cardboard Christmas decorations.

Some of the cardboard Christmas decorations I have made include a wonderful gingerbread house garland that has a Scandinavian Christmas feel. I’ve even combined the cardboard packaging with stamps to make a rainbow of postage stamp ornaments.

Amazon Cardboard packaging

Fun DIY Christmas Decorations: Upcycled Penguins and Snowman

Wednesday night was craft night in my house and after a few sloe gins, my friend Wendy and I attacked my cardboard mountain. We made these fun repurposed cardboard Christmas decorations.

We made our very own penguin family and a snowman out of the cardboard. You may think that this would be a great craft for the kids to make in the holidays. I’m sure it is, but as 2 grown-ups, we really had fun making our own little penguin family. Plus it cost us almost nothing to make.

As more and more Amazon parcels keep arriving the cardboard mountain keeps on growing, so no doubt we will be making some more DIY Christmas decorations next week. We will just have to design another cardboard family to make.

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Upcycle all that Christmas packaging, by making your own DIY Christmas decorations.  You can make your own penguin family and snowman.

What you need to make your DIY Christmas decorations

  • Cardboard packaging – all ours were made out of Amazon packaging.
  • Scissors
  • Paper template – download penguin template here
  • Paint- I used leftover chalk paint from my Led deer I made last week. I also used some leftover white wall paint. For the grey, I just mixed the 2 paints.
Front penguin template
side penguin

How to make the DIY Christmas Decorations

1.. First, print out the penguin templates. One for the front view of the penguin and the other for the side view. Place the templates on to some of the cardboard packaging and draw round it.

Top tip: Enlarge or reduce the size of the template, depending on whether you are making a mummy, daddy, or baby penguin.

penguins on cardboard

2. Next, cut out your penguin shapes and cut the slits into the cardboard so the 2 pieces slot together. The slits will run from the top of the side facing penguin to the center, and from the bottom to the center on the front-facing penguin.

cardboard penguin cut outs

3. Then paint your cardboard penguins. I painted the adult penguins black and white and the baby penguin grey and white. Remember to paint the back of the Penguins a solid colour and the front tummies white. 

Just use a brush and any paint will do craft paint or chalk paint. The painting is so easy that the kids can get involved with it.

painted penguin templates

4. When the paint has dried, simply slot the two penguin pieces together to make a 3D cardboard Christmas decoration. If you want you can paint a yellow eye on the penguins. I decided to leave mine without for a more simple look.

Upcycle all that Christmas packaging, by making your own DIY Christmas decorations. You can make your own penguin family.
Upcycle all that Christmas packaging, by making your own DIY Christmas decorations.  You can make your own penguin family and snowman.

Other DIY Christmas Decorations

We had so much fun making the penguin family we decided to make them a snowman. I think next week we will attempt to make our penguin family an igloo.
These penguins would make a great decoration for any Christmas or New Year Party.

Make some fun DIY Christmas decorations with your cardboard boxes.

If you are any good with a jigsaw then these penguins would be fun to make with plywood for a more lasting Christmas decoration. However, that won’t help with your cardboard mountain.

We are very fond of penguins in our family, one of my sons could name all the species of penguins from the age of six. He is much older now but every Christmas he still writes a Christmas quiz for the family and every question has something to do with Penguins. It has become a bit of a family tradition.

By the way, there are some wonderful vintage penguin illustrations to download for free here.

repurposed Cardboard penguins

You can find a lot more wonderful cardboard Christmas crafts here.

Name*pat verbiest

Monday 15th of January 2018

Your comment* love it soo-o much. fantastical adorable. summer filled fun in the making!

Claire Armstrong

Monday 15th of January 2018

Thank you.


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

These are great, my kids would love them. I am surrounded by boxes as my Christmas packages arrive so this is a great way to use them.

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 6th of December 2017

Thank you, they are great fun to make with kids.

Sam - Raggedy Bits

Wednesday 6th of December 2017

Super cute idea Claire! These would be so fun to make with the kiddies too!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 6th of December 2017

Thank you Sam, the kids would have fun making a whole colony of penguins.


Monday 19th of December 2016

These are so cute and the possibilities are almost endless. You could have a whole menagerie and maybe a forest too! Thanks for sharing at #HandmadeMonday

Claire Armstrong

Monday 19th of December 2016

Thank you, I have a whole zoo planned.

Cecilia MyThriftStoreAddiction

Tuesday 13th of December 2016

Such a cute idea, Claire! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm! Blessings, Cecilia

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 13th of December 2016

Thank you so much !