How to make a shoebox barbecue

For the past six months a corner of our house has been occupied by a junk avalanche. A teetering pile of shoeboxes, toilet rolls and packaging of all shapes and sizes.
I was running out of patience with my eldest son’s determination to complete a new project after school every night, so I put out a plea for advice on a Facebook group of supportive local mums. I was overwhelmed by the encouraging response, with many suggesting I start a blog.
So, instead of reducing the craft in our life a little, I have taken them at their word… I see it as a way of recording Eddie’s creativity and, who knows, perhaps other children might have a go at making one of Eddie’s inventions.

Toy barbecue made from shoe box
Toy barbecue made from shoebox

Eddie came up with the idea and design for this toy barbecue. Having watched Daddy cremate sausages on the barbecue all summer, Eddie wanted to create his own. It had to fit into his school book bag, have rotating knobs, a lid that opened and shut, a removable grill, and tongs.

What you need

  • Child’s shoebox (ideally with attached lid)
  • A lid from another small shoebox (grill)
  • Two lollipop sticks (tongs)
  • Foam (for buttons and end of tongs)
  • Paint, glitter, sequins, felt-tip pens (fire and charcoal)
  • Corrugated cardboard (“griddled” food)
  • Paper fasteners (rotating knobs)

How to make it

1. Decorate the bottom of shoebox with red paint, sequins and glitter to create flames and draw lumps of charcoal with a black felt-tip pen.
2. Make the grill by cutting strips into the lid of another small shoebox (I used a craft knife). You may need to alter the size of the lid so that it fits snugly into the top of shoebox. Paint the grill black.
3. To make rotating knobs, glue foam onto cardboard, cut out three circles and fasten to the shoebox with paper fasteners, which allow the buttons to turn.
4. Make tongs by gluing a small strip of foam between tongs and then fixing them together using another strip.
5. Draw food shapes onto corrugated cardboard and then cut out and paint.

Decorate bottom of shoebox to create fire and charcoal
1. Decorate bottom of shoebox to create fire and charcoal
2. Grill made from shoebox lid
4. Tong made from lollipop sticks fixed together with strips of foam

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