Wednesday, February 24, 2021

DIY Cardboard Number 1 for first birthday

 Want to make your own keepsake of DIY cardboard number 1 using shipping boxes? Let me help you. These cardboard numbers retails for $10- $15 and I will show you how you can easily make it with shipping boxes which is absolutely free of cost. All you need is some time and basic tools which you might already have. 

Materials Used:
A cardboard shipping box
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Utility knife or craft knife
Ruler and pencil
Normal paper or construction paper
Mod podge or any glue
White paint or any acrylic paint of your choice(Optional)
Paintbrush (optional)
Stones for weight 

Step 1: Draw the number one using a ruler and a pencil on the cardboard box. I used one side of the box to draw one piece of number 1. Use a craft knife to cut the number 1. 

Total height- 18" 
Width - 3" 
Base - 9"

Step 2: Use the one you cut from the previous step as a template and trace it around to draw another one on the other side. Cut it using a craft knife. 

Get a good craft knife to make cutting easier:

Step 3: Cut a base piece measuring 9" width (to match the base of the number 1)and 2" height. Use hot glue and secure it at the bottom connecting both the number 1. 

Step 4: Cut three to four pieces of cardboard with 2" width and use hot glue it in between the two number 1 to maintain equal width all around. 

Step 5: Glue four to five stones to the base to add weight to the cardboard number so that it stands without wobbling. 

Step 6: Measure and cut cardboard pieces and glue them to close the gap. Maintain the 2" width for all the pieces, use a ruler to measure the height. The cardboard number one is done. You can use this DIY cardboard number 1 as it is if you are planning to cover any decorative paper. If you are planning to stick photos then continue to the next step. 


Step 7: If you don't want the cardboard corrugation on the sides to show through after sticking the photos, cover the sides using tape or just use a piece of paper and glue to cover the sides. I used 1" strips of construction paper and mod podge to cover the sides.

Step 8: Cover the number 1 with acrylic paint. Since I wanted some gaps between each photo, I chose white as the base color. Feel free to choose your desired color. It took 2 to 3 coats of paint to completely cover cardboard number 1. 

Step 9: Print, cut the photos using scissors, and glue the photos using mod podge on to the number 1. The photos used were 1" squares and 2" X 1" photos. I made this for my friend's son birthday and she used Canva to size the photos to print. You can design the photos in Canva like 1" ribbons so it is easy to stick on the cardboard number. Since she wanted photos on all sides. I glued them wherever possible ;) This is the first time I made this and absolutely love how it turned out. I have shared more details on how to resize pictures using Canva in the video below. 

I hope these tips will help you make your own cardboard number 1 using shipping boxes. Let me know in the comments what you think about this way of doing the DIY number for your first birthday. Share your picture if you happen to make one. I would love to see your creations. You can email me your pictures at or tag me in Instagram ( My handle is @Vikalpah).

Other DIYs using shipping/cardboard boxes, 


  1. Great blog and I read it completely . Thank you
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  2. That's a fantastic step-by-step guide for creating a personalized cardboard number one! Using shipping boxes and immaculate grid basic tools to craft something special is not just cost-effective but also adds a personal touch.

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