Master Five requested to make a “cardboard puppy that stood up (by itself)”. Love it – a great idea and also a wonderful opportunity to employ our problem solving skills. We brainstormed several different ideas as to how we could achieve this. We then trialled some of the ideas and Master Five came up with a solution from the list that he thought would be the best idea. He chose the idea of using manilla folders to make this. At this point in time, the activity turned into making mythical creatures as well as the puppy.

Materials needed:

–  Manilla folders

– Paint, coloured pens, crayons, water colour pencils or whatever you prefer to colour with. (We used Fliptez shading powder)

– Embellishments – for example: pom poms, googly eyes, textured fabric, craft fuzz, coloured craft match sticks, coloured foam popsicle sticks, gems, sequins,


Draw an animal (side view) on a manilla folder. Ensure the top of the head and body are along the fold on the folder.

Picture 096 manilla folder creatures

Cut out along the outline of the animal – be sure to  leave the top of the head and/or  body in tact on the manilla folder.

Time to colour the animal. We used Fliptez shading powder (for the first time) and my children, including Miss Three loved this. It is a fun and easy product to use (and clean up).

Picture 098 Flip Tip Zip colours

To use these shading powders, it’s simply a matter of sprinkling a little powder (a little really does go a long way) and then using a paintbrush dipped into water to spread the powder.

Picture 109 painting manilla folder creatures

Alternatively, you can can avoid using the water altogether and use the applicators provided to spread the colour.

Picture 118 painting manilla folder creatures

Once  the creatures are painted it is time add features to the animals.

The completed free standing creatures:


Picture 126 manilla folder creature with pom pom head

Horse-a-saurus who is “as friendly as can be” according to Miss Seven:

Picture 121 Manilla folder creature with red tail

Flossy with a golden magical mane:

Picture 122 Manilla folder creature with golden mane

and last but not least, the inspiration for this creative experience, Bobsy the puppy.

Picture 129 Manilla folder puppy

Now these creatures need somewhere to play. Watch this space for their play land.