Easy, Cheap, DIY Padded Play Cube

When Lowell, my 10 month old, started pulling up a couple months ago, I realized we didn’t have many toys that he could safely push around on our hardwoods without falling and busting his face on them. I searched for a while, but didn’t want to spend money on another piece of baby crapola to fill this house.

Then the solution came to me a few weeks ago as I was putting away groceries. Lowell was keeping himself happy on the floor, banging on, pulling up to stand, and then pushing around a brand new box of diapers.


So I saved that box, and last weekend I turned it into a reinforced, weighted, padded, water & baby slobber resistant cube that looks a lot cuter than a box of diapers.


It was a super fast project and very easy. You just need to be able to operate a hot glue gun, a staple gun (optional), and scissors.

Here’s what you need:


One box (I used a cube shaped diaper box, but you can use anything that’s the right size for you and sturdy.)
Bags of rice (I used 2 2 lb bags, but I actually wish I would have just gone with one 10 lb bag since I wish the box was weighted a bit more.)
A yard of laminated cotton or oil cloth (This kind of fabric has a coating on it that makes it water resistant.)
A bunch of old plastic bags
A roll of cotton batting
1/2 yard of felt
duct tape

Hot glue gun/glue sticks
Staple gun/staples (optional, but I highly recommend it)


First, if there is a side of the box you want to be the top, tape it up and place it that side down. Then stuff as many plastic bags as you can in it. Top the bags with your bags of rice. You can also add another layer of plastic bags on top of the rice if you have enough.


Tape up your box with duct tape, making sure all seams are sealed.


Cut out 3 layers of cotton batting. 2 layers should be about 1-2 inches bigger on each side than the surface of the top of your box. The last layer should be about 3-4 inches bigger on each side. I did this by simply laying my box on top of the cotton and cutting around it.


Use your hot glue gun to glue each layer to the top of your box, starting with the 2 smaller layers, then stretching the top layer over those. Trim the excess from each corner.


Lay your box, batting side down, onto your oil cloth, which will be pattern side down. Wrap it around your box, securing with duct tape. Wrap the sides like you’re wrapping a present, cutting excess where needed. I also used one staple to secure each side. Then I reinforced the bottom with staples. You don’t have to use a staple gun if you don’t have one. Just be sure to secure it really well with tape.


Cut felt about 1/4 inch smaller on all sides than the bottom of your box. I did two layers. The first, I stapled all the way around. Then I hot glued a second layer so the staples won’t scratch our floors. It also looks more finished this way.


And that it’s! Plop on the floor and let baby go to town. If you’ve covered all exposed spots of the box with either laminated fabric or duct tape, it should be pretty water resistant.

I mentioned earlier I wish I’d weighted it more. It’s great for him to push around, but if it was a little heavier, it would be easier for him to pull up on. But if you’re going to use it as a stool, or something you move often, 4 lbs of rice should be fine.


I think this would make a fun baby shower gift! Take the diapers out of the box, gift them to the parents in a canvas storage box, and then make one of these with the empty box. It happens to be the perfect height to use as a nursing stool, too.


Time for some baby lunges.


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