World Class Builders Make Tiny Cardboard Houses Using A Simple System

What do you think of when someone says “cardboard”? Most of us think of a box or container of some sort.

And what if someone told you that they could build you a house out of cardboard and that it could last for 100 years?


Well… a company in Amsterdam has done just that. Based on an invention by René Snel they have created a house made from 24 layers of high-strength corrugated cardboard panels which have been pressed together with a nontoxic glue which is then wrapped around a mold.

Hence the name Wikkelhouse, which means “wrapped house” in Dutch.

cardboardRolls of Cardboard

house moldMold and machine for wrapping cardboard

Friction Factory came up with this ingenious design that produces a lightweight, easily movable, fully recyclable, micro home.

It is made of modules with each module being 1.2 m (4 ft) wide and weighing only 500 kg (1102 lbs).

The modules or segments slide into one another to form a structure that is as long as you want it to be.


Because the structure is made of many layers of cardboard, there is no need to insulate it as the cardboard itself acts as insulation. It does this by trapping air in hundreds of small channels where the air stands still. This stationary air is one of the best insulators.

Heavy-duty corrugated cardboard, with its multiple layers, provides even more insulation than regular cardboard. Double-layer cardboard is made up of three heavy, puncture-resistant layers of paper with two fluted layers sandwiched between them, and triple-layer cardboard consists of four heavy layers of paper with three fluted layers in between. The added layers of paper provide more wood fibers and more pockets of air, resulting in better insulation. The heavier the cardboard, the better its insulation qualities.
Source eHow

Once the microhouse has been dried it is then covered in a layer of what is called a breathing raincoat. The house can breathe but the rain won’t get in.


After the raincoat is applied, exterior wood panels cover the unit to protect it from UV rays and the elements.

The sections are held together with long rods with extensions that go right through the modules, tieing everything together.

Each of the segments is finished inside with wood panels to form a seamless look throughout.

You can also get modules for specific spaces, like washroom, kitchen, bedroom etc…




Each individual segment costs approx $4,500 USD so just times that by the number of segments you wish to get the total cost of the house. At this point in time, they are not that cost effective, but the company is working to be able to bring them to the main street market.

Here are some design elements of the home.

living spaceDining Room

dining roomKitchen / seating area

Wikkelhouse Looking inside

viewLooking out the window and door to a great view

To get a better understanding of what a Wikkelhouse really is here is a video on how it is made (with subtitles).

Want to know how a Wikkelhouse is installed on a site? Watch this video.

Picture source: Wikkelhouse