Genius! The $0 Sled You Can Build in 10 Minutes

Celebrate snow days in style with this free, compact, and reusable sled.

By Rachel Elmkies | Updated Nov 18, 2016 3:34 PM

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For kids, nothing beats the thrill of the first snowy day of the season. While they get busy building a snowman, you can whip up a DIY sled fast out of nothing more than the remnants of holiday shopping and a roll of duct tape. It’s no saucer sled from the Griswold family vacation, but, if you have a sloping backyard or a hilly park nearby, it’ll keep them busy for hours—while you get some well-deserved rest and relaxation inside.

After a move from southern California to Seattle, the crafty mom behind Artzy Creations didn’t have much in the way of winter gear. Storebought sleds and toboggans get the job done, but they also hog valuable real estate in the garage during spring, summer, and fall. So DIYer Melanie Artz decided to design sleds for her two little ones based on what she had available aplenty: cardboard boxes leftover from her move. It turns out that a box that measures at least 16 inches long creates a pretty perfect kid-size seat when opened up.

So she folded each flattened box in half to make a toy sturdy enough for use in the snow, then taped along the sides. A scissors-cut hole at one end of the sled offers a handle for riders to hold on the way down the hill and carry the creation back to the top again. Most importantly, though, Melanie wrapped more tape around the entire body of the sled to keep the cardboard structure from getting soaked and soggy after hours of play in the wet snow. Her tip for those kids with a need for speed: Stick the tape on lengthwise, from front to back rather than side to side, to reduce friction encountered while sliding downhill. A nice bonus? The racing stripe design really transforms this simple sled into a speedy thrill ride.

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