Start with a Shape

A simple, satisfying, shelter-in-place project

The Essential Eight

by Brandy Agerbeck,

Craft therapy has been a lifesaver for me as I sheltered in place  Spring 2020. I wanted to share an ultra-simple project on a Zoom call that used materials anyone can get their hands on. 

Eons ago, I discovered Ernst Röttger's Creative Play series of book in the library stacks.

Click here to see Ernst Röttger's titles on World Cat and borrow a copy at your local library >>

I've collected copies for myself and turn to them for an instant creative boost.

I opened Creative Paper Craft and there was my project. I grabbed an empty pizza box from last night's dinner and a few other materials.

Here's what I used:

  • An empty food box
  • Neuland ink
  • Scissors 
  • An old brush
  • Aleene's Tacky Glue 
  • And a bowl for the ink

I loved using the discarded pizza boxes for this project, and brushing on Neuland ink to one one box in this high-contrast project. But's here the beauty of this project -- 

All you need is scissors, glue and two different colors of paper. And you are ready to roll. 

I'm a big fan of the graphic feel of the black and white (or off-white/kraft color). You do you. And make multiples to see what happens! 

Grab these materials and craft alongside me:


And if you just paused and thought, "38:40? I ain't got time for that," here's a shorter edit of the basic steps, no creative coaching in between. 


Heck, if just watching the demo gives you some relief in stressful times, great. But I do hope you will make one or two of these for yourself. 

It's simple and satisfying. And while we're surrounding by uncertainty, having a little bit of control over some cardboard, scissors and glue is a mighty fine thing. 

If you post your project online, tag it 


so we can see it! 

Stay home, stay healthy.



Visual thinking pioneer Brandy Agerbeck writes, speaks and teaches on the power of drawing as your best thinking tool. Learn more at

Please share Start with a Shape

Visual thinking for life.

Subscribe to Brandy's emails for daily doses of visual thinking to improve every corner of your life and work. 

Email policy | Terms + Privacy | © 1999-2023 Brandy Agerbeck,