How to Build a TV Set Prop From a Large Cardboard Box

Things You\’ll Need

  • Aluminum foil

  • Photo of a scene from a television show in black-and-white or color

  • Black paint, extra glossy

  • Paintbrush

  • Tape

  • Glue

  • Clear plastic

  • Razor knife

... Create an old-style television with antennae or a more modern flat-screen TV.

Televisions are common objects in most households; create a TV prop using a cardboard box to use for theater productions to complete the look of the set. The prop can be large or small, square or flat-screen. Arrange chairs and a coffee table near the TV to make the scene more realistic.

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Step 1

Tuck in any loose flaps and tape the box closed.

Step 2

Paint the box black; cover it with two coats if necessary. Choose glossy paint to make the box shiny and look more like a television.

Step 3

Enlarge a still shot of a scene from a television show; make it as big as you want the TV screen to be. Find a screen shot online by searching for "screen shot" or "still shot" plus the name of the television show. Print the image and enlarge it on a copy machine, changing the size to fit your prop TV. Glue the picture to the center of the box.

Step 4

Roll narrow strips of aluminum foil into long, thin antennae if you're making an old-fashioned TV. Glue them to the back of the box so they stick up like rabbit ears.

Step 5

Cut a piece of clear plastic with the razor knife to cover the front of the television. Glue it in place by adding a dot of glue under each corner. Press it against the television over the top of the enlarged photo to make it look like a glass TV screen.


Choose a box shape that closely resembles the size and shape of the television you want to create; use a shallow, rectangular box to resemble a flat-screen TV or a square box to resemble an older-style television.

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