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One of the problems with a kit-of-parts approach is that you need, well, the kit … of parts. But what if you started from another angle and treated everyday scraps as raw materials? Then you might arrive at this ingenious idea: create the connectors and let the world around provide the rest of your material palette.

MakeDo is a neat product that enables the do-it-yourself process with a set of items to help parse apart and reassemble everything from cardboard to plastic and fabric.

Though it clearly has child-friendly appeal, calling it a kid’s toy would not do justice to this clever system – these would be equally fun to set loose in an otherwise boring lobby, waiting room or creative corporate office.

The three basic modular elements are a connector, a hinge and construction tool. The first is a simple pin-and-clip system for fastening things together. The second is a flexible joint that can either pivot or hold corner pieces in place. The third allows for easy and safe cutting and punching of materials.

Bubble wrap, cardboard tubes, coffee cups, egg cartons, shipping boxes and other everyday objects suddenly take on a new set of possibilities – from playful to profound. In a way, it is a return to crafting from ordinary household items, but taken to a new level.

The results are drastically varied, from small-scale toys to whole forts and play houses with a lot of possibilities in between. Simple and sustainable, the component pieces are small compared to the recycled cardboard monsters and structures one could create from them.