As previously stated, our mission was to create a line of marine-themed costumes. The catch? Every costume had to be made out of cardboard, and we had to design it with slots that interlocked together because we couldn't use any adhesives (glue, tape, staples). Other specifications were that the costumes had to fit children the size of middle-schoolers, they had to be able to be used indoors and outdoors, the costumes had to be easy to assemble by an adult, and they had to be flat-pack and easy to store when you take the costume apart.
All these things definitely had to be considered, especially the no glue or tape rule. That was a major limitation, because not many of us had experience with making something with slotted construction before this project. The costumes also had to be easy to assemble, a flat-pack when disassembled, and can be used indoors, outdoors, and fit a child in middle-school.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Lists
ITEM MATERIAL DESCRIPTION QTY SIZE REMARKS - PART
S1 CARDBOARD three 3' x 2' Single ply sheets, has to be bendable. Will be used for the body, fins, and shoulder straps for Dory.
ITEM TOOL USE
T1 CUTTING MAT To place carboard on before being cut so floors aren't cut up
T2 UTILITY KNIFE To cut the carboard to the correct sizes and shapes
T3 RULER To measure the dimensions of the cardboard pieces
T4 PENCIL To mark the dimensions or outline the shapes of the pieces to be cut
T5 CIRCLE TEMPLATE To create circular shapes
T6 SHIP'S CURVE To create irregular and unique shapes
Step 2: How to Make Each Part: Dory's Body
1. Bend the ship's curve (T6) to make a quarter of an oval outline.
2. Outline the shape of the body using the ship's curve (T6) and a pencil (T4) on a 3' x 2' sheet of cardboard (S1). (The dimensions of the body will be 3' x 2' as shown in the image below.)
3. Use the utility knife (T2) to cut the outline of Dory's body (P1) on a cutting mat (T1). (Do steps 1-3 again to create a the second part of the body.)
4. Turn one of the two ovals horizontally, Make a mark 3" from the end of the body (P1). Draw a vertical line upward from the mark.
5. From the opposite end, make another mark 3" inward and then draw a vertical line downward with the pencil (T4). Use the utility knife (T2) to cut along these two lines on a mat (T1). Do for second oval.
6. Halfway between the edge and the second line, draw a 4 1/2" vertical line with the pencil (T4). (Do this on only ONE of the ovals!!) Cut along this line with a utility knife (T2) on a mat (T1).
7. Use the pencil (T4) to draw another vertical line, centered on the whole piece of cardboard (S1). The line should be 4 1/4" in length. Use the utility knife (T2) to cut along this line on a mat (T1). Do for second oval.
8. Between the vertical center line and the edge of the costume piece (body), draw a horizontal line that's 4" long. The line should be 4" down from the top edge of the body (P1). Make the same line between the center line and the opposite edge of the oval. Use the utility knife (T2) to cut along these two lines. Do this on the second oval/body piece (P1).
Step 3: How to Make Each Part: Dory's Fins
1. Draw an 11 1/4" x 9" rectangle with a pencil (T4) on a piece of cardboard (S1).
2. From the bottom right corner, go up 3" and erase 3" of the line. This should provide another 3" to the top of the rectangle.
3. From the ends of the two lines on that side, create a fin that is the length of 7 1/2". Use a utility knife (T2) to cut the outline of the fin on a mat (T1).
4. Do this again to create a second fin.
Step 4: How to Make Each Part: Dory's Tail Fin
1. Draw a 1 3/4" x 6" rectangle using a pencil (T4) and a ruler (T3). From the bottom right corner, go up 1 7/8 inches and erase 2 1/4" of the side. This should provide another 1 7/8" to the top of the side.
2. Make a vertical line that's 10 1/2" long. This line should be 8 1/4" away from the rectangle. The line should also be parallel to the rectangle.
3. Connect the ends of this line to the open ends on the side of the rectangle.
4. Use a utility knife (T2) to cut the outline of Dory's tail fin on a mat (T1).
**One piece can be divided to make both Parts 2 and 3 (fins and tail)**
Step 5: How to Make Each Part: Shoulder Straps
1. Use a pencil (T4) and utility knife (T2) to draw and cut out a 4 1/2" x 36" rectangle from the remaining cardboard (S1).
2. From the lower left corner of the rectangle, go up 1 1/2" and use a pencil (T4) to draw a horizontal line across 1 1/2". Draw a vertical line upward 33". Then draw a horizontal line 1 1/2" back to the edge/side of the rectangle. Use the utility knife to cut out this outlined area on a mat (T1).
3. Do this again on the other side of the rectangle. The overall shape should somewhat resemble an uppercase "I".
4. Do this again to create a second shoulder strap.
Step 6: Parts List
P1 2 DORY'S BODY
P2 2 DORY'S PECTORAL FINS
P3 1 DORY'S TAIL/CAUDAL FIN
P4 2 SHOULDER STRAPS
Step 7: Steps for Assembling Parts
2. The tail fin (P3) slides into the slot between the edge of the body (P1) and the slot used to connect the body (P1) together. (This slot was done on one of the body shapes.)
3. Each dorsal fin (P2) slots into the centered vertical line on each of the ovals (P1).
4. Each of the shoulder straps (P4) are slotted into the horizontal slots at the top of the body (P1).
And now you have Dory from Finding Nemo!!
***If you want to paint Dory, paint both sides of the fins and tail so the cardboard doesn't warp. Certain pieces like the shoulder straps or body should be painted on one side to be curved.