Introduction: Cardboard Stormtrooper Helmet

Picture of Cardboard Stormtrooper Helmet

Here's a fun project for Halloween or just to create your own crazy Star Wars inspired creation. You can either download the files, print, trace and cut your own cardboard or visit my Esty shop and purchase the kit and I'll cut the pieces for you! Note: Use gloves to avoid paper-cuts from laser cut cardboard (and hot glue). Sand the edges a bit for less risk of injury.

Materials needed:

  • PDF file or Cardboard kit from Etsy
  • Two 18" x 24" cardboard sheets (if using the files linked above) OR cut the pieces from a cereal box or case of beer for a super silly stormtrooper.
  • GLOVES! Laser cut edges are sharp! Use gloves especially if working the the laser cut kits and hot glue

  • Sandpaper
  • Hot glue
  • Wood Glue
  • Masking tape or packing tape
  • Metal straight edge ruler
  • Scissors or a xacto knife

Step 1: Glue the Prongs of the Helmet's Top Dome

Picture of Glue the Prongs of the Helmet's Top Dome

Start by gluing the many prongs of the top dome of the hemet together along the edges. Wear gloves and work slowly gluing from the base to the ends. The curved shape will come together if you work carefully and match up the edges precisely.

Personally, I think wood glue gives the cleanest and most sturdy finish, but hot glue is faster. Hot glue can also be more forgiving as you can re-heat and re-glue if you're unsatisfied with your seam. Either way, apply the glue into the corrugated edges and either hold or tape the edges together as the glue dries/ cools. Gluing into the corrugated edges is method is my preference, but it also works well to hold the edges together and glue along the back.

In the photo, you can see an older version of this file in which I quartered the dome. In the pdf I've attached to the introductory step, the entire dome is one piece. MUCH easier, but it won't fit on 8.5" x 11" paper. If you don't have access to something that can print at that size, and would like help, visit my Etsy store, and I'll cut all the parts for you!

Step 2: Attach the Back of the Helmet

Picture of Attach the Back of the Helmet

Again, glue the prongs of the back of the helmet. Look closely at the third picture here to get a sense of how to fold the rounded bottom of the helmet. It can be tricky to get this right, but once you start gluing and folding, you'll see that the shape of the part informs the folds and it comes together pretty clearly.

I've also turned this into one piece larger than 8.5" x 11", but if it gives you trouble, try cutting your piece into halves.

Step 3: Attach the Eyes

Picture of Attach the Eyes

Find the parts that make up the eyes and forehead/ side area and start curving and folding them into the shape you see in this picture.

Parts can be made easier to work with by rolling them around rounded objects. I often use a bowl or rolling pin depending on the curve required.

Check out the next step for pics of alignment on the piece that wraps aroud the side. I like to give it a little overhang so I can later attach a black rubber strip over the helmet if I'm going for a more authentic looking finish.

Step 4: Left and Right 3814-7 Auto Seal Conduit

Picture of Left and Right 3814-7 Auto Seal Conduit

Did you know that Stormtrooper helmets had 3814-7 Auto Seal Conduits? Neither did I. But, the internet. So now we know.

Take your time gluing the prongs of these parts.them can be tricky, but let go, Luke. Trust your feelings. Just kidding, look at the pictures and use the bowl or rolling pin method to start forming these curves.

It's starting to look like something now!

Step 5: Assemble the Nose & Mouth Parts

Picture of Assemble the Nose & Mouth Parts

Sorry, internet, I'm going to go back to calling these parts of the face that I've heard of.

This is the trickiest part, but after this you're done. Are you ready young padawan?

As you can see in the first picture, I sometimes I attach the ends of the tubular parts from the last step to help shape the nose area. Overall I don't think this gives you the best angle between the nose and sides, but the last time I did this they were really giving me trouble. See what works best for you.

The concave bits where the mic tips (Bliar Induction Fliters according to wookiepedia) go are srange, but work slowly around and they'll come together. attach the thin curvy part first and at an angle back into space to help you get the idea about how the nose is shaped. The other thin v shaped part attaches at almost a 90 degree angle to the "nose" and shows you exactly how the nose parts should be folded.

Step 6: Attach the Nose and Mouth Parts to the Helmet

Picture of Attach the Nose and Mouth Parts to the Helmet

Time to close 'er up. I like to overlap the top of the nose just a bit on top of the eyes as stormtrooper helmets have just a bit of a ridge here.

Glue the parts shaped like a comma "," (sort of ?) inside of the corresponding shaped opening to create depth. Same for the heat dispersion vents in the back if you haven't done that already.

Step 7: Finish!

Picture of Finish!

Here's what you'll need for finishing:

  • Bondo Brand fiberglass resin
  • Tap Plastic's Magic sculpt
  • Plastic measuring cups for mixing
  • Craft sticks, also for mixing
  • cheap 1.5" - 2" brushes
  • sandpaper - 80, 100, 120, 180, 220 grit

I start with a coat of fiberglass resin. (Image 4) Get your mix right! Bondo brand is the one I've had the most success with (and I've messed up a lot.) Watch a few videos on fiberglassing and how to measure and mix. This brand is pretty forgiving, but don't get careless here. I've ruined a lot of hard work by getting sloppy with the finishing. Then mix a little ball of magic sculpt. This stuff is WAAAAAAY better than bondo, IMO. It allows for plenty of work time, easy to sculpt, etc. Put some in each of the cracks and around the visor. (we'll cut the visor out after we've sanded and applied lots of coats of resign. (Image 6) Hit it with another coat of resin and get to sanding with your 80 grit. Take down all the rough edges. If you hit cardboard, stop, you went a little too far. NBD, resin, sand, resin, sand, with increasingly fine sandpaper as you go (Images 7 - 8). When you're happy with the finish, paint.

I've sent this one off to a young padawan who isn't as concerned with finish as he is with trooping, so I didn't go as far into detail as I would for myself, but this should give you the info you need to see how it's done.

You're done!

If you purchased one of my Etsy kits, I'd especially love to get your feedback on the kit, part design and this instructable. I'm constantly revising, so let me know what you think.

Comments

Greck Club made it! (author)2017-03-12

Later on I added a pauldron to give it the sandtrooper look. I'm thinking of trying to make the rest of the armour too.

spaceneedlespinner made it! (author)2017-02-09

Thank you for posting the build! I made a few extra pieces to make it closer to the original for my costume for comicon.

Jack999999 (author)2017-01-04

could somebody scale it so I can print it on A4 and still is big enough? I don't know how it works.

MatthewN32 (author)2016-12-15

nevermind

MatthewN32 (author)2016-12-14

if i were to trace the template onto paper, what would be the size across for all

crazycraftpro88 (author)2016-11-29

Do I need to scale these up to my head size, or can I use them as is for the helmet?

JasonP4 (author)crazycraftpro882016-12-01

Depends on the size of your head, of course. This template fits my head. If you're rocking a giant melon, scale up 5%- 10%.

MatthewN32 (author)2016-11-30

very nice, I like your artistic liberty in the horns and colour, either i did not catch it or it did not exsist, but about how long does this build take?

JasonP4 (author)MatthewN322016-12-01

Depends on your experience, I suppose. It took me a few days my first time, now I can build one in a few hours

MatthewN32 (author)2016-11-30

bucketheads unite

spotsizzle (author)2016-05-09

though its probably a dumb question; the original pdf files are to be printed onto a3 paper, right?

JasonP4 (author)spotsizzle2016-05-11

No, the size is 18 inches by 24 inches.

X-GamingP (author)2016-04-27

I don't get how to do this without clear pictures of the pieces before they are folded.

JasonP4 (author)X-GamingP2016-04-27

Agreed. I've gone back to some of my instructables and added photos of parts before they're folded, as I understand that helps. I'm probably not going to get to that for this one. If you cut out the parts and read the descriptions, and use the images of the folded parts, you should be able to figure out which part is being folded in each step.

povis made it! (author)2016-01-25

Thank you for the instructable! I made a mistake while connecting the parts, so the mask looks different from yours. But i like how it came out.

JasonP4 (author)povis2016-02-20

Wow, neat! It kinda looks like the helmets from the new Star Wars Rebels show!

delrod ii (author)2015-10-18

When you print off the pdf. How much do you scale you for a adult size?

JasonP4 (author)delrod ii2015-10-18

I scale ~5% for each increment.

seth thl (author)JasonP42016-01-14

what about a 14 year old

Sneha Das (author)2015-09-30

Can you plz do vader next....:)

JasonP4 (author)Sneha Das2015-12-16

Here you go, sorry it took so long. I lost the original project in a Halloween massacre:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Cardboard-Darth-Vader-Helmet/

JasonP4 (author)Sneha Das2015-10-02

One Vader, one Master Chief. Coming right up. Check back in a few days, and I'll see if I can get something up for you.

Sneha Das (author)JasonP42015-10-02

thanks man..:D

baltot made it! (author)2015-11-15

What a great instructable. I always wanted to be able to make those type of 3D helmets. I got carried away, and used polyfiller laced with PVA, coats of white paint & finished off with a high gloss resin so it is really rigid. I want to do a Darth Vader next......

JasonP4 (author)baltot2015-11-15

Whoa! Well done!!! Thank you so much for sharing pics. The details are especially well done- ears, mic tips, the black trim. This is terrific.
Ok, well I think this means that I need to finish my Darth Vader instructable. It's about 90 percent ready, but I loaned the helmet to a friend for halloween, so I'll have to re-do a few parts, BUT I'll share the pattern with you, right away if you'd like it.

baltot (author)JasonP42015-11-15

If you can share the pattern early, I'll start on it!

JasonP4 (author)baltot2015-12-16

Ack!! I'm SO SORRY that I didn't see this reply sooner. Here's the (semi-complete) instructable with patterns laid out for 18" x 24" sheets. My friend smashed this helmet before I could finish, so I'm just posting as is, and I'll continue to work on it.:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Cardboard-Darth-Vader-Helmet/

BaconMaster_645 (author)2015-11-30

we need a power armor helmet from fallout made of cardboard and not pepakura

baltot made it! (author)2015-11-15

btw, I also added ears....!

Builders Shed (author)2015-10-27

Cool i voted your instructable :D

bw, pls cut the template a few more pcs so i can print on a A4 size paper..

JasonP4 (author)Builders Shed2015-10-29

Yeah, I'm working hard on getting some new helmets made, so I'm probably going to have a tough time finding the time to resize these for you, but you can use a free graphic editing program to re-layout the parts onto any size you need.

JasonP4 (author)2015-10-20

WOW! Looks good, thanks for sharing a photo!
The photo's a bit dark, but it looks like maybe the front mouth/nose area needs to line up a little higher up. Looks like maybe you glued the upper edge of the mouth part to the bottom of the air vent. It should overhang the air vent.
Great work, thank you so much for sharing this!

seempie (author)2015-10-20

I made it !

BeverleyR1 (author)2015-10-06

How can you do this to wear we are doing a Christmas parade that is star wars themed and I don't have enough money to buy all the uniforms so this would be great painted white but they would need to wear so I can have an army.... please advise

JasonP4 made it! (author)BeverleyR12015-10-06

To wear, just put it on your head. Ta-da! Here's a picture of me wearing one:

BeverleyR1 (author)JasonP42015-10-13

cool was not sure it would work with out damaging it thank you

JasonP4 (author)BeverleyR12015-10-13

Scroll down and you can see a version i made with bondo that is very sturdy. Its still in great shape. Takes a long time to bondo and sand, though.

JasonP4 (author)JasonP42015-10-06

I painted this one red for some reason, but you could obviously paint them white. You can use window tint film for lenses for the eyes, or you can find custom made stormtrooper lenses on ebay (expensive though). To really get a nice finish, put a thin layer of resin or bondo over the helmet, sand it and make a silicon mold. Then you can roto-cast lots of helmets from your mold.
https://www.instructables.com/id/2-part-brush-on-silicone-mold/

riocruz (author)2015-10-11

wow! I love these kind of projects :)

han_solos_girl (author)2015-10-02

Would there be any possibility of a Boba Fett?

JasonP4 (author)han_solos_girl2015-10-09

Here you go!
https://www.instructables.com/id/Boba-Fett-Cardboar...

Darth Vader and Halo Mark V are up next. Boba Fett was super easy, the others will take a few more days.

blackholeseeker (author)2015-10-05

how would you "seal" the cracks of the helmet you know, where the cardboard pieces meets

JasonP4 (author)blackholeseeker2015-10-05

I use wood filler, bondo or silicone caulk made for wood applications.

modernangel76 (author)2015-10-04

Awesome stuff. Any chance you can do Kamen Rider https://goo.gl/4KuOEr and or Ultraman https://goo.gl/kuKSAN ? No need to rush for Halloween you have plenty to do. Thanks!

JasonP4 (author)modernangel762015-10-04

Wow those look cool. I'd need to find a 3D model (.stl file), but it looks easy enough.

modernangel76 (author)JasonP42015-10-04

How is this http://www.123dapp.com/3dp-Catch/Kamen-Rider-1/669571

JasonP4 (author)modernangel762015-10-05

That should do. Ok, hang tight and I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, check out the new one I posted today:
https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Japanese-Robot-Cardboard-Helmet/

modernangel76 (author)JasonP42015-10-05

Super cool. I'm going to make one of these for my 5 year old son for next halloween. Any suggestions for scaling to a child's head? Or just shrink it down until it's the right size? Thanks again!

JasonP4 (author)modernangel762015-10-05

I scale down 3% to 5% for kids. You could also scale and cut out the visor and use that as your guide.