Picture of Full Size R2D2 on a budget

This is a prop I built for a Star Wars party. I didn't want to spend a lot, but I did want it to look cool.
I know that there are some incredibly talented folks who put years of effort into making awesome R2D2 and other droids, but I wanted something inexpensive and I only had a few months until the party. So rather than use sheet metal and fiberglass, I used mostly cardboard and wallboard joint compound. I also use a lot of stuff  that I had in my junk-box.

Yep - that was once a used refrigerator box!

Step 1: R2D2 frame and covering

Picture of R2D2 frame and covering
R2D2 007.JPG
R2d2 009.jpg
I found some pictures on the web and once I found the overall dimensions of R2D2, I was able to calculate the size of each piece. R2D2 is about 43 inches tall and the body is about 18 inches in diameter (not counting the legs)
Google image search is great!

Here's a site that I found very useful: (especially the Autocad .DXF files)



I acquired a few refrigerator boxes at a local retailer and got to work.
I created a frame for the body, then wrapped the cardboard around the frame.
This is a bit tricky. You'll need to soften - but not drench - the cardboard by spraying it with water and letting the moisture soak through the layers. When it's sufficiently soft, you're ready to wrap it around the frame. Apply hot glue to the edges of the frame and attach the softened cardboard sheet to it. I recommend that you get some assistance with this step.
It has a few inconsistencies, but we'll compensate for that later.
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hears an idea on the top under the dome of his head place a wireless projector where it comes out of R2-D2 eye and add a Bluetooth speaker for sound

becurry11 months ago

This is awesome. Thank you for taking time to put this up. I've always wanted to make a 1.1 replica of R2 but thought it would cost hundreds.

And the 3rd leg was rarely actually used. That other guy was just looking to be a negative Nancy.

cwarren71 year ago

do you have the link to the body decals? i need those too

BrianH (author)  cwarren712 months ago

I didn't use decals - all the body art was painted - based on the detail from the Autocad (DXF) file that I got from the link that I mention in step #1. Please send me a private message when you finish your project (or even mostly finished) - I'd love to see photos!

cwarren71 year ago
hey thanks alot!! i gave it up for a while but am at it again and its going great! ill post a instructable when im done to show. Thanks a million!!!!!!!
xdarth99x1 year ago
Lol I would love to make one but I don't have the time and patience
kelllbelll1 year ago
Scolova4 years ago
Great job, Look terrific!
I just found this. Looks great mine if I borrow it this Halloween?
Does anybody have a link to the body details
Technopro2 years ago
Awesome! Where did you get a pic of "r2d2's body detail?!? If you could post a link to it that would be awesome! I'm building your r2 but adding more supports to make it an actual functioning r2d2 robot.
xenor2 years ago
Great work! Considering that's cardboard, it's remarkably accurate. Bravo!
cwarren72 years ago
Thank you! i am on the last step (mache the head) but i have one more question: do you by any chance remember where you found the logos?
BrianH (author)  cwarren72 years ago
I found the dimensions on this page - with a lot of other helpful info too:


look for the .DXF (AutoCad files) that start with the prefix JAG200
cwarren72 years ago
how tall and wide are the legs? im building this right now and it works!
BrianH (author)  cwarren72 years ago
Sorry for the late reply - The legs are 31 inches tall and (side view) 8.75 wide at the top and 4.5 in the middle. From the front view, they are 3inches thick.
You said that r2 is 43 incches tall, Is that from its feet to the tip the dome or is it the size of the body?
BrianH (author)  alexanderall2 years ago
43 inches tall from bottom of the feet to the top of the dome.
Dzucky2 years ago
what did you use for the pillars of the frame in step one? was it wood? (just checking)
BrianH (author)  Dzucky2 years ago
The 'pillars' are wood one inch square if I remember correctly.
cwarren72 years ago
Awesome! doing it right now! thanks for sharing!
fenris4 years ago
I guess I am a famous quibbler in some circles - well, I study languages, and I always try to push people in the direction of correct use of words and phrases. So - if "droid" is short for "android (robot)", meaning a humanlike robot, then C3PO is a droid and R2D2 is a robot. It is correct to say both are robots, but it is NOT correct to say both are "droids" - yeah, I know, they did that in the movies, but that doesn't make it correct. If 50 million Frenchmen all agree that the moon is made of green cheese, that does not make it so. For droid to enter the language as a synonym for robot is very unfortunate, and frankly, stupid, IMHO. Better if we all cooperate in trying to improve our language, rather than degrade it farther than has already been done.
Thank you for you attention, and sorry if I am being a drag.
antennas fenris2 years ago
Yup major drag. If 50 million don't care..well you know the rest.....
so fenris you wouldnt believe 50million french people but would you believe the person that created the moon....the same goes for a secret recipe, you wouldnt trust just anybody on the contents except the person that wrote it. So doesn't that make it reasonable to trust George Lucas when he claimed r2d2 and c3po both as droids but separate varieties? r2d2 is not the same as c3po correct, but that is because he is an astromech droid and not a protocol droid such as c3po.
nbrett fenris3 years ago
R2-D2 is actually a model of Astro-mech
Dude - since "droid" in this case is being used in reference to someone's intellectual property, using another "more correct, IYHO" word would be wrong. The moon is green cheese analogy is stupid. If George Lucas says R2D2 is a droid, then we all must refer to him as a droid, to do otherwise would be demeaning his creative works.
you have way too much time on your hands !!!

does putting people down make you feel better ?

maybe you didn’t realise you were putting that person down but you most certainly were
There's more than one way to be "humanlike". Just because something isn't in a humanoid form, doesn't mean that they can't be humanlike--and in this case, R2D2 clearly displayed emotions and reactions attributed to humans. So it isn't incorrect to refer to him (it, whatever) as a "droid" or android. Perhaps you should look at the subject matter more thoroughly and consider all the possible meanings of the words instead of just a single narrow-minded one, because in this situation you were being quite rude in addition to being wrong. Since you say you study languages, then you should know that common language is constantly changing and growing to accommodate new needs. Language isn't something that is set in stone, and a new developments and associations in meaning isn't wrong or a "degradation", just because one person trying to act highbrow says it is.
Conas3 years ago
Very nice man!

This IS the droid we've been looking for.
wow you can't get better than this
Well you can but you'd have to break into George Lucas' house.
I think his legs are shot long. But other than that,it's amazing!
ljm12#3 years ago
dude this is awesome im so trying
zomfibame3 years ago
Nicely done R2D2.
Kaelpe3 years ago
I want to make a smaller sized one of these, and I think maybe an extra salad bowl with a flat bottom, plus a styrofoam dome to even it out. That way you don't have to buy and carve a huge chunk of 'foam and you have a nice rounded top.
Then coat the whole thing with paper mache or the wall joint stuff and paint.
Great job! awesome.
try; http://astromech.net/
Knuxz4 years ago
Don't mean to be a downer, but you forgot the third leg. You know, the one on the bottom of the actually unit.
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