Make a Cardboard Giraffe Bust (or any other animal!)

Picture of Make a Cardboard Giraffe Bust (or any other animal!)
I had a large cardboard box lying around that I really wanted to make something out of, and I happened across this website:

Inspired by their products, I decided to design and create my own cardboard animal bust.  It was a pretty fun process with a satisfying result, so I thought I'd share my experience.  Here's what you'll need:

*Cardboard - lots of it, preferably the same thickness
*Box cutter or good knife
*Glue (optional - a wire coathanger could work too)
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Step 1: Imagine your design

I decided to make a giraffe because their horns and head shape are iconic and would hopefully be recognizable even if I messed up a bit.  In order to create the bust, you'll need to have a good concept of the 3-d shape of the animal head.  I just looked at lots of pictures of giraffes from different angles, until I felt that I had a good idea of what they were shaped like.

Step 2: Draw and cut the profile slices

Picture of Draw and cut the profile slices
You'll need to decide how many profile slices you want, and whether they will be parallel to each other or not.  My design has three profile slices, so the center one is simply a regular profile, while the other two are slices from a quarter-way through the giraffe's head.  I decided to angle those two slices inwards on the bottom so that they could go through the center of the horns at the top and help shape the giraffe's thin neck at the bottom.  Giraffe's heads are wider at the top than the bottom when viewed from the front.

Once you've decided on your slices, draw them onto the cardboard and cut them out.

this is just great i want to make one so bad but its to hard. That being said i think you should make templates that we could print out and trace onto cardboard.but still one of my fav. instructables, good job.

were you able to find a pattern or template for this?

has as you send me the molds? I'm from Brazil

jujubee311 year ago
Ojsmudge3 years ago
hi i made this for a art project and it worked really well thanks

A Tip for anyone making this remember that giraffe heads a quite long if its short it will end up looking like a horse
ldammann3 years ago
LOVE! Is there anyway you'd sell me the giraffe you created?
vishalapr3 years ago
what can attaching cardboard like this be called in general(Eg pieces of paper attached together is called Modular Origami)
What will cardboard attached together be called?
tinker2343 years ago
wow add fake fur for a cool look but wow
iflores13 years ago
nice post!!! by eany chance do you have a computer template for it?
sebasastudi3 years ago
I need the planes, who can get to me, thanks
Asmodeous4 years ago
Well done!
We did this in my art class as a project. We had a choice of materials to do our project with. There were so many variations on this project. Most of us used wicker as a base, covered it in paper mache, then painted it. I made a panther head out of wicker, spray painted it black, and mounted it on a piece of cardboard I had painted with a jungle scene. It's a really fun project! :D
BatAndOwl4 years ago
This is so cool, just too hard for me :P.
zoxx4 years ago
This also works well with foam-core and a nice, sharp exacto knife. This template for a cardboard deer head has been floating around for a while, via the Chronicle Books blog: but I'd love to try another animal.
great idea!! would be nice,, with better finishing,,
i am currently making one of these for my sister and how do you get the cuts the same width as the cardboard thick?......and i am having troubles on the coronal slices i got one done just the nose one and i am having trouble on the rest
thegnome54 (author)  zipzapper8594 years ago
I actually drew out each slot before cutting it - sorry I didn't mention that. You can use a ruler to measure the thickness of the cardboard, then draw two lines that far apart centered on each intersection line. Just cut on those lines, and you'll end up with a slot that's the right width. The most challenging part of the project is just being able to imagine what kind of shapes you want to make. You've got to have a good picture of the 3-d shape in your head.
ok thanks that helps i will finish that soon also is it possible to make a human head bust out of cardboard......that would be really cool if you made an instructable on that thanks zippy
rimar20004 years ago
Interesting! What happens if covered with paper and paint?
thegnome54 (author)  rimar20004 years ago
I decided not to paint mine because I liked the cardboard look - it's clearer that it was once a box. Spray paint would probably look great, though, and if you wanted to I'm sure you could use it as a paper mache base!
bulsatar4 years ago
If you can obtain a 3d model of the animal (or build it yourself) you could chop up that into all of the pieces you need and print them out. Would also work well to previz complicated models before attempting to work out the bugs as you go.
Even faster is SketchUp + SliceModeler
jtobako4 years ago
To be useful, Step 2 could use some work-or some idea on HOW to create the dimensioned drawing.
thegnome54 (author)  jtobako4 years ago
Yeah, I felt kind of bad leaving it blank, but I couldn't think of a useful image for that step. It's purely mental, really. What I did was google image search for 'giraffe' and then just look at a lot of pictures until I felt that I had a good concept of the structures involved.
nickodemus4 years ago
Beautiful! And with a little spray paint, I'd be proud to hang these in my house!
reedz4 years ago