This tortoise shell was built for our daughter's youth theater's production of Sleeping Beauty.  It is made from cardboard and covered in fiberglass.

Step 1: Getting Started

I found an image on the internet from which to model the shell.  I took measurements of the actress from the top of her next down to about four inches above the back of her knee.  It was about 34 inches.  I figured a good proportion of width to height would be about 2/3 so I measured a 34" x 22" rectangle on a piece of cardboard.  The shape was drawn freehand.  I simply rounded the front corners and then tapered the back to make it wider in the front by about an inch.  To make the rounded shape, we determined that about six inches would be enough to give dimension without being too cumbersome to wear.  I cut a 6" wide piece of cardboard and curved the front and back to make the shape of the shell.  The front scooped down and then out to make the collar area.  
<p>Looks amazing. Is it possible to make this with paper mache over a cardboard frame or chicken netting? I think fibre glass is beyond me! Lucy.</p>
Yes, I you could easily use paper mache over cardboard or chicken wire. It would not be as resistant to damage though, depending on how it will be used. Have fun!
I had never used a hot glue gun much less worked with fiberglass! I made this for my grandsons Halloween costume. Great job on the instructions. Went very well. Thanks for the idea. I didn't paint it, looked real w/out.
<p>You did a GREAT job! I love it!</p>
Wow, that's cool. I bet there are some jealous turtles in awe of this! Thanks for sharing. I've always thought fiberglass work was neat, never have done it myself. Thanks for posting.
Even better. Mold design without the clay, silicone and high cost.
Nice work. I haven't combined cardboard and fiberglass yet so it was a good tutorial. Thanks for posting.
I've found that you can quickly build up a structure using cardboard and hot glue. Then once the fiberglass is on, you can pull most of the framework out and it leaves a hard, yet light piece. Thanks for the nice comment.

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