Introduction: 3D Cardboard & Duct Tape Deer Head Trophy With Template

Create this 3D cardboard model from the supplied template using recycled cardboard covered in duct tape. So no need to have matching color or non-printed cardboard, the duct tape covering makes it all match. Let your creativity flow and use contrasting, matching, or multiple colors or patterns of duct tape to personalize your project. Don't worry its an easy to create project, however it is time consuming so allow ample time.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Materials Needed:
  • Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Marking Pencil or Pen
  • Utility Knife w/ Extra Blades
  • Scissors
  • Tin Shears (optional)
  • Scotch Tape
  • Shipping Tape
  • Duct Tape
  • 1/2" thick foam spacer (I used shipping foam sheets but any similar material would work)
  • Hot Glue Gun & Sticks
  • Can Pull Tab for Hanger or other method of hanging finished project

Step 2: Download Template & Print

Select the appropriate template for your use.
Download & Print out the complete template scaling to any size you choose.
  1. All images in .JPG format using tiled page layout (32 pages in all)
  2. Adobe Illustrator .AI format Full Size for you to scale up or down
  3. Corel Draw .CDR format Full Size for you to scale up or down
  4. Auto Cad .DXF format Full Size for you to scale up or down
See the scale differences in the second image below. To create the project pictured in this instructable I used the .JPG format using tiled pages and printed it at 5" x 7" with 2 pages printed on each page, creating a finished project size of 20" H x 12" W x 14" D. Using the full size template the finished project dimensions are 30" H x 22" W x 24" D approximately.

Step 3: Assemble Printed Template Pages

Assemble printed pages by taping together creating a full template.
  1. Trim any excessive paper off using the rectangle frame as your guide
  2. Line up your prints
  3. Carefully tape pages together using small pieces of scotch tape in several locations
  4. Use clear shipping tape to go over the joined pages in both directions flip and tape again in both directions

Step 4: Cut Out All Template Pieces

Cut all pieces from printed template
  1. Cut out each piece. Hint: For deer components leave interlocking cuts till after you have cut out all shapes and then cut them all at once.
  2. Check width of interlocking cuts for width of cardboard you are using, make any adjustments needed.
  3. Tip for cutting interlocking cuts: 1st using a utility or craft knife cut each one at the end. Creating a small cut in template. Then using a large pair of scissors cut to small cut in one snip & repeat on next side.

Step 5: Transfer Template to Cardboard

  1. Create small rolls of scotch tape and apply to back of paper template cut outs.
  2. Outline template on your cardboard
  3. Remove template using care not to tear face of cardboard.
This is the method that I used to transfer the template, any technique you choose to use could work, as long as it gives you a nice transfer to your cardboard.

Step 6: Cut Out All Pieces From Cardboard

  1. Using a new sharp blade and a utility knife carefully cut out the outside line of each piece from your cardboard. Change blade as soon as it no longer cuts smoothly, I used three new blades to make all cuts in this project.
  2. Cut interlocking cuts on each piece by first inserting a sharp craft knife at the narrow end of each cut, making a small cut thru the cardboard
  3. Using a utility knife & a straight edge cut the length of each cut on all pieces to the first cut you made previously.
    Hint: Instead of a utility knife I used a pair of large sharp tin shears, cutting each long side of the cut in one quick, straight cut with no need to use a straight edge. This greatly speeds up the entire process.
  4. Set all pieces aside except for the two shield shaped pieces.

Step 7: Cover Cut Outs With Duct Tape

Use your creativity to show your style in this step. Go wild or mild with your duct tape choices or use plain card board and skip this step.
  1. Choose your duct tape and select pieces to cover.
  2. Run duct tape from side to side leaving a little over hang on each side
  3. Smooth tape and flip over fold over tape on each side for shield shaped pieces, making small cuts in the tape where it over hangs to accommodate curves before folding over to back of piece. For deer pieces trim off any over hanging tape flush with cardboard.
  4. Repeat above step until entire surface is covered in duct tape.
  5. If print on cardboard still can be seen after first layer of duct tape is applied, simply apply another layer of duct tape at a 90 degree angle to the first layer. Until piece is completely covered. This step may not be needed depending on the color or pattern of duct tape you chose to use.

Step 8: Create Shield for Trophy Mount

  1. Start with the smaller of the two shield shapes, Using a ruler and erasable marking pencil find the center of the shield from side to side near the top and make a small mark.
  2. Turn ruler 90 degrees from the first mark and align ruler with mark and point at bottom of shield, make a line.
  3. Measure distance between interlocking cuts on a deer piece. Then starting at center line made on small shield measure same distance and mark in two places on each side. Turn ruler and make line by aligning ruler to marks just made. Creating three vertical lines on the small shield.
  4. Switch to the large shield and using a ruler measure in from the edge approximately 1" - 1 1/2" from outside edge and make a mark in various places. Follow the contour of marks just made and mark a smaller shaped shield.
  5. Cut the foam spacer into 1/2" wide strips.
  6. Apply a ribbon of hot glue about the length of the foam strips to the small shield outline on the larger shield. Quickly contour the foam strip on the glue ribbon. Cut foam pieces if needed to complete the outline of the shield & glue in place. Place an additional foam strip down the middle of the shield.
  7. Attach the smaller shield to the larger shield by applying hot glue to the top of the foam spacer. Carefully & quickly align the smaller shield, centering it as you go. Press down and hold till glue adheres.
Set completed shield aside for now.

Step 9: Attach Hanger to Back of Shield

Create hanger on back side of completed shield.
  1. Gently bend can tab to approximately 20 degrees.
  2. Make mark in center from side to side on back side of shield.
  3. Make mark about 1 1/2" from top of shield to first mark made.
  4. Place can tab on marks and outline lower half of tab.
  5. Heavily apply hot glue to bottom half of outline on back of shield.
  6. Quickly and carefully insert can tab into heavily glued area, allow to cool.
  7. Cut a small piece of duct tape and apply over bottom of can tab after glue has cooled.

Step 10: Assemble Deer Head

This step is relatively quick and makes all your hard work worth it...
  1. Gather all deer head cardboard pieces and arrange neck pieces from large to small for the first seven pieces. Next arrange the ears, then horns, and the remaining pieces that make the nose up from larger to smallest on top of the ear & horn layers.
  2. Start with the large vertical support and the largest neck piece at the last interlocking cut on the neck. Gently slide the two together, being careful not to force in position.
  3. Keep the two pieces square to each other or at a 90 degree angle to each other, and check squareness as you continue to build the deer head.
  4. Insert the next size smaller neck piece into the center support, again using care and checking for squareness.
  5. With the two neck pieces installed on the center support, insert one of the side vertical supports into the two neck supports. Take your time and slowly, carefully push the side piece completely into position. Repeat on opposite side of deer. Check for squareness and adjust if needed. If pieces are not locking together firmly apply a small bead of hot glue along one of the interlocking cuts and quickly slide pieces together.
  6. Continue adding smaller and smaller neck pieces to the three vertical supports, until you have seven neck pieces attached. Use care and check for square on each piece, gluing if needed along the way.
  7. Attach the piece with the ears to the center vertical support, at this point the deer head switches from three vertical supports to one center vertical support. This step may require hot gluing in order to keep the piece in position. Use care and check for square on each piece. Push the center of each ear to the back and gently crease.
  8. Attach the antler piece to the center vertical support. Use care and check for square on each piece, gluing if needed along the way. You will add the horn detail after the deer head is complete.
  9. Finish the main deer head by adding the remaining four nose pieces from largest to smallest, starting next to the horns with the largest piece. Use care and check for square on each piece, gluing if needed along the way.
  10. Finish horn detail by adding the largest remaining horn to the first interlocking cut closest to the head on the main deer head horn. Use care and check for square on each piece. Definitely hot glue each of these pieces into position as they tend to fall out because of there size. Next attach the smallest horn piece to the horn you  just attached to the deer head. Finally attach the remaining horn, or the middle size piece to the remaining interlocking cut on each side. Once again check for square and glue into place.

Step 11: Attach Deer Head to Trophy Mount

Before attaching deer head to base be sure that the deer head square and is together well.
  1. Align finished deer head to center of shield shaped base and mark at top and bottom of all three vertical pieces along the three marks you made earlier on the shield.
  2. Apply a heavy bead of hot glue to center line on shield.
  3. Quickly & carefully place deer head's center vertical support onto glue bead, press and hold till glue adheres.
  4. Gently separate the vertical side supports from the shield base and apply a bead of hot glue between to two pieces. Press and hold pieces in place until adhered firmly.
  5. Repeat above step on opposite side.

Step 12: Hang & Enjoy Your Deer Head Trophy

Now is the time to sit back and enjoy all of your hard work.
  1. Find a good location to hang your deer head trophy mount.
  2. Enjoy and share stories about how you bagged the beast to your friends.
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