Cardboard Blue Heron




Introduction: Cardboard Blue Heron

The Blue Heron is a seabird native to where I'm from. For this reason, I decided I would try and create one out of cardboard for this challenge. I would recommend finding a good sized work surface as well as a good reference image to follow throughout the process.


Cardboard - Both corrugated and the flat type that is found in food boxes.

Xacto Knife

Glue Gun

Masking Tape

Paper Bag

Wooden Dowels




Step 1: Making the Head

To begin the head, trace an image of a Blue Heron's head, then copy it onto cardboard twice. Glue the two head shaped pieces onto each side of a folded piece of cardboard to give the head structure. For the beak cut out four thin triangles and glue those together.

Step 2: Neck

Heron's have very long necks, so the most efficient way I could think of accomplishing this was by making small tubes out of corrugated cardboard, then gluing them together at various angles to give the neck curvature.

Step 3: Body

For the base of the body, use a template for making a cardboard head. While I don't remember where I got mine, you could just google "cardboard head template" and you should be able to find it. Then, glue the neck to this and add a creased piece of cardboard to the front, allowing for both support for the neck as well as chest structure.

For the wings and tail feathers, refer to your reference image and try your best to draw the wings and tail feathers on a piece of paper. Copy these onto cardboard, cut them out, and glue them accordingly, based on your reference image.

Tip: To give the indication of feathers, cut small slits at the bottoms of your wings.

For the underbelly of the bird, simply bend a piece of cardboard and glue it beneath the chest.

Step 4: Legs

To make the legs stable and let them still be fairly thin, use wooden dowels. Once you've cut the dowels to the right length, cut small lengths of thin cardboard and knead them until they are flexible enough to roll into small tubes. These will be used to cover the dowels.

Step 5: The Base

Find a glass or mug that you like and trace the bottom onto a piece of cardboard. Mark holes where the legs will go and poke trough them with the Xacto knife. Using wire and hot glue, secure short lengths of dowel into the holes. Insert these into the legs, and glue them to stay in place. You may have to experiment with tilting the dowels at different angles to make sure the bird balances on the base. For feet, roll small lengths of paper bag and glue three of them at the base of each legs to make toes. For the claws (maybe they're talons, I don't know.), roll tiny cones out of paper bag. You'll place one at the end of every toe.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

To give the neck a more organic curve, I glued lengths of paper bag around the joint of each of of the neck tubes, as seen above.

I decided not to paint or add detail any more than the simple eye, to keep a minimal aesthetic, if you will. Although, the choice is yours if you want to paint the bird.

Step 7: Final Product

In the end, if anything looks out of place feel free to make any changes and/or additions that I didn't mention.

Pictured above is the end result of my Blue Heron.

Cardboard Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest
    • Make It Bridge

      Make It Bridge