Introduction: Cardboard Camera


After ordering a bunch of things from Amazon, I had no money but a lot of boxes. I still wanted to do creative projects but I could only things I already had. I began perusing the interwebs, and came across a gorgeous cardboard camera on Etsy that was being sold for $195! Being the cheap highschooler that I am. I decided to put all those boxes to use, and make a camera myself.

If you would like to check out where I got my inspiration:

Step 1: Materials

This build doesn't take much:

- A cardboard box

- Hot glue and a glue gun

- A few pieces of tape

Step 2: Bases and Icky Math

First I mapped out all of my dimensions useing some nifty math. Then I started to make the base. I cut out my measurements from an old box. I ended up with a rectangle and measured out the sides I needed so I would have a nice camera shape. I didn't cut out the individual rectangles. Instead I lightly scored them, so that I could fold the edges to get a nice shape. To maintain the shape while I glued the sides together, I taped the corners together.

Next I made a top and bottom, and glued that in place.

Step 3: So Many Circles

To make the lenses, I cut out two big circles with little circles cut out from the inside, 4 big circles, and 4 small circles. On one of the large circles I lightly scored the surface than peeled off one side of the paper This left me with a cool wavy pattern.

Step 4: Assembling

I decided that my lenses would be broken into 4 parts. I assembled the 1st part of the lens by gluing the two circles with missing middles on top of one another and then on top of the wavy piece. I glued the 3 large circles together, and then I glued 3 of the smaller pieces together, and the 4th small piece to the center of the 3 large circles.

I know that was confusing, but really it's me trying to explain a very simple thing poorly. I pretty much just glued the cardboard pieces together in 3s.

Step 5: Cool Wavy Details

I wanted to add a little ribbing to the circumference of the lenses. To do this I used the same technique I had used to make the wavy circle. I scored a piece of cardboard (making sure to go with the grain) then carefully took off the top layer of paper piece my piece. I cut out thin strips of the wavy cardboard then glued it around the circumference of both of my large lenses.

Step 6: Details on the Small Lense

The edge of the small lens was a bit rough so I took another strip of the ribbed cardboard, and glued it ribbing down, so I had a smooth edge. Then I glued the lenses together in a sandwich like fashion that went, large lens, small lens, large lens (then that fourth small lens then the base of the camera).

Step 7: More Details

If you haven't guessed by now, I'm not really educated in camera part names, so forgive me. To make the flash, I made a tower of cardboard, each piece a little shorter than the last. I traced it onto another piece of cardboard and cut that out. Then I cut the paper off of one of its corner. I cut out a circle and glued it into the square I had cut out.

The pictures are 1000x times easier to follow; just look at them.

Step 8: More Circles

I cut out a bunch of circles slightly smaller than dimes, and glued two on the side of the flash. Then I glued two more to the left of the flash, and three to the right. I glued the flash, and the lenses onto the body of the camera.

Step 9: Done

And that's it. This build only took about 2 hours and didn't cost me a dime. I know the directions were slighlty confusing, so feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments below. Also if you know any camera terms, and would like to enlighten me, you can correct me as well.

Cardboard Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Cardboard Contest 2017

Photography Contest 2017

Participated in the
Photography Contest 2017