Introduction: Cardboard Flip and Fold Fashion

About: During the COVID-19 crisis, all of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's religious services moved into an online-only format. I generally organize Sunday school activities for the children of the Fellowship …

In today's story, we met Jacob, a little boy who loves designing and wearing dresses. Dress up is very fun! And designing your own clothes is also very fun. Sewing is time consuming, though, and sometimes you just want to play around with fashion. So let's make a toy that lets you design all kinds of crazy clothes that can look however you want!

This is a cardboard version of those Flip and Fold Fashion toys from the 1980s.


-corrugated cardboard

-sharp scissors

-X-acto blade



-construction paper

-scrap fabric

Step 1: Cut Two Pieces of Cardboard.

You'll want two rectangular pieces of cardboard of the same size. The easiest way to obtain them is to cut off two opposite flaps on a cardboard box! That's what I did.

Step 2: Sketch a Person Shape.

Draw a person shape on one of the pieces of cardboard. Center it as best you can; you'll want extra cardboard surrounding the whole shape.

Step 3: Cut Out the Person.

You'll want a grown-up or older sibling for this step! You'll need to use an X-acto blade for this rather than scissors, because you want to cut out the person in one piece while keeping the surrounding cardboard intact. Once you're done, you'll have both a cardboard person shape and a person-shaped silhouette.

Step 4: Trim the ​silhouette.

Carefully trim the inside edges of the cardboard silhouette. You want to make the silhouette slightly larger than your cardboard person, so just trim around the opening with sharp scissors. You can get a grown-up or older sibling to help with this step, too! Try not to bend the cardboard. Leave the bottoms of the feet untrimmed; this will help you keep the person lined up in the next step.

When you're done, you should be able to fit the person back into the hole with some space around it.

Step 5: Glue the Person to the Other Piece of Cardboard.

Set your person shape inside the silhouette and flip the whole thing over. Put thin lines of glue on the person shape only. Don't go too crazy with the glue; you don't want to get it on the silhouette piece. Place the whole thing, glue side down, on your second cardboard rectangle and line up the edges.

Step 6: Make Paper Hinges.

Cut two strips of construction paper and glue one end of each down on the top of the piece of cardboard with the silhouette. Once the glue has set a little (5-10 minutes, depending on the glue), carefully pull the two pieces of cardboard apart. You don't want the two pieces of cardboard to get stuck together. Let the glue dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 7: Glue the Other Side of the Hinge.

Once the glue has dried, line the silhouette up with the cardboard person and snap the two pieces together. Then, flip the whole thing over, fold the hinges down, and glue them to the back of the cardboard. Let dry completely.

Step 8: Decorate Your Person!

I drew a face with markers. I gave them blue hair, because I thought that would be cool.

Step 9: Make Fashions!

Now comes the fun part. You can flip up the silhouette piece and layer fabric scraps on top of the person shape. You can cut the scraps into all kinds of shapes. Experiment! Then, when you want to see how the fashion looks, you can flip down the silhouette piece, arrange the fabric through the opening, and boom! FASHION!

Have fun!