Introduction: Cardboard R2-D2 Model

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... well not that long ago, just a week or so I decided to start a project that I knew would take a while. I had a lot of cardboard, still have a lot just a little less than before. As today is May 4, I decided to celebrate it by making a cardboard R2-D2. This project took many hours, many many hours, to make. It also took about 7 feet of hot glue sticks. Of all of the Star Wars characters, my favorite character is R2-D2.

Some features that come along with this little guy is that his arms are movable, his middle foot pedestal is completely detachable, and all of his feet pedestals are movable as well. With the template that I used, his head was also supposed to be movable, but I messed that up. I greatly appreciate it if you are reading this, or if you are making this yourself. I think I have talked too much in this introduction, so let us get on with the crafts, shall we!


The materials and items that you

will need:

Cardboard (a lot)

Hot glue (you will need more of this than the cardboard)

A printer (or access to one)

Paper (to go in the printer)

A writing utensil

A wooden dowel

Exacto knife



A ruler/protractor/measuring tool that will suit your needs

A cutting mat (mine has measurements on it)


Movies/ Tv shows/Netflix series for entertainment

Step 1: Cutting Out the Paper Templates

Starting off, you are going to need to print your template and instructions. I did not design these, they came from this website. To print them, I saved them to my computer first and then I printed them. It does not really matter if you print them in color or not because you are going to transfer them to cardboard. If you do not want to make the cardboard model, you can still have fun putting together the paper model. The instructions on the actual instructions sheet are translated vaguely from Japanese. I went solely off of the pictures.

If you are cutting the pieces out for cardboard like I did, don’t spend the time cutting out the little blue triangles because you won’t even use them.

The very first thing you need to do, after printing the templates out is cut out all of the paper pieces. There are 3 sheets and like 60 pieces to cut out. Make sure you keep your paper pieces later on, you will be using them again. I had to improvise a bit, my printer kept cutting off the bottom of the images, so I had to draw the bottom half of all of the pieces that were at the bottom of the image. This probably happened because I didn’t use the correct image sizing, or there was just an error that I couldn’t identify. If this happens to you, just fold the pieces in half, (except the face platform, you are going to have to free hand that one) and cut them out. Most of the pieces are symmetrical so it shouldn’t be that hard.

Step 2: Transferring the Pieces

Next, I transferred all of the pieces onto the cardboard by taping them down . By doing this, it keeps the paper in place while you are cutting the pieces out, and so you don’t worry about messing up if you were to trace the pieces instead. My methods differed as time progressed because I developed new ideas along the way. Some of the smaller pieces, I split the cardboard in half [(one side had the squiggly and the other side was flat) also if someone could comment on what the squiggly is called that would be great, thanks]. On the piece that was flat, I cut out the smaller pieces and all of the smaller details.

Step 3: Making the Pieces

Then, I started putting the pieces together. As I mentioned before, my methods developed overtime. In the beginning, I was dividing the pieces into their parts where they fold (shown in picture above) but then when I started splitting the cardboard, I found it unnecessary to continue doing this because the cardboard was thinner. Thinking about it now, I could have done this whole process on card stock instead of cardboard, but I think that it looks much cooler and impressive as cardboard. I cut most of the larger pieces out with kitchen scissors, (except for the head piece, that I used the exacto knife) and the smaller pieces I used the exacto knife. This process took longer than the gluing, I can assure you. I did not document cutting out all of the pieces because I was putting them together as I went. Note: for pieces B, I cut a wooden dowel the same length as the piece. I found that it looked much nicer than trying to use the paper piece. Also, I didn’t use pieces 21, Z or 2 because I didn’t make it so the head can move. If you are going to have the head move, you are going to need these pieces.

Step 4: Putting the Pieces Together

Now the putting together process begins (or if you are like me, it began when you started cutting them out). I didn’t document all of these pieces either, just when I thought I hit a checkpoint. (Also, sorry for the change of lighting and background, I moved my workstation from my floor to a deck) I didn’t develop a method for this. First, I put together all of the leg pieces by referring back to the pictures on the instructions. Then I made the body piece. Don’t forget to cut out the holes for the legs, this is how they will move. Then I connected the legs with a cardboard tube through the body. Then, I made the dome, I burnt myself countless times trying to make the dome. I glued the dome to the head because I messed up some how and couldn’t get it to move properly. Next, I glued the face on. After that, I attached the middle foot pedestal receiving piece, I have no idea how else to describe this. Finally, I inserted the middle foot pedestal into the receiving piece. I can not stress how much hot glue I used in this process.

Step 5: Tiny Details

Finally, the details. To make all of the details, your going to take the main pieces from earlier and tape them to the split piece of cardboard (the split piece). Then your going to cut all of the details out with an exacto knife. Now, you get to glue allllll of them on 1 by 1. After you glue all of the details on, the R2-D2 is finished. (I took the foot pedestals off so the gluing process would be easier)

This whole process for me has been a journey, I developed food poisoning in the middle of it, so it put a halt on my progress. Overall, I am very happy with how this turned out and it is now a decoration that I have in my room. May the ‘fourth’ be with you 😊 (if you are reading this later on, this was published May 4)

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