Cardboard Samurai Armor

Introduction: Cardboard Samurai Armor

About: Love to make stuff!

Samurai are some of the most iconic fighters in history, with there virtues of patience and focus, and there iconic weaponry like the katana. However what made them so iconic is their stunning colorful armor with elegant decorations. Sadly, in the late 1800's the Samurai were gradually illegalized. But, the legend can live on! This instructable will lead you through simple steps to make simple but cool Samurai armor.

Step 1: Materials

  1. Some cutting utensil
  2. Ruler
  3. Pencil, pen, or marker
  4. String
  5. Cardboard (it's important to note that you could make this out of any material that is similar to cardboard like poster board, leather, etc.)
  6. Optional: Hole Puncher

Step 2: Cutting Out the Shapes

  • Using your ruler, pencil, and knife you are going to first cut 4 strips with that are 4 by 18 inches. I found it best to draw the shape I wanted then cut it out along the ruler to make straight and clean cuts.
  • You will also need to make 3 more strips, these ones being 4 by 12 inches

Step 3: Punching Holes

  • Using a ruler and a writing utensil, mark out 2 dots on each corner of a panel. One should be 1 inch from the side, and the other 1 inch to the side from the first hole. Both should be 1/2 inch from the bottom.
  • Repeat the process so that you have a total of 8 dots on a panel, 2 in each corner.
  • Using a hole punch (best way to go) or any other method of cutting holes or incisions on cardboard, make holes where you drew the dots.
  • Instead of repeating this process to make holes on each panel, I found the best way was to use the first panel that I made and use it as a stencil and make dots on the other two 4*12 panels.
  • Next, I place one of the panels that I had already made holes in, in the middle of one of the bigger panels and used it as a stencil.
  • I then punched those holes out then used this panel as a stencil for the other 4*18 panels.

Step 4: Stringing the Panels Together

  • Get a string around 72in long and find the center.
  • Thread the string through the holes on one side of one of the 4*12 panels. Make sure that the string is equal on both sides.
  • Get a second 4*12 panel and place it's top holes directly beneath the bottom holes of the panel with string so that they line up.
  • Then from the bottom, make an X crossing the string and then thread the string through the first and second panel.
  • From here the strings should be on the top side. Now you take the strings and thread them through each other's holes so they should pass by each other and pop back out on the underside.
  • From here you repeat the process by placing another panel and threading the strings through again. Eventually, you'll need to switch to the longer panels.
  • Note* It is important that you make sure you place the panels in the right order so that it has a downwards single effect.
  • You also will need to repeat the process on the other side as well.
  • (Make sure you check out the pictures for help.)

Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4

Repeat steps 1-3 to make another identical piece of strung together panels of cardboard. This is for the back side, so you can eye-ball things because it does not need to be as perfect.

Step 6: Shoulder Straps

  • Cut out two 2 by 12 inch straps.
  • Then, you need to put 2 holes on each side of the 2 straps that are the same distance apart as the ones on the top of the chest and back piece.
  • Next, you need to get a 6 inch string, string the string through the chest and back pieces and shoulder straps. Then tie a not.
  • I put the straps on the inside of the front and back pieces, but you can put them on the front if you want

Step 7: Left Side

  • First, you need to take you hole puncher or whatever cutting tool your using and make 2 holes on each left end of the 4*18 panels. I personally just eye-balled them, but measurement wise you would them 1 inch from the side and 1/2 form the bottom or top.
  • Next, you are going to bring them in a similar fashion the way we strung the panels together. You are going to need a 72 inch string again. You put the string on either side of the bottom panels and make sure the that there is an equal amount on each side. Next, as opposed to crossing it like an X, you are just going to go straight. The rest of the steps are the same as the stringing of the chest and back panels.
  • You also want to make sure you have the right amount of tightness when doing this. For me, I had to sinch the chest and back piece all the way together.

Step 8: Right Side (Back Plate)

  • The first thing you need to do is punch holes in a similar manner as you did on the left side. Make sure you do the chest and back piece.
  • Next, you need a string about 24 inches long.
  • Now, just like previous strung parts you need to find the center of your string then thread it through the bottom hole so the string is even on both sides.
  • Next, take the string that is on the top side and slip it through the next hole up. (which should pass through two panels) Now the string should be on the bottom side.
  • Now do basically the same thing only this time with the bottom string and take it through the same hole so that it goes to the top.
  • Repeat this process until reaching the top.
  • Note* Unlike the left side we tied the back and chest plate together. On the right side, we only want to connect the back panels together.

Step 9: Right Side (Chest Plate

  • First, you're going to want to make 4, 1/2 by 6-inch strips and put a singular hole on the end of each one. (Makes sure you only punch one side.)
  • Next, do the exact same thing you did for stringing the back piece, only this time you need to place one of these strips each time there is a string on the top side.

Step 10:

  • Now you are completely done, all you need to do know is put it on.
  • First, you put it on leaving the right side open.
  • Once on, take the 4 strips that you have on the front and thread them under the string on the opposite side. This is sort of hard and I would suggest asking for help.
  • Once on, well, you're a Samurai...

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    5 years ago

    Cool idea, I wonder if you could use this (with some modifications) as a pressure vest for sensory issues... could be worth a try.

    Kevin Charles Fjord
    Kevin Charles Fjord

    5 years ago

    Wow, this was so easy and fun. My kids love it so much


    5 years ago

    Great job! I cant believe you didn't spend anything on this!

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Awesome! Just add a wrapping paper cardboard tube and your cardboard samurai will be complete!