Introduction: Cardboard Seal Costume
Our class was assigned a project to design and construct a cardboard costume that was marine themed. This costume had to fit a Intermediate School child, be able to be worn with minimum supervision, and be easily assembled. Everyone in the class produced a different marine animal/object. All of the costumes had to be flat pack, had to use slotted construction, and could only be made of recycled cardboard. Slotted construction does not use tape or glue, only can include cardboard with slots that fit with other pieces to form an object. This project not only included making the actual prototype but also forming a complete portfolio with a group. Information from the portfolio will be included throughout this instructable.
Design Brief: Design and build a costume made of only recycled cardboard using slotted construction. Costume must fit an Intermediate school child, be worn with minimum supervision, and be easily constructed. The costume will be flat packed, easily transported/stored, and use only slotted construction.
This costume will be able to be constructed by anyone that is looking to find a cardboard costume. This costume is meant to be a stage costume, because it is not practical for running around and trick-or-treating. Though this costume is not meant for agility it does present the maximum range of motion because it is in two parts. As opposed to being only one piece and not allowing one to bend or move their legs. This costume, having separate torso and leg pieces, allows one to bend and move legs to a certain extent. The average 11-12 year old female student is between 50-60 inches, while the average male student is 50-70 inches. This was considered while designing the costume but there is room for alterations if needed.
For this costume we could only use recycled cardboard, from warehouses for example. The costume would need to be feasible for a student to be able to wear, be comfortable, and be able to assemble or disassemble with ease. Bot being able to use tape or glue was a set back but slotted construction makes it easier to reuse the costume. How much cardboard the costume would be using was also a concern because there is not always large strait pieces of cardboard on hand.
Item Material Description Qty Size Remarks-Parts
S1 Refrigerator Box 1 Will cover whole costume
Step 1: Box
Draw an 8inX8in box on cardboard using a pencil(T4) and a ruler(T3)
Step 2: Mask
Inside the box from Step 1 draw a circle with a pencil(T4)
This circle will become the mask once a face is drawn, you may draw the face using my design or using your own.
Step 3: Cutting Out Mask
Cut out the seal mask using a utility knife(T2) or scissors.
Also cut out both eye holes and two 2in. slits on either side of the mask.
Step 4: Head and Hand Straps
Draw a 2inX20in rectangle using a pencil(T4) and a ruler(T3). This band will become the head strap that hold the mask on. To save cardboard, draw two 2inX8in rectangles right next to or near the head strap. These two smaller straps will be used to hold on the small flippers.
Cut out all three straps with a utility knife(T2).
Once cut out bend the straps in multiple places vertically to round them so that they will fit to your head and hands comfortably. Use the divots already in the cardboard as guides.
Note: Straps can be lengthened or shortened to better fit the wearer.
Step 5: Rectangles
Draw two 4inX8in rectangles using a pencil(T4) and a ruler(T3).
Step 6: Small Flippers
Inside the rectangles from Step 5 draw two small flippers, you may use my design or make up your own design.
Once the flippers are done to your satisfaction cut the flippers out with a utility knife(T2) or scissors. Inside the flippers make two 2in slots on either side
Step 7: Torso
Have a 52inX20in rectangle or cardboard cut out. This rectangle will be broken down into 4 different parts plus 4in to make tabs on the far right side.
The first section will be 16in long, then 8in, then 16in, and finally 8in. On the far right side there will be two 4inX4in tabs that start 4in from the top and have 4in. in between them.
In both 8in sections, from the center, go up 8in from the bottom using a ruler(T3). This is where the 6inX8in circle will be located, you may use a circle template(T5) to make circle.
Finally on the last section on the left side draw two 4in slits that correspond with the tabs on the opposite side.
Step 8: Cut Out Torso
Cut out the perimeter of the 52inX20in torso from the Step 7 using a utility knife(T2).
Step 9: Arms and Slits
Cut out both arm holes and slits with a utility knife(T2).
Step 10: Round Corners
Round all corners of the torso to make it look more natural. Do this be cutting 1-2in from each corner in a rounded fashion.
Step 11: Tail Fin
Have a 46inX30in piece of cardboard cut out. This piece will be divided into 4 sections plus 4in to make the tabs.
First section will be 9in, then 12in, then 9in, and finally 12in. On the far left side there are two 4inX4in tabs. The tabs start 8in. from the top left corner and 4in in between.
Draw each section, including the 4in section to the left, all the way down the cardboard.
-Inside the 4in section go down 4in and draw a 4inX4in square then do the same 4in down.
-In the first 9in section go down 4in and draw a horizontal line through the hole section. Then from bottom of the second tab draw a 4.5in line, from there go diagonally up to the 12in section.
-In the first 12in section draw a tail fin that fits to the section, see picture.
-In the second 9in section draw a line 4in down across the whole section. From there go 6in down on either side and draw diagonal lines that meet 16in down from the top of the cardboard.
-Finally in the last section draw a tail fin the same as the first 12in section.
Step 12: Cut Out Tail
Cut out tail fin using a utility knife(T2), also cut two 4in corresponding slits on the opposite side
Step 13: Parts List
Item Qty Part Name
P1 1 Mask
P2 1 Tail Fin
P3 1 Torso
P4 2 Small Flippers
P5 1 Head Band
P6 2 Hand Band
Step 14: Full Mask
Turn your mask(P1) upside down. Take the head band(P5) and place either side through a slit on both sides of the head. Make it loose first, put it on, then tighten the straps until the mask is comfortable.
Step 15: Complete Flippers
You will be using the same method that was used for assembling the mask(P1). Place both small flippers(P4) upside down and put both hand straps(P6) through the slits on either side of the flippers.
Step 16: Folded Torso
Have the person who is going to wear the costume face you. The torso(P3) piece will have to go behind them, take the 9in section with the tabs connected and have the wearer put their left arm through the arm hole. Then bring the costume behind them until they can put their other arm through the second arm hole. When the torso(P3) piece is around the wearer place the tabs in the corresponding slits.
Step 17: Folded Tail
Bring tail fin(P2) around the wearer with the tabs on the left side. Once around their hips secure the tabs in the corresponding slits. The tail looking parts should be facing the front ad back of the wearer.
Step 18: Enjoy!
Once the costume is complete and on the wearer, Enjoy what you have created!