Introduction: How to Make a Cardboard VR Headset

Have you ever wanted to experience a whole new world, without much effort? Well, today you will be doing just that, by learning how to make a Virtual Reality headset for your smartphone using cardboard.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


  • Cardboard
  • 80cm of 1" wide elastic
  • 2x Biconvex Lenses (25mm Diameter, 40-50mm focal length)
  • A smartphone for use/testing
  • 1x Neodymium Ring Magnet (18mm Diameter) - (OPTIONAL)
  • 3x Letter-Size Paper


  • A Box Cutter or an X-Acto Knife
  • A Hot-glue Gun
  • A Ruler
  • A Pen or Pencil
  • A Pair of Scissors
  • Scotch-tape

Step 2: Cutting Out the Template

  1. Print out the PDF available here:
  2. Using scissors, cut out all of the pieces from the printed template. Be sure to only cut the outsides.
  3. Using tape, attach pieces of paper with outlined numbers on top of the corresponding filled in numbers.
  4. Lightly tape each piece of paper to some cardboard.

Step 3: Making the Base

  1. Using a box cutter, cut along all of the solid black lines on the paper. Afterwards, you can trim off the bits of cardboard on the side peaking out using scissors and remove the paper.
  2. Using a pen or pencil, trace your phone's camera on the piece of cardboard with the camera hole.
  3. Fold the eye-hole piece on the red line shown in the paper template. Place your lenses inside, and hot-glue the folded parts.
  4. Line up the nose gap on the eye-hole piece with the nose gap on the bigger cardboard piece. Fold the cardboard around the eye-hole piece to form an enclosure. Hot-glue the holes on the sides to keep in place.
  5. Fold the flat cardboard on the side up, and glue in place.
  6. Do Step 1 if you have a magnet. Do Step 2 if you do not.
    1. Place the magnet inside the hole on the left side of the headset. After this, fold the cardboard sticking out back and glue.
    2. Cut off the cardboard sticking out on the left side of the headset.
  7. Place the nose-rest piece on the inside of the headset and glue it in place.

Step 4: Making the Head-strap

  1. Using the elastic, measure your head and cut the elastic where it reaches your eyes.
  2. Glue each side of the cut piece of elastic to the sides of the headset using the hot-glue gun.
  3. Cut another piece of elastic from the back of your head to your forehead going above your head. Glue one end to the top of your headset.
  4. Glue the other end of the elastic to the center of your first piece of elastic, so they meet at the back of where your head would be.

Step 5: Generating a Viewer Profile (Optional)

  1. On a computer, go to Google’s Viewer Profile Generator (
  2. Set the fields to the following:
    1. Primary Button Type: None (If no magnets), Magnet (If magnets)
    2. Screen to Lens Distance: 40.0 mm
    3. Inter-Lens Distance: 60.0 mm
    4. Screen Vertical Alignment: Bottom
    5. Tray to Lens-Center Distance: 35.0 mm
  3. Click Generate Profile, then print the QR code shown. Tape or glue the QR code to the back of your headset. You can use this if an app/game asks for the viewer profile for your headset.

Step 6: Testing/Use

  1. To use your completed VR headset, go to any VR app.
  2. Place your smartphone inside the headset.

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