Introduction: Make a Play the Greener Way: How to Make a Cardboard Squid Costume.

This costume was made for a school project. A few rules were set regarding the design and construction of the costume. The entire class was broken up into groups. Within the groups was one common theme related to the marine world. One example was the theme of marine invertebrates.  The design is intended for middle school children ages eleven to thirteen. The costume was to be used as either a halloween costume or a costume for a play.

My plan was to design and construct a marine themed costume entirely out of cardboard, making as few parts as possible. The costume is safe to wear and can be taken apart and stored in a flat pack.

The design is functional. The wearer will not need to worry about the costume falling apart by itself. The costume is easily assembled and inexpensive to make. This design is great for kids ages eleven to thirteen, but the measurements can be altered to fit people of all ages and sizes.

The whole design was made out of cardboard and was assembled using slotted construction. That means there were no fasteners or adhesives used to put the costume together.

Step 1: Material List

Item S1
Description: Single Ply Cardboard
Size: 48.75" x 47.25"
Quantity: 1
Remarks: This will be cut into smaller pieces, and you may have some extra cardboard.

Step 2: Tools and Equipment List

Item T1
Cutting Mat
Use: To protect tables or carpet from the utility knife.

Item T2
Utility Knife
Use: To slice the cardboard.

Item T3
Use: To take measurements and assist in drawing straight lines.

Item T4
Use: To draw outline of pieces and mark places to be cut.

Step 3: Part List

Item P1
Quantity: 2

Item P2
Quantity: 1

Item P3
Quantity: 5

Step 4: Making the Fins

Part P1:
1. Draw two 9" x 9" squares on the cardboard (S1) using a pencil (T4).
2. Inside each square, draw with a pencil (T4) a fin of a squid with a 3" by 4.5" tab to connect to the body (P2).
3. Cut out using the utility knife (T2).

Step 5: Making the Body

Part P2:
1. Draw a 36.75" x 21.75" rectangle on the cardboard (S1) using a pencil (T4) and a ruler (T3).
2. Cut two 2" slits on the bottom left of the box, 1.5" from the bottom using the ruler (T3), the cutting mat (T1) and the utility knife (T2).
3.Cut three 2" slits on the bottom right of the box, 1.5" from the bottom using the ruler (T3), the cutting mat (T1) and the utility knife (T2).
4. Repeat steps two and three 1" up from previous cuts.
5. Cut an upwards slanted slit 2.25" wide in the top right of the box, 4.5" in from the side and 3" down from the top, using a ruler (T3), the cutting mat (T1), and the utility knife (T2).
6. Using a ruler (T3), a utility knife (T2), and a cutting mat (T1), cut two 5" vertical slits 18" apart and 4.5" down from the top. The first slit is 6" from the left side, the second is 10" in from the right side.
7. On the top left corner, cut a vertical 3" slit 2.25" in from the side using a ruler (T3), utility knife (T2) and a cutting mat (T1).

Step 6: Making the Tentacles

Part P3:
1. Using a pencil (T4) and a ruler (T3), draw a 3" by 1.5" box at the top of the cardboard (S1).
2. On the bottom of the box, mark .75" on both sides using a pencil (T4) and a ruler (T3).
3. Using a pencil (T4) and a ruler (T3), draw a 15" tentacle spanning no more than 1.5".
4. Cut out using a utility knife (T2) on a cutting mat (T1).
5. Repeat four more times

Step 7: Putting the Costume Together

1. Paint the cardboard on both sides, and wait until completely dry. [optional]
2. Slide tentacles (P3) into bottom slots of the body (P2).
3. On the body, fold 3" flap into slot on right. You should have a cone/cylinder shape. Some creasing may be necessary to get the proper shape.
4. Slide fins (P1) into 5" slots on body.