Introduction: The Cardboard Collection

About: My name is Natalie Pearl, and I graduated from Brown University last spring with a degree in Geology/Biology. Originally from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I am a mountain girl. The past four years of exploring…

Cardboard is one of those best kept secrets! For this reason I chose to explore what I was able to do with this material within the realm of clothing design. What I learned was that I only tapped into a small portion of cardboards amazing potential. It has the ability to move and make shapes that you simply can't achieve with fabric. This was an amazing experience that has only left me hungry to get my hands on some more cardboard!

Step 1: Collect Any and All Cardboard!

Collect any and all cardboard! Any cardboard works, from moving boxes to leftover shipping packages. I was lucky enough to find some one-sided cardboard which moves a bit easier. However, this is achievable with regular cardboard as well if you peal away one side of the corrugation.

Step 2: Cut It Up!

Next cut the cardboard into desired shapes! You can also do this as you go because different shapes and experiences will inspire you along the way. I used a lot of 1/2 inch strips, which I was able to cut using a laser cutter. However, strips are simple enough that they can be cut with a ruler and x-acto knife.

Step 3: Tools

Hot glue guns are the BEST! I also used scissors and an x-acto knife for cutting and scoring when necessary. String can be useful to keep your pieces adjustable to the model. For example they can be tied into place temporarily, represent an area where more material may need to be added, and tie the piece onto a model.

Step 4: Assembly

It is easiest to have a figure that you can use as a guide for sizing, length, and shape. It also helps if they can resist hot glue burns. I was lucky enough to have a roommate with some mannequins lying around. If you do not have mannequins at your disposal, don't worry! You just may have to get creative with things around the house such as pillows, buckets, fruit, etc...

Step 5: Show It Off!

Throughout this experience, one can explore a simple material such as cardboard. It is only natural that respect for this often dismissed medium will be gained. Allow yourself to delve into the potential of cardboard to hold shapes, create patterns, and resemble clothing that we love. Don't forget to have fun, and celebrate what you create!

Cardboard Contest 2017

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2017