Cardboard Fountain




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This fun little project uses mostly plain ole cardboard!

My art club had a contest called "Thinking Outside The Box" where we all got a cardboard box and was told to create something new!

I just cut multiple circles in various sizes, plus created a trick to make the cool fake "water" to replicate a pretty fountain. It was pretty popular!

Try it!

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Step 1: Cardboard Fountain- Materials

I started out with cardboard, some various sized dishes, pencil, watercolor set, clear latex silicone caulk, glue, one metal skewer, scissors or an exacto knife and a spare mirror.

Step 2: Create a Design You Like

I designed what I thought looked like a pretty fountain shape out of various sized dishes, bowls and vases I had around my house to have an idea of what shape I wanted to recreate.

I used the dishes to draw their shape on the cardboard and cut out multiples of them (the larger ones in a ring in the middle) until they were the heights and sizes I liked.

I ended up cutting the large dish size carefully enough to be able to use the inside of the cardboard as some of the smaller discs. I eyeballed the shapes I needed to, comparing them with the previous shape and cutting off small amounts to replicate the shape of the shapelier vase.

Step 3: Building the Fountain

I sandwiched a piece of mirror I had (all steps not shown here...I didn't take some pics since I didn't expect to be entering this project anywhere, sorry!) and glued each discs together as I went.

I actually stuck a metal skewer down through the middle of the upper smaller portion of the cardboard fountain for additional stability.

I used a kiddie water color set and dabbed some pretty yellows and oranges (and a little green for moss) and on to the cardboard to make it look weathered. (See photo)

I spread some of the latex onto the mirror that I had sandwiched between some of the bottom ringed circles to replicate water in the fountain. (Also in photo)

Step 4: It All Comes Together

I painted a somewhat thicker slathering of the clear latex caulk with silicone (which starts out white but turns clear when dry) onto a plastic board, then wiped some watercolor blue on it and left it out to dry in the sun.

When it dried completely, I gently ran my finger over it, pulling it off the plastic backing and gently rolling it a bit. I pulled it off and wrapped it lightly around the upper part of the fountain to look like water pouring down.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

I made a tiny ball at the top of the fountain to look like water spurting out and cut a few thin straight slices out of the remaining dried silicone to replicate water pouring over the side of the fountain.

I used a finger to spread a little of the silicone on the mirror to look like water movement in the fountain too.

It was a fun project and a collector actually offered to buy it to place it in his art gallery at the end of our little show!

Cardboard Contest 2016

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2016



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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I absolutely love it too, and I'm with Karen, you got skills, sell it and make another. But I say, Make it water proof and put a real pump up inside it. They don't cost that much. They aren't hard to figure out. Real cheap on Ebay. Just don't get the tiniest one and score a little tubing. You could keep the cardboard look in a few places and just laminate it, or whatever, like ruins, and Stucco is great to work with . You Might need two coats, a regular coat and a finish coat. I think it's genius, It would look like Greek Ruins and you could just pop it in a big wide bucket/ thingy. Use more resin for fake water if you want, but let some real water flow too. I just can't keep my OPINIONS to myself

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago are so sweet! I appreciate your comments on my FIRST Instructables entry ever!

    I wasn't even sure about it once it was finished but everyone was so nice in their comments that I will be creating something new with cardboard for our NEXT competition for sure!

    I actually first considered adding a pump and having real water flow out originally, but this was just a simple little project with our art club (just for fun) I didn't want to get all competitive and try it! Plus I'm lazy. :-)


    Reply 2 years ago

    i always wanted to do a funtain. they sel the really small ones eal cheap a couple of dollars, on ebay. you can get ones that plug in or ones that I guess you hook up, then just let your imagination go. I was going to get a platic punch bowl for 1$ and the set of champagne glasses same price. you wash in rubbing alcohol and then you can paint with the1$ glass paint walmarts, if you get a log tube, you can disguise it nd tint the water, flows from glass 2 glass. also floating medium is so cool, you can se that, and watch a youtube on it 9great for abstracts too)


    2 years ago

    I just look at this and look at it. It's so beautiful I want a huge one in my yard


    2 years ago

    I was fooled with the silicone "water" also. Good project! I hope you sold it and made some money!


    3 years ago

    Whoa! You had me fooled. I really thought you had water running through and over this!

    Neat little project, made me smile :)

    1 reply