Create a Character & Provide Laughs

There comes a time at college when you realize you need something to entertain yourself during the day, while you wait for the festivities at night. For my friends and I, one day we took to creating a character, mascot, creature, whatever you'd like to deem it.

Firstly, you must come up with a theme to design your character by. Building a human is no fun, theres plenty of those around. Animals would be exciting, but I'm not skilled enough to make it life-like. . .so I picked something inanimate. Being an electronics junky, I followed down that train of thought and came eventually to something that I hadn't seen in quite some time. . .a large older model Motorola phone. You know the one I'm talking about, the "Zach Morris Phone". Now I picked something electronic because I'm passionate about them, so you should pick something you like in order to enjoy the project the most that you can.

Hopefully you've come up with a character, so lets move on. . .

Step 1: Scrounging

Scrounger-a college student who is Major/Minoring in Architecture/Sculpture.

In my line of work (school), our projects only exist thanks to those that throw things away. For this project the structure, body, and details were all created with cardboard, as are most of my projects. Now stores sell boxes, which is really terrible cardboard (I'm an expert), plus it's expensive. Art stores sell flat sheets of cardboard, but once again, it's expensive.

My favorite place to go is the appliance store. They have so graciously separated the cardboard from the rest of the garbage (mine all have separate dumpsters) so it is clean, free, and thanks to refrigerators, very large. They also have some cool types of cardboard, such as compressed and layered columns, angles, and rolls to provide structure for the appliance boxes, and also thicker sheets up to 1" usually. That being said, if your appliance store chains their dumpster like some do, you could always go into any big box store and ask for boxes because they too separate them. Stores that carry garbage pails and plastic totes usually have the largest boxes. Remember, ask nicely and say thank you.

I guess we got a little off track from the actual Instructable, but its its useful info so you can let it slide, right? Thanks.

Anyway, back to scrounging. Luckily between my roommates and myself plenty of cardboard and paint for the numbers could be had, but no gray paint for the body was available. A trip to your local paint store can solve that problem and rather cheaply if you go right to the mixed-wrong paint shelf. Some of the colors are bizarre but you can usually find something close to what you were looking for at a nice bargain price.

I've just realized I like to ramble, so on to the next step and I promise it'll be brief.

Step 2: Research

Use Google to find out what your Character will look like if you aren't sure.

Step 3: Begin Building

This step varies from project to project, but for mine I began with the simple idea that I would like to be able to fit inside the phone, so this set my scale for it. I'd say I measured everything out from a model or a picture, but everything was done by eye due to not being able to find enough info. Use your best judgement, you'll be surprised how good your instinct is :) .

Now I didn't take many photos during this process, I was more concerned with getting the project done in a few hours than anything.

Things to Note:
Cut circles in cardboard with a drill, it works wonders.
The antennae is rolled up cardboard. You can curve cardboard by peeling off the paper on one side, curving it to your desire, and then re-gluing the paper on, it holds its form beautifully and looks better than scoring it.
Be wary of the ceiling when building, I missed by 2 inches thankfully.
Paint very thin layers on cardboard because it will begin to warp. Its best to use spray paint.
The numbers are actually 3D, just two layers of cardboard to give it some dimension and a shadow. The little details help it be more realistic.
The text is just glossy paper cutouts from the computer, easy, free, and it looks good.

Step 4: Give Your Character Some Personality

This is where you get random, thats honestly the only way I can put it. The best things happen when they aren't planned. I made the phone with the intention of someone being able to fit into it, but I doubted that any of us would. Thankfully my friend has quite the outgoing personality and got in the phone and ran outside. We grabbed our cameras and filmed every bit we could.

The result was a nice walk out with our friend the 7' phone. He interacted with so many people that day, visiting all parts of our campus. We strolled through campus taking in the views, talking to people, went to the gym, appeared on the radio station, went to the library and enforced rules about no phones in the library, attempted to play Frisbee (he has no arms), and just had a great time.

Our result was that we did in-fact entertain ourselves and brought some good laughs to others, all in all a successful project.

Heres a video of our day outHeres a video of our day out.



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    9 Discussions


    11 years ago on Step 4

    ROFLcopters! Awesome phone, creative pics too. I don't think I would've thought to go to the gym. Just a thought, if you ever wanted to mod this, I think it'd be great to add a speaker and some pre-recorded "old school" sounds. Maybe even large pushbutton action...people could then interact. AWESOME THOUGH!

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm, do you have LOLies in your ROFLcopter, how about your LOLerscates


    10 years ago on Step 3

    You know what? Ive found my character...a Mailbox!!! (in you live in Quebec, close to montreal, dont even think about using my idea, or ur dead!)really, that would be cool... ill upload my instructable right away!


    10 years ago on Step 3

    This is a G R E A T instructable!!!!! Its also a good idea for halloween :D one word: GRATZ!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    how is it being held together? cuz from the looks of it there is no duct tape


    11 years ago on Introduction

    a cell phone on a treadmill? classic! there was at one time a group of guys who would dress up in these foam cellphone outfits...and lie in wait around corners in public places...when someone would answer their cellphone on the street..the guy in the phone suit would run out and smash the person's phone...then run away...very funny