Diy Cardboard Mario Kart Blue Shell Trophy




About: Living in Berlin Germany and working as a 2d/3d Illustrator and Animator for 20+ years. I am very happy when i can take my eyes of the Screen.I Love building stuff from material that would normaly be describ...

Welcome to my new Instructable. This Time i am building a Wall Trophy Version of the Blue Shell from Mario Kart. That Shell is one of the most hated extras ever, at least for me. (More about my hateful relationship with the Shell in the Video)
To build this Sculpture you just need Cardboard, a little bit of Paper, some White and some Clear Spray paint (for the Display Board), a Magnet and Wood glue. The main Tools used are Box cutters , Rulers Scissors and some clamps. I use some additional Stuff, but that is just for convenience and not necessary.

Included in this Instructable are two Videos. The first is a Project overview and the second is a sped up full Time lapse. The “Multi Images” in the different Steps are taken from the Time lapse.

I hope you will like this Instructable and that you will have fun to Diy.

Best wishes


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Step 1: Building a Rough Sketch Sculpture to Establish Proportions

In the beginning i was unsure how big i wanted to build the Shell. Sometimes I find it hard to imagine what the size of a Sculpture should be. In this case I was especially unsure. So I decided to build a quick Sketch version.
I crumbled up Newspaper pages and pressed and pushed them until I arrived at a size and form, that felt comfortable to me. I wrapped Painters tape around the Newspaper to make the shape more permanent. For the outer Rim of the shell I formed a tube crumbled Tube out of the Newspaper. That tube got wrapped and then cut to Fit around the main Shell. Same thing for the front “collar” thing.

For the Spikes i rolled some thick Paper into the shape of an Ice cream Cone and cut it to desired length. Again Painters tape was used to “mount” the Spikes to the Shell.

Now i took a Marker and a Ball pen to sketch out the locations for the different Plates that would be on the shell.

To build a little sketch before you build the real thing can really help to avoid trouble later on. Now I was ready to move on to the “Real” Shell

Step 2: Building the Upper and Lower Shell (01)

In the Pictures above you can see the dimensions that my Shell ended up having. Adjust them to your liking.

Above is a Video called “Cardboard Techniques 2-01” In this Video I explain and show techniques that I use throughout the whole build process. If you want to build this Sculpture it might be helpful for you to watch it. Whenever I say “...and then smooth the Edges” I am referring to Techniques from the Video above.

Step 3: Building the Upper and Lower Shell (02)

Lets start. I cut myself to ellipsoid Cardboard Pieces that where about 50% wider and deeper than the final Shell. I drew an ellipse in the middle of each piece that was about 10cm and 8cm wide. From the edge of that ellipse i cut to the outside edge of the Cardboard. The spacing between the cuts (at the Inside circle) was about 1.5 to 2 cm. I “sculpted” the cardboard with my hands, gradually weakening it, until i got a rounded of form. The overlapping edge where glued together. Look at the second picture from the first image. I left a Rim about 4 cm untouched. Glue each overlap separately and sculpt it while doing that.
The two parts of the shell where not strong enough to really hold their shape. So I built two cardboard rings, which i glued to the inside of each shell piece. They helped to stiffen both parts.

The rim, that was left standing, is now first folded and than glued to the inside of each Shell part. I used some small clamps while the glue was drying.

Next up i applied the “Panels” to both parts of the shell. I used some thicker cardboard for the Top Shell Panels, so that they would be really raised up after i smoothed the edges. I Started with the center panel and then cut each subsequent on to fit the one before. Really take your time to blend all the edges, this really helps to achieve an more “Sculpted” look.

After the glue was dry enough I cut the wholes for the neck and the Legs. Afterwards i glued a strip of Paper (2 cm wide) all around the upper rim of the lower Shell. This helps to have a stronger edge and it looks really good. See Image 5 on Picture two.

Last I glued the Top and Bottom part together. I wrapped some yarn around the shell to press both pieces together and let it dry.

Step 4: Building the Outer Rim, Spikes and Details (01)

The Rim that runs around the Shell was kind of difficult to build. The hard part was that it needed to slope upwards to the front. I would suggest that you watch that part in the Time lapse Video. It starts at 48:30. Basically I build that Rim from four layers of cardboard. The one on the Inside was about 2.5cm wide and each layer after that got a bit more narrow. To the Inside of that rim ring i glued a little Cardboard ridge. This is Important because it helps that ring to stay in place once you put it over the shell. (and you have more surface for the glue to attach to.)

Next i first smoothed the whole ring. The Work flow for the Collar, surrounding the neck area, is identical.

I build the spikes using a thin White Cardboard. In the beginning the Cardboard is to Stiff. To soften it I take it and Pull it back and forth over the edge of my desk. Once softened I can roll it into a Cone. With a Pencil i mark the cone at the heights of my liking. I “unroll” the cone and cut the cardboard along the Line I Drew. This cardboard shape now serves as my template which i use to draw another six. When finished i roll them into cone shape and glue the overlaps and smooth the seam. Using a circular cutter I make 7 Cardboard disks that are 5mm wider in diameter compared to the base of the Cones. Now the spikes are glued to the top of the disks.

Step 5: Building the Outer Rim, Spikes and Details (02)

Now it is time to finish up the outer Ring. For that I laminate white Paper around the whole Piece. For this I use quite a lot of Glue so that the paper starts feeling a bit Wet. This when trying to apply the paper without any creases. The White paper I had was not long enough, so I had to do it in three pieces. Laminate the Collar thing in the same way.
The rim can now be glued to the Shell. I covered the whole inside of the ring with a thick layer of glue and press it into place. While doing that I was very careful that the symmetry and the upward slope was just Right. The whole time that the Glue was drying I kept pressure on the Rim. After the Rim had a firm connection to the shell I cut the collar part so its would fit under the Rim and that it covered the Edge of the Head opening. I used clamps to hold it in its spot while Drying.

The last step was to glue on the Spikes. For the whole gluing had to press them down firmly for the Shell underneath was curved. The pressure helped them bend so that they completely touched the Surface.

The Shell is done!

Step 6: Building the Trophy Display Board (01)

The only thing left to do is the Display Board. I styled it so that the History of the shell inside the Mario Universe is evident. I think the pipe like arm fits the Theme. Inside the Top of the Piping, where it touches the Shell is a Magnet concealed under Paper. To the bottom of the shell I Glued a piece of Metal which is covered in Paper. This way the shell “Sticks” to the Piping. Because there is just one center contact Point the shell can be turned 360 degrees. The Board was then spray painted in a very light Grey.

Step 7: Building the Trophy Display Board (02)

The Pipes were made from a Cardboard Tube that used to be inside a roll of aluminum Foil. I wrapped a long stripe of cardboard to the of Side of the Cone that was going to be glued to the backboard . This way I increased the Area for the Glue. The top of that stripe was covered with some paper and the Edges where smoothed out.
I the bottom of the up facing pipe was cut so it could be glued onto of the outward facing one. Again i wrapped a stripe of paper around the top of the pipe. This way increasing the Area that the Shell could rest on. Now three Cardboard discs, with the same diameter as the top of the Pipe, where cut out. These where first: glued on top of each other and then given a hole in the middle. The hole was just big enough to put the magnet into it. The magnet disk was now glued to the pipe and covered with a piece of paper. I finished of the piping with some decorative elements that helped it look more industrial.

For the backboard I used some really thick cardboard. If you don’t have any, just glue multiple layers together. I glued the Stripes, which make the frame upright to all four sides of the backboard. To the top of each stripe i glued a strip of thin material. I angeled all Corners and glue a cardboard stripe to each. After i smoothed out all edges I smeared Glue into the Inside comers of the Frame and thus sealing the small Gap that was present. Now the time came to glue the piping to the board. I checked and double checked that it was completely upright.

Step 8: Finishing Touch and .... Done!

As the last Step I added some detail to the Top Pipe. Now the only thing left to do was let the whole Sculpt dry for a couple of hours and then Spray paint it.

Thank´s for reading! I hope this Instructable was of some use to you.

I wish you all a Nice Day.

Have fun building.


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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago

    This is so good, I'm left deeply conflicted. I want it, but I question my skills/time.


    3 years ago

    This is pretty awesome! Your sculpting skill with the cardboard is very good. could you put links for the videos in the body so mobile users can watch?

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Clever trophy stand. ;) Your cardboard-sculpting skills are amazing!


    3 years ago

    woah! thats amazing. How long did this take you?