How to Make Google Cardboard | Turn Your Boring Smartphone Into Cool VR Headset





Introduction: How to Make Google Cardboard | Turn Your Boring Smartphone Into Cool VR Headset

About: I'm a beginner to Android & Arduino programming And I want to learn and make things.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make Google Cardboard out of just a piece of cardboard. With this you can play virtual reality or 3d games, take a virtual tour, and much more. For this to work, you will just need an Android phone, cardboards and a pair of lenses.

Note that if you have any doubts please ask me on comment.

Step 1: Things You'll Need

Here's what you need to get started:

1. CARDBOARD :- Corrugated cardboard sheet, preferably E Flute (corrugated cardboard comes in a variety of thicknesses called "flutes"), available at many art supply stores and online . For best results, you should look for strong, thin cardboard (sturdy shoe box rather than moving box). Minimum size: 8.75in (22cm) by 22in (56cm), and 0.06in (1.5mm) thickness.

2. LENSES :- This is the trickiest component. Lenses that have a 45mm focal distance might work. Biconvex lenses work best because they prevent distortion around the edges. We used the Durovis OpenDive Lens Kit available on

3. MAGNETS :- One neodymium ring magnet and one ceramic disk magnet - like this or this. Approximate size: 0.75in (19mm) diameter and 0.12in (3mm) thickness.

4. VELCRO :- Two strips of regular strength adhesive-backed velcro. Approximate size: 0.75in (20mm) by 1.25in (30mm).

5. RUBBER BAND :- One rubber band, to prevent the phone from sliding out. Minimum length of 3.2in (8cm).

6. NFC TAG (OPTIONAL) :- One sticker NFC tag. Program it with the URL cardboard://v1.0.0

7. You'll also need a ruler, glue, and scissors, an X-acto knife, or access to a laser cutter.(not included in the picture above)

Step 2: Download the Template

Actually, you don't need to design it. The design files are already available here -

Step 3: Making the VR Viewer

Now, follow the procedure below to make your own VR viewer :-

Firstly, open the .zip file downloaded from the website(on step 2) and double-click on cardboard.pdf file.

Secondly, print the template(cardboad.pdf) in colour by clicking File > Print in Adobe Reader or any other software.

Thirdly, glue the template onto a piece of cardboard(listed in step 1) and after drying, glue the light numbers on above of the dark ones.

Fourthly, cut out the cardboard along the black lines. Do not cut the 'RED' lines. Also cut the boxes with black line using a X-acto knife.

Step 4: Assembly-I

To assemble it, you've two choices :-

First, assemble as on

Second, just follow me in the next step.

Step 5: Assembly-II

For the assembly,

First, fold along the red lines and also fold the lens part so that there'll be 3 layers od cardboard to make lens holder. But before folding affix two biconvex lens in it and then fold.

Second, attach the flaps of the cardboard into the boxes of the other cut earlier. It should look as shown in the picture.

Third, firmly assemble it by following the folds. The picture is shown.

Fourth, affix the disk magnet using glue on the dotted circle with mirror image of ''Magnet'' written. After that, stick the ring magnet with the other on the reverse side.(Now, don't use glue to fix it.)

Now, your own Cardboard VR viewer is ready to use. To use it, you'll need to download Cardboard app from Google Play Store.

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45 Discussions


Question 3 months ago

Can someone explain the duty of the magnets. How did they behave like a button?

2 more answers

Actually, magnets were only supported by those phones which have magnetometer. The magnetometer sense the change in magnetic field due to movement of the magnet.

In version 2 of Google Cardboard, magnets are not required. Instead it uses a mechanical button that touches the screen when you press it.

hey if you have a pair of binoculars you could tear them open and remove their lenses! :D thats what i did xD

1 reply

Same here. However, I would only recommend using a 4x32 or smaller. Anything with a higher refraction will make it difficult to focus on the screen. However, I suppose that a tablet would work better like that since the screen would need to be at least a foot from your face in the first place.

Yes. The lens changes the focal point of the screen so that you can view it up close. Ie: it's like looking into a binocular backwards, the screen becomes smaller, and your eyes are able to focus without rediculous strain.


1 year ago

Great Instrctable, well done!


2 years ago

I think it would be possible to use corrugated plastic, available at Lowes, to build these glasses. If so they would support a larger tablet, such as my Samsung 8.4, My only question is would the larger screen require a special lens? I don't think so because the image on the app does not cover the entire tablet screen. If anyone has any thoughts on this please post. Thanks.

1 reply

Try visiting

But will a tab work?


1 year ago

Thats awesome dude!

sorry for the download link for the cutouts not available for you. i have updated my instructable with a new link. check that out.

Hi. Looking to do this as a team builder. Does anywhere know where I could buy all of the materials? I am looking for the cardboard already cut due to time restraints and not allowed to use X-acto knife. The kits I see online are already built. Thanks!

Woah! More than 270000 views!! I can't believe my eyes!!!

if anyone can send me the the printable cardboard instructions pls