Making a Stunt Dummy Head Out of Cardboard, Duct Tape, and Newspaper (Part One)




About: Film maker, musician, tinkerer. Living in Philly.

(Sorry for the long title!)

This is a follow up on my cardboard, duct tape, and newspaper stunt dummy instructable. The dummy will work fine, but as you can tell, it's missing a head!

Here is how to make "realistic" head for free.
(Unless you need to go buy duct tape. In that case, go get it, I'll wait.)

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Step 1: Get the Design

First, make a design for the shape. It will be different depending on who the dummy is for. This dummy is my stunt dummy, so the head is my shape. I made the design by taking a picture of the front and side of my head, tracing the outline on my computer, and printing it out. The grey is one layer, and the white is another. I chose to leave the white out for the side view.

If you don't feel like making one, print this one out. My head is pretty average. Measure your head with a ruler, put this picture is Publisher or something, and make the head the size of your head.

Next, cut out the design and trace it on a piece of cardboard. The cardboard shouldn't be too thick.

Step 2: Making It "3D"

Next is to actually make it 3D.

First, cut a line into the cardboard half way from the bottom on one part, and half way from the top on the other. Then slide them together. (Look at the pictures)

Step 3: Adding the Next Layer.

Next is to add the layer that you will build the face on. This is very important.

Cut out a shape that is a little smaller than the shape of the front, and without a neck. Then do the same thing to make it 3D, but cut the line on the forehead instead of at the neck. (Pictures help)

Step 4: Filling It With Paper

This is the tricky part. Crumple up newspaper and duct tape the balls onto the cardboard. Remember what a real head looks like when doing this. I started with the middle section. This really held the cardboard together and made it solid.

Step 5: Do the Rest.

Do the same thing for the rest. Save the face for last.

I used one big ball for each side of the back of the head, and then little ones to fill the gaps. This part is really up to you, and it depends how big the paper is too. I used the New York Times, and those are big pages.

Covering up the newspaper with duct tape makes it look better. It also wastes duct tape. To what you think is right.

Step 6: The Face

This is the hardest part. The most recognizable part of the human head is the face. And if you mess that up, it will look really weird.

I started with the nose, and then the cheeks, and then the chin. You can do what you want. Try using different sizes of news paper.

Step 7: Admire Your Work!

If you've made it this far, great job! Check to make sure that it's close to the same size as your head.

As you can see with the pictures, mine was pretty close.

Next time, painting it, and attaching it to the stunt dummy's body!

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    38 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    wow nice idea i think if i used thn cardboard and oogo in a human like form i could beat it up


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I REALLY don't want to know the possible uses for this thing...


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i colored mine up to give him a bloody nose, black eye, brush burn, x'ed out eyes and a stuck out tongue. plus his nose got pretty flat from too many roundhouse kicks to the face. i was thinking of adding a busted open skull with brains hanging out. i'll post pictures tomorrow morning around lunch(eastern US time.)

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    OMG I totally forgot! well, it's all mashed to a pulp now, because my brother kept stabbing it with a pair of scissors.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I know how to make it look like skin. crayola model magic clay has some traits of skin that make it perfect for this. mix entire tubs of blue, yellow and red to make enough brown.use 3 tubs of white to make the brown light.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You could spray paint this and your actual dummy body chroma key green to actually put peoples' faces and looks on this.

    Lance Mt.

    10 years ago on Introduction

    HOLY CRAP! I JSUT SAW THIS! Did the same thing 3-4 years ago but with a glass head.. Get the head and wrap lunch cling-wrap around it. Add a couple of layers onto that. Cut off. Tape back up. Fill with newspaper. Gets a more face like feeling but i liek this too! -Amazed, Chris


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    you could probably get away with using gloves, and then cutting up finger sized pieces of flexible foam and putting them in the gloves.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    lol i made this but i forgot to trace and cut out a neck so its just a head but i dont plan on making the dummy i just wanted something to hold the my sunglasses with

    Super CameramantheRIAA

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I got a roll of duct tape from the dollar store for... a dollar, and I didn't use close to the whole thing when I made this.