Cardboard Robot


My son is really into robots and I recently found some cardboard boxes that someone was throwing away… so we made a robot! It was really easy to make and a fun project…

First I glued the boxes to each other with wood glue. You can use Elmers glue, craft glue or whatever glue you prefer. I like wood glue because it is very strong and thicker than other types of glue, so it doesn’t run all over the place.

I covered any seams I didn’t want to show with paper tape. Paper tape is something I like to have around because it dries fairly quickly, completely blends into cardboard and can be painted. It is traditionally used to stretch watercolor paper and therefore I have only been able to find it at an art store such as Blick Art Materials and I have never seen it at hobby and craft stores. Anyway, it works like old fashioned stamps (the kind you lick). You tear or cut a piece of paper tape off the roll and briefly dip the entire length in a bowl of water, then stick it to the surface you want to adhere and cover. You can slide it into position a bit, but then you want to leave it alone to dry. It’s really strong once it dries.

I cut a styrofoam ball in half for the “ears” on either side and bent a clothes hanger into a coil and stuck it on top of the head for another detail. Expandable dryer vent hose worked well for the arms. I cut a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the hose (I used 4 inch hose) and fed the first couple rings of hose into the hole. Making the hole slight smaller than the hose diameter kept it in place well. Then it just needed to be painted! You can use cheap house paint, tempera paint or acrylics… whatever you feel like using. I used house paint because it covers well and is fairly inexpensive.

It’s fun for a birthday party to welcome the guests at the door or just a fun project to spark imagination. My son and I talked all about how he wanted the robot to look and what colors to use. It was fun to work together on the project! And when your kids are done enjoying it, put it on Craigslist or on the recycling pile for garbage day!

Want more ideas for cardboard?

Click here to find out how to make this cardboard train!

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