How to make R2-D2 from cardboard

May the fourth is approaching and we thought this was the perfect opportunity to give our newest member of staff a challenge. Our sales and marketing co-ordinator Rhian loves being crafty and this month she’s taken on the challenge of building a cardboard R2-D2! This is her step by step guide on how to do it, take it away Rhian..

You will need:

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Firstly I got a load of scrap cardboard, mine are in sheets but you can easily cut up some cardboard boxes and recycle these into what will be a masterpiece (we hope!)

TIP: Research R2-D2, collect plenty of pictures.

Cardboard R2D2

The first thing was to make the body – This is probably the easiest bit!

I cut out a rectangular piece of cardboard using a Stanley knife. When cutting the cardboard I found it easy when I went over the lines gently first, just to scar the board and then repeat until it was cut.

Board cut – get rolling! Roll the board with your fingers to make as many grooves as you can so you get a better circular shape. Tape up the ends to make your cylinder (you could tape a circle down the middle for extra stability).

Cardboard R2D2

Now you need to get your thinking cap on, it’s time for the legs. Be sure to consult your pictures! I decided on a shape, some measurements and crossed my fingers!

TIP: I did everything in pencil first, then went over the lines I wanted to cut along in pen.

Cardboard R2D2

If you have a compass handy you can use this to make the circular top. Otherwise you can go free hand or trace around a bowl.

The great thing is, once you’ve done one leg, you can trace around this to cut out another 3! I cut out all the legs using a ruler and a Stanley knife. You could use a scissors.

Being a Star Wars novice, I completely forgot about R2-D2’s 3rd leg, so don’t forget that!

I made use of all my scraps and cut them into rectangular shapes. I used these to make the legs thicker so that my R2-D2 would stand. Using some PVA glue I stacked 3 layers of cardboard carefully in between two legs. See pictures below.

Cardboard R2D2

Now the messy part begins – PAPER-MACHE! :)

I mixed some PVA glue and water in a dish and stirred it in with a paint brush. I applied paper mache to the legs using white paper, which ensured that the sides were covered well first, to bridge the gap.

Cardboard R2D2

Don’t wash your paper-mache – We’re not done with that yet!

So we have the body, the legs,  now we need a head.

I’m a keen baker and so I have a massive baking dish. If you don’t have something like this you could use a balloon, a plant pot, a globe… anything round.

I turned my mixing bowl up-side-down and wrapped it in cling film. Using news paper cuttings I got to work piling on the paper mache. Once you’ve put a few layers on, leave it to dry in a warm place – I left mine by the radiator overnight.

Cardboard R2D2

Add more layers until sturdy. I padded out the top of my bowl with lots and lots to get a dome shape.  When you think you have enough layers and it’s dry, carefully take the paper-mache off the bowl.

Once everything is dry, go back to your white paper and cover the body and head with a white layer… go crazy!!

Cardboard R2D2

Now it’s time to decorate… this is make or break time (scared face).

You could decorate your R2D2 however you want, using some paper and colours would do the job! I decided to use spray paints.

TIP: Spend time looking at pictures before cutting!

If you’ve been neat with your paper mache you’ll be able to decorate straight away. I hadn’t, so I had to stick a sheet of paper on top to give it a cleaner finish.

I cut out the appropriate shapes and spray painted them blue and silver. Once dried I glued them all together… Voila!

Cardboard R2D2

They look pretty neat, eh?

Now you need to decide how to stick these legs to the body. I used a staple gun but you could do it a number of other ways.

Cardboard R2D2

Remember that third leg I forgot about? Well I did make it, but turns out he wouldn’t balance with it so I left it out.

Now for the body – buttons galore! Draw everything out in pencil, cut along the lines carefully, colour and stick!

Cardboard R2D2

I spray painted R2-D2’s head silver and left it to dry. Once dry, I applied tape to the body. The tape looked a bit messy so I cut out silver strips of paper to cover up the tape. At the same time I cut out all the bits ready to decorate the head and then spray painted them blue.

Cardboard R2D2

I used the middle of a kitchen roll and a milk bottle top for R2-D2’s buttons… spray, dry and stick.

I used double sided tape to stick everything on.

Drum roll….

Cardboard R2D2

Good luck… May the fourth be with you!

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