How to Make a 3D Elephant Out of Cardboard

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Use classic silver duct tape to simulate an elephant's gray hide.
Use classic silver duct tape to simulate an elephant's gray hide. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Elephants are stately and intriguing animals that are certain to fascinate many young children. You can use household materials that are readily available to create a cardboard toy elephant to use as decoration in a child's room or even as a toy for children who are old enough to handle a hollow toy without crushing it. Children will enjoy the final step of covering the elephant in duct tape to simulate a thick gray hide.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Cereal box
  • Duct tape
  • 4 toilet paper rolls
  • 1 paper towel roll
  • Permanent marker
  • White card stock

Cut one side of a cereal box into a rectangle 6 inches wide and 10 inches long. Roll it into a cylinder 6 inches long and secure it with duct tape to create the body of the elephant.

Tape the four toilet paper rolls to the underside of the body to form legs. If desired, cut the bottoms of the toilet paper rolls to make them parallel with the work surface.

Cut 1/2-inch-wide wedges every 2 inches along the length of the paper towel roll. Bend the roll to close the wedges, curving the paper towel roll upward to form the elephant's trunk. Apply a strip of duct tape to the inside of the curve to hold the roll in position.

Cut 1/2-inch-wide wedges about an inch deep every inch around the circumference of each end of the cylinder to create a series of tabs. Place one end of the trunk into one end of the body, fold the tabs on the body inward until they meet the trunk and tape them onto the trunk. Fold the tabs on the other end of the body inward to round out the cylinder. Tape them in place with a ring of duct tape.

Cut two 4-inch equilateral triangles out of the remainder of the cereal box, then round the corners by trimming off the points with curved cuts. Tape them to the body on either side of the trunk to form the elephant's ears.

Cover the elephant in duct tape, including taping over any remaining holes. Roll a 4-inch length of duct tape to form a tail and tape it to the back of the elephant's body. Cut tusks of white card stock and tape them to either side of the trunk. Add eyes, nostrils, toes and any other desired details with the permanent marker.

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