How to Make a Cardboard Fire Hydrant

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Fire hydrants are placed in strategic spots to provide water for fire departments to utilize in case of a fire.
Fire hydrants are placed in strategic spots to provide water for fire departments to utilize in case of a fire. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Fire hydrants provide access to water for firefighters and are a common sight in neighborhoods, business districts and rural areas. Although hydrants have evolved to different shapes, the old-fashioned ones are about 18 inches in diameter and 2 feet tall. At least two capped pipes stick out from the sides and the top resembles a cuffed hat much like a stocking cap. The best-known colors for hydrants throughout the years are red or yellow. You can create a flat hydrant from corrugated cardboard for a wall decoration or lesson prop, or you can make a 3-D fire hydrant from a round box.

Things You'll Need

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Markers
  • Silver duct tape
  • Bucket (optional)
  • Sand (optional)
  • Round oatmeal box
  • Paper cups
  • Cardboard soup bowl
  • Hot glue gun

Flat Cardboard Cutout

Use a picture of a fire hydrant to sketch an outline of the desired hydrant size onto the cardboard. Include a pipe for the water hose hook-up on each side of the hydrant drawing. Make the top of the hydrant rounded or flat, as desired.

Use a craft knife or heavy-duty scissors to cut the shape from the cardboard. Cut the selvages off as you work around the hydrant shape to make cutting easier.

Paint the cutout cardboard red or whatever color you chose. Consider painting the main portion of the cutout one color and the flat or rounded top another color. Paint only one side or both, as you desire.

Cover the two pipe-shapes on the sides of the cardboard cutout with silver duct tape to look like large bolts.

Draw lines on the cardboard cutout with a dark marker to indicate where the top of the fire hydrant connects to the base. Draw lines where the duct tape begins on the pipes at the sides. Add other desired features with a marker, like the name of a fire district or city and lines to indicate cracked paint on an old and worn fire hydrant.

Attach the finished cardboard fire hydrant to a wall or lean it against a chair for display. Push the bottom end of the cardboard hydrant into a bucket with about 6 inches of sand, if you want it to stand on its own.

Stand-Alone Hydrant

Prepare cardboard items to create a replica of a fire hydrant. Paint the outsides of a round oatmeal box, along with two or three paper cups that will serve as the pipes. Paint a flat lid for a flat-topped hydrant or the outside surface of a cardboard soup bowl for a rounded-top fire hydrant.

Use a hot glue gun to construct the fire hydrant. Glue the lid or bowl to the top of the oatmeal box. Glue two or three painted cups, with the bottom end facing outward, to the sides of the oatmeal box where desired.

Use a marker to write the name of a fire district along the bottom edge of the cardboard hydrant. Add marker lines to represent cracks in the paint, if a worn look is desired.

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