How to Make Your Own Cardboard Cutouts

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Things You'll Need

  • High-resolution photo

  • Large, flat piece of cardboard

  • Glue

  • Utility knife

Have you ever wandered through a store, gazing at all of the cardboard cutouts of famous people and characters and thought, "If I could only make something like that?" The process is simpler than you may think. Cardboard cutouts are creative ways to bring our favorite characters or movie scenes to life, and they can make spectacular gifts for special occasions. There are some essential tips that will make the production process smooth and simple.


Step 1

Find a high-resolution photo. No matter what image you would like to display on your cardboard cutout, the only way to produce a visibly pleasing one is to use a high-resolution image that can be blown up to size without sacrificing quality. A good rule of thumb for large pictures is to only use picture sizes over 10 megapixels to ensure clean lines throughout your image. A quick Google search can yield some fast and effective solutions to this approach; type the words "high resolution" along with the kind of image you are looking for, and click "images" to narrow down your search to pictures only.


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Step 2

Enlarge your photo. Numerous high-resolution image enlarging programs available that will make pictures larger without sacrificing a great deal of quality or becoming pixelated. The main aspect in a desirable program is its ability to print out a single image over multiple sheets of paper, to be assembled like a puzzle. The alternative is to seek out a print shop that can produce the image and size you are looking for; this approach can be costly.


Step 3

Arrange the image onto the cardboard. When the printing is finished and you are staring at a mass of papers with various parts of your image on them, arrange the pieces on the cardboard in their proper order without using any glue to make sure you have every piece and there are no pieces that became smeared or blotched during printing.


Step 4

Use a strong glue to adhere each piece, one by one, to its location on the cardboard. As you glue each piece, inspect all the edges, making sure they line up well and are firmly glued down.

Step 5

Cut out the figure. After the glue has fully dried, place the cardboard over a cut-friendly surface and cut around the edges of your cardboard figure. Be sure to leave some extra cardboard at the bottom to slide into your cutout stand or fold into a box that will support the figure.


An alternative to using a stand is to glue a separate piece of cardboard onto the back of your cutout that stands perpendicular to the figure. This method is only useful for one-sided cardboard cutouts.


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