How to Make Cardboard Animals

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard toilet paper rolls

  • Construction paper

  • Scissors

  • All purpose white glue

  • Ruler

  • Pencil

  • Thin Cardboard

  • Wiggle Eyes

  • Colored Markers

  • Pipe Cleaners

  • Yarn

Helping kids make cardboard animals is a fun and economical way to spend a rainy day, or any other time when a quiet activity is needed. Not only is the material needed easily available, a lesson on recycling can also be slipped in. The resulting cardboard animals also can be used for additional activities, such as illustrating stories or creating zoos.


Step 1

Decide first what cardboard animal you want to make. This will determine what color construction paper you will use. Use yellow for a lion, orange for a tiger, brown for a bear or gray for an elephant. If you want to create a few mythical beasts, use green for dragons or white for a unicorn.

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Step 2

Cover four cardboard toilet paper rolls with the appropriate color construction paper for your desired animal, and glue the paper in place. These will become the legs of your cardboard animal.

Step 3

Draw a five-inch square on a thin piece of cardboard, cut it out and glue the appropriate color of construction paper onto it to create the body of your animal. Glue the four legs in place on the underside of the body.


Step 4

Cut out a large circle of construction paper in the appropriate color for the cardboard animal's head. If you are making a lion, cut small slits around the diameter of the circle, and fold them slightly, alternating the folds forward and backward to form a mane.

Step 5

Cut out other features from the construction paper such as ears for bears, elephants or tigers, a trunk for an elephant, and stripes for a tiger. Cut out horns from leftover cardboard if you are making dragons or unicorns.Spikes for a dragon can also be cut from cardboard. Cover horns and spikes in the appropriate colored paper or color them with markers. Glue the features in place as needed.


Step 6

Draw a mouth on your cardboard animal with a marker and glue wiggle eyes in place. When all the glued pieces of the cardboard animal are dry, glue the head to the body.

Step 7

Cut a pipe cleaner to make a tail for your cardboard animal if your animal needs one. Glue several pieces of yarn on the end. When the glue is dry, fray the hanging edges and glue the tail in place.


The cardboard from empty cereal boxes is perfect for this craft. Use scraps of leftover yarn and felt to add the features to your cardboard animals.


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