ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Life Size Cardboard Cutouts - Can You Make Your Own?

Updated on May 8, 2011

Cardboard Cutout

Cardboard Cutout by robynneblume
Cardboard Cutout by robynneblume

Can You Make Your Own Cardboard Cutout?

When we saw Dancing with the Stars the other night, we got an idea for a fun kid project.  Wouldn't it be neat for them to have their own cardboard cutouts to play with?  And how much more fun would it be if they were life size! 

So I started researching how to do it on the Internet, and it turns out there are three options:

  • You can pay a company to make it for you.  This seems to be about $99.
  • You can take the picture and take it to a copy shop to have it printed out.  This is probably less than having a company make it, but still a little pricey.
  • You can print it out yourself.  The cheapest option but you run the risk of having lines where the pages join together.

So do you want to learn how to do it too?  Keep reading to find out!

Scrubs Episode: Janitor's Cardboard Cut Out

First Step: Decent Camera

To make a cardboard cutout, you first need a picture.  You can either obtain one online if you're making a cutout of a celebrity, use an existing picture, or take a new one.  Since you'll be blowing this picture up a lot, make sure to use the highest mega pixel setting you can find.

Taking your own picture with a good camera works best, as you don't know how clear the pictures off the web will be.  You don't want a picture that's all grainy when it's blown up.

To take the picture, have your subject stand against a plain background, such as a white wall.  This will make editing the picture a lot easier.

Next Step: Editing and Printing Your Image

After you get a good picture, import it into photoshop or another editing program. Delete the background to make things easier on yourself. It's less expensive if you get it printed at a copy shop without the background. Or you can leave it and just cut around the person.

Next, blow it up to life size using your editing software. This is the part that can take awhile.

After that, you have two choices: print it out at home, or take it to the copy shop. The copy shop will be more expensive, but you will avoid the joint lines that come from printing it out at home.


Video on Making a Cardboard Cutout

Attaching your picture to the background

Finally, it's time to take that giant picture and glue it to your cardboard.  For this, you can either use a big piece of sturdy cardboard, or foam board.  Most people will fit on two foam core boards. You also need to build supports to help your image stand up.

Take your image with the background intact.  Apply a spray adhesive, and press it onto the backing.  It can help to use a ruler edge to make sure you get all the bubbles out.

Let the glue dry completely.  When it is done, take an exacto knife and cut out around your person.  Attach the support to allow the image to stand. 

Then take it and have fun!  Make sure to report back how you used your cardboard cutout!

Quick Question

What's the Best Way to Use a Life Size Cutout?

See results

Who Can You Make Into a Cardboard Cutout?

So who can you make into a cardboard cutout?  And what can you use them for

Here are some ideas:

  • Family Members
  • Celebrities
  • Friends
  • Practical Jokes
  • Funny videos
  • Graduation Parties
  • Sport events
  • Decoration

What else can you think of?

Where would you use a lifesize cardboard cutout?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Scott Gardner 7 years ago

      Circusmama -

      This is a GREAT step-by-step instruction!

      I own a company that makes cardboard cutouts and just wanted to put my two cents in for anyone who doesn't have time or expertise to put together their own cutout by following your (excellent) directions.

      You mentioned in your "option 1" that custom cardboard cutouts are available online but not where to get them. We sell them for $99.95 at 6' tall, with other sizes available and can deliver as quickly as next-day...

      Thanks again for the great post!

      -Scott-

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 8 years ago from I'm outta here

      circusmama, You have found a very cool and fun activity. My eleven and thirteen year old girls are gonna flip for this. We are very much into Drama, Acting and Plays this will come in very handy. Love the Hub! Thanks and Peace :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)