How to Make a Cardboard Standup Cutout

Written by elyse james
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Cardboard cutouts are often featured in movie theatres, car showrooms or other areas where new products and items are being advertised. Because of their large size, cardboard cutouts are an effective tool to get the attention of the consumer, but they can also be fun for personal use as well. Create your own cardboard cutout of someone you know---or yourself---and use it to surprise them on their birthday or other special event.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large sheet of cardboard
  • Printing program
  • Printer paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape

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  1. 1

    Install a program such as Almost Breathing, The Big Picture or Poster Printer that will allow you to print a very large image across several sheets of paper.

  2. 2

    Select a photograph of the person you want to create a cutout of. The picture should have them standing and facing completely forwards. It should also be a full body shot that includes everything from their head to their feet. Use your new program to print out several sheets of paper that make up one large image.

  3. 3

    Use a spray adhesive or white glue to glue your pages to the cardboard sheet. If you are using spray adhesive, spray one area at a time and lay down each sheet. Use your hands to press the sheet to the cardboard. If you are using white glue with a roller, the benefit is that you can slide the pages slightly to adjust their placement.

  4. 4

    Place the photos onto the cardboard in order, working from side to side, starting with the head of your cardboard figure. It will help if you place the pages in order on the floor beside your work area so you know their exact placement before you start gluing them on.

  5. 5

    Cut the background away from the figure using a utility knife or a pair of scissors. Make sure you cut away just the outline of the figure.

  6. 6

    Stand the cardboard cutout up using an extra piece of cardboard attached to the back. In order to make this, cut out a rectangular piece of thick cardboard and align it up so it is flush with the bottom of your cardboard figure. Use strips of duct tape to attach the cardboard "leg." Put strips across the top and underneath the cardboard piece so it can angle backwards, supporting the figure.

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