How to Make a Cardboard Cutout of a Head

by Derek M. Kwait
You can make a cardboard cutout of a head using light and shadow.

You can make a cardboard cutout of a head using light and shadow.

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You may think the best way to make a cardboard cutout of a head is to have someone lie down on a piece of cardboard, trace the shape of the head and cut it out. However, people may move or squirm as the marker brushes against their skin, and no matter how careful you are, your subjects may come away with marks on their ears and neck. Fortunately, there is a way to trace a head on cardboard that will leave your friends unscathed.

Items you will need

  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Table
  • Lamp
  • Chair
  • Marker
  • Scissors
Step 1

Place a chair roughly a yard in front of a plain wall. Position the chair so that it is facing directly opposite the wall. Have a friend sit in the chair.

Step 2

Tape a piece of cardboard to the wall at the level of your sitting friend's head.

Step 3

Put a table roughly 5 feet in front of your friend in the chair.

Step 4

Place a lamp on the table, plug it in and turn it on.

Step 5

Turn off the other lights in the room and close the blinds on the windows so that the lamp on the table is the only light source in the room.

Step 6

Use the marker to trace the outline of the shadow of your friend's head on the cardboard.

Step 7

Cut out the outline.

Step 8

Draw eyes, a nose and mouth and other facial features to make it look like a real head.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't use a spotlight or other intense light source, as these could hurt your friend's eyes.

About the Author

Derek M. Kwait has a Bachelor of Arts in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh and has been writing for most of his life in various capacities. He has worked as a staff writer and videographer for the "Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh" and also has training writing fiction, nonfiction, stage-plays and screenplays.

Photo Credits

  • Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images