Create models of just about anything with an old cardboard box, a scalpel and some glue. A life-like miniature piano made from cardboard is sure to put a smile on anyone who has ever played a piano. Making a small piano model from discarded cardboard is not only a way of recycling the material, but also allows you to develop your model-building abilities.
Gather your reference images, materials and tools at your work station. Place the small cardboard box on the table, end-up, with the top being the opening of the box. Open the box and use two thumbtacks to secure the box on the board from the inside. It should now be a secured rectangle standing on its end representing the main body of the upright piano. Use a sturdy box if possible.
Measure and draw out the additional pieces you will need on cardboard. Draw the outline of the pieces on each side of the key bed coming out from from the middle of the piano. Use a ruler and square to draw straight lines and 90 degree angles where needed. Cut out the first edge piece and trace another piece onto the cardboard to make them identical.
Measure the width in between the edge pieces (width of the box minus the thickness of the two edge pieces), to outline the key bed and key slip (the support beams under the keys), and the lid, which is also known as a fallboard.
Take careful measurements and make these pieces fit as well as you can to make the piano model look realistic.
Outline the two legs coming down on each side, under the key bed. Outline the toe block coming out from the bottom of the box on both sides to support the legs. Outline the top of the lid coming out perpendicular to the box and the front.
Cut all these components out of the cardboard with the scalpel or scissors.
Dry-fit and then glue the edge pieces and the key bed onto the box at mid level. Measure the space for the piano keys and cut it out of another piece of cardboard.
Mark the piece with lines representing the gaps between the keys with a marker. Use the scalpel to make a shallow cut along each line. Avoid cutting through so that the cardboard strip representing the keys stays in one piece. Glue this piece on the key bed.
Attach the lid, or fallboard, with a strip of tape above above the keys on the box to finish the front. Position the tape so that the lid is well placed, opening and closing over the keys like a real piano.
Glue on the legs between the key bed and the toe blocks at the bottom. Cut off the latch on the lid of the box at the top. Measure, cut and glue on another piece of cardboard on the remaining lid so that it overhangs the front of the piano as it does with a real piano. Check that everything looks in proportions and accurately fits together
Paint the piano with black acrylic using a small brush. Use a very small brush to paint the keys using black and white paint.
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