Learning how to manipulate cardboard, especially scoring, goes a long way, giving makers the power to create strong shapes with clean lines. And cardboard is one of those workhorse materials that is in abundant supply, ready for collection and does not require spending a penny. Put out a call for cardboard donations to families or colleagues and before you know it, you’ll have a huge supply of cereal, shoe, and pasta boxes. Take a walk to your community’s recycling bins and you can likely score some great BIG boxes. Even hitting a local grocery store or shop and asking for discarded shipping boxes can maintain maker club stock.

Small, flat, circular pieces of cardboard are stacked on top of eachother. Starting from the bottom of the stack, the circles increase up to the midway point and then decrease in size. The figure has a cardboard stem and resembles an apple. The wavy middle layers of each piece of cardboard are exposed.

What makes some pieces of cardboard stronger than other pieces? Notice the fluting, those wavy middle layers (fluting) between the flat pieces of cardboard (linerboard).  The size and strength of the fluting reinforces the material’s overall strength. And the more layers of cardboard, the strong the object!

A hand drawn illustration of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The illustration includes red, blue, yellow, and gray. The picture on the right shows a replica of the castle made from layers of cardboard with two towers in relief. The replica is colored to match the drawing.

This maker’s love of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland was the context for employing newly acquired cardboard cutting skills. And the maker’s use of layering and including both flat and round pieces creates beautiful dimension that makes this piece stand out.

A cardboard skyscraper in the shape of a cylinder. Circular cardboard figures are attached to the sides. Masking tape holds the cylinders together.

Skyscraper anyone? The scored base of this structure was a starting point for this maker’s vision. Adding circular counterbalances on opposite sides of the structure was a way to continue experimenting and iterating on an architectural idea.

A mini cardboard grill made from scored pieces cardboard, taped together with masking tape. The grill is exposed and shows a hot dog made from red playdough and a burger made from cream-colored playdough.

A “monster barbecue”, complete with items on the grill, was built to feed the scores of visitors that came to a magical zoo world.

A mini cardboard peacock. The peacock’s feathers are on display and is made from a semi-circle shaped piece of scored cardboard. It rests behind a cardboard outline of the peacock’s body in profile.

This beautiful peacock, made simply by scoring a semi-circle of cardboard and gluing it against the outline of the bird, impressed us all. Seeing this creature reminded us that scoring can be used to create gentle, subtle curves.

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