How to Make a Cardboard Computer

Materials needed


To make a computer from cardboard, you will need a few basic materials:

1. Cardboard: Use thick and sturdy cardboard sheets for durability.

2. Scissors: Make sure you have a pair of sharp scissors to easily cut through the cardboard.

3. Glue: A strong adhesive such as craft glue or a glue gun will be necessary to hold the cardboard pieces together.

4. Markers: Have a set of colorful markers to decorate the cardboard computer to your preference.

5. Ruler: Use a ruler to measure and create precise lines on the cardboard.

6. Computer hardware diagram: It is helpful to have a computer hardware diagram as a reference to ensure accuracy in designing and constructing your cardboard computer.

Preparing the cardboard

preparing cardboard

Before you start building your cardboard computer, it is essential to prepare the cardboard sheets. Follow these steps:

1. Gather the cardboard sheets you have. You may need multiple sheets to create different components of the computer.

2. Use a ruler to measure and mark the desired size and shape for each part of the computer, such as the monitor, CPU, keyboard, and mouse. Make sure to refer to the computer hardware diagram for accuracy.

3. Carefully cut along the marked lines using scissors. Take your time to ensure clean and precise cuts.

4. After cutting out all the necessary components, organize them and keep them readily accessible during the construction process.

Assembling the cardboard computer

assembling cardboard computer

Now that you have prepared the cardboard pieces, it’s time to start assembling your cardboard computer:

1. Begin by constructing the mainframe of the computer, which will serve as the base. Use glue to attach the appropriate pieces together, referring to the computer hardware diagram for guidance.

2. Assemble the monitor by attaching the cardboard piece to the back of the mainframe. Make sure it is properly aligned and secure it with glue.

3. Construct the CPU using smaller cardboard pieces. Place it on top of the mainframe, ensuring it fits securely. Use glue to hold everything in place.

4. Create the keyboard and mouse using additional cardboard pieces. Position them in the appropriate spots on the mainframe and secure them with glue.

5. Once all the components are securely attached, allow the glue to dry completely.

6. After the glue is fully dried, use colorful markers to decorate the cardboard computer. Let your creativity shine as you add designs, buttons, and other details to make it look more realistic and personalized.

Final touches and usability

final touches cardboard computer

Now that you have successfully constructed your cardboard computer, it’s time to add some final touches:

1. Double-check all the components to ensure they are securely attached. If any parts seem loose, reinforce them with more glue.

2. Test the usability of your cardboard computer by pretending to use it. This can be done by mimicking tasks like typing on the keyboard, moving the mouse, or interacting with the monitor.

3. Show off your creation! Share your new cardboard computer with friends and family, and maybe even use it as a prop for imaginative play or as a unique decoration.

Remember, while a cardboard computer may not function like a real computer, it can still be a fun and creative project to engage in. Enjoy the process of building and let your imagination run wild!

Preparing the cardboard

Preparing the cardboard

Before you start building your computer from cardboard, you need to prepare the cardboard pieces. The dimensions of these pieces will be based on the computer hardware components, such as the CPU, motherboard, RAM, and hard drive.

Start by gathering the necessary materials, including a suitable-sized piece of cardboard for the base, a pen or marker, a ruler, and a pair of scissors or a utility knife. Make sure the cardboard is sturdy enough to support the weight of the components.

First, measure the dimensions of the CPU, motherboard, RAM, and hard drive. These measurements can be found in the product specifications provided by the manufacturers. Use a ruler to ensure accurate measurements.

Transfer these measurements onto the cardboard. Use a pen or marker to mark the outline of each component on the cardboard. Make sure to leave some extra space around each component to allow for easy installation and airflow.

Once you have marked the outlines, carefully cut out the cardboard pieces using a pair of scissors or a utility knife. Take your time to ensure clean and precise cuts. It is recommended to use a cutting mat or a thick piece of cardboard underneath to protect your work surface.

After cutting out the base piece and individual component pieces, you can also create additional compartments or slots for cable management. For example, you can cut out a section on the side of the base piece to route cables through. This will help keep your computer setup organized and tidy.

Remember to label each cardboard piece with the name of the component it represents. This will make the assembly process easier and prevent confusion later on.

Once everything is prepared, you are ready to move on to the next step of assembling your computer from cardboard.

Assembling the components

Assembling the components

To make a computer from cardboard, the first step is to assemble the components. Gather all the necessary items, including cardboard pieces, glue, scissors, and any additional decorations you may want to add. Ensure that you have a computer hardware diagram or a reference image to follow throughout the process.

Begin by gluing the cardboard pieces together to form the basic structure of the computer. Follow the computer hardware diagram to accurately position the different components such as the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and power supply. Use the glue to secure the pieces in place, ensuring that they are sturdy and aligned correctly.

Pay attention to the specific dimensions and shapes of the components in the diagram to ensure a realistic representation of a computer. Cut the cardboard pieces according to the required sizes and shapes, taking care to create openings for the necessary ports and connectors.

Next, attach the motherboard to the designated area within the cardboard structure. Apply glue to secure it firmly in place. The motherboard is the main circuit board where all the other components connect, so ensure that it is positioned correctly.

After attaching the motherboard, carefully place the CPU onto its designated area and secure it using glue. The CPU is the central processing unit responsible for executing instructions and performing calculations within the computer.

Once the CPU is in place, install the RAM modules. RAM, or Random Access Memory, is responsible for temporarily storing data that the CPU needs to access quickly. Glue the RAM modules onto their designated slots on the motherboard.

Proceed to attach the power supply unit (PSU) to the cardboard structure. The PSU provides power to the various components of the computer. Ensure that it is securely positioned and connected to the motherboard using glue.

Finally, connect the necessary cables and wires to the appropriate slots on the motherboard. This includes the cables for the power supply, data cables for storage devices, and any other peripherals you may want to include.

Once all the components are securely in place and connected, allow the glue to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. This will ensure that the structure is sturdy and can withstand any additional decorations or handling.

Remember to refer back to the computer hardware diagram throughout the assembly process to ensure accuracy and realism in your cardboard computer creation.

Adding details:

Computer port, button, and indicator drawings

Once you have the basic structure of your cardboard computer ready, it’s time to add details to make it look more realistic. This step involves drawing and coloring the necessary ports, buttons, and indicators that you would typically find on a real computer.

Start by visualizing the different components that are usually present on a computer. These include USB ports, audio ports, power buttons, LED indicators, and more. You can refer to images of actual computers or sketches to get an idea of how they look.

Using a pencil, lightly sketch the outlines of these components on the cardboard. Remember that you can customize the design according to your preferences. Make sure to leave enough space between the different ports and buttons to ensure clarity and ease of use. You can even label them with the appropriate symbols or names, such as “USB,” “Audio,” “Power,” etc.

Once you are satisfied with the placement and size of the components, it’s time to add color. Grab some colored pencils, markers, or paints, and carefully fill in the details. Choose colors that closely resemble those commonly used for each component. For example, USB ports are typically blue, while audio ports are green and pink.

To make your cardboard computer look more authentic, pay attention to the small details. Add texture or shading to give depth to the buttons or ports. Use a lighter shade or highlight certain areas to create a glossy or metallic effect. These subtle touches can make a significant difference in the overall appearance.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can even incorporate LED lights to mimic the indicators on a real computer. Cut out small square or rectangular openings on the cardboard where these indicators would be located. Attach small LED lights behind these openings and connect them to a battery pack. This way, when you turn on your cardboard computer, the indicators will light up, giving it an even more realistic look.

Remember that the level of detail you add to your cardboard computer is entirely up to you. If you’d like to keep it simple, focus on basic outlines and colors. However, if you want a more intricate and realistic model, spend some extra time on the finer details.

Once you have finished adding all the necessary details, step back and admire your work. You have successfully transformed a plain piece of cardboard into a visually impressive and fun representation of a computer!

Final touches

Final touches

Now that your glue is dry and all the details are complete, your cardboard computer is ready for its final touches. This is the step where you can personalize your creation and make it even more special.

One option is to paint your cardboard computer. You can use acrylic or spray paint to give it a nice finish. Choose a color that you like or one that matches your room’s decor. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Another way to add a personal touch is by adding stickers or decals. You can find computer-themed stickers online or at craft stores. Place them strategically on your cardboard computer to make it look more realistic or fun.

If you’re feeling extra creative, you can also use markers or colored pencils to draw additional details on your computer. Add buttons, icons, or even a playful design to make it truly yours.

Alternatively, you can use decorative paper or fabric to cover the outside of your cardboard computer. Cut the paper or fabric according to the dimensions of each side and attach it using glue or double-sided tape. This will give your computer a more polished look.

To make your cardboard computer even more functional, you can attach a keyboard and a mouse. Cut out a keyboard shape from another piece of cardboard and attach it to the front using glue or tape. You can draw or print out the keys and glue them onto the keyboard for a more realistic look. For the mouse, you can use the top part of a plastic bottle or another small cardboard cutout. Attach it to the side of the computer using glue or tape.

Finally, you can also add a screen to your cardboard computer. Cut out a rectangular shape from thin plastic or acetate and attach it to the front using clear tape or glue. You can then draw or print out a digital display and slide it behind the plastic or acetate to create the illusion of a functioning screen.

Once you are satisfied with the final touches on your cardboard computer, it is ready to be used for display or as a fun DIY project. You can place it on a shelf or desk, or even use it as a prop for creative storytelling or role-playing games. The possibilities are endless!

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