How to Make a Cactus Out of Cardboard

Look at various photos of cactus before you start sketching on the cardboard.
Jupiterimages/ Images

If you’re child is having a western-themed party or if you’re in charge of making the set for a western themed play you might be in charge of creating props like cacti. Don’t worry; making a large cactus out of cardboard is simple, as long as you have the right tools around. Before sketching your cactus onto the cardboard look at cactus clipart or real photos for inspiration and shape ideas.

Things You'll Need

  • Extra Cardboard Or A Self-Healing Mat
  • Paintbrush
  • Black Marker
  • Pencil
  • Paint
  • Cardboard
  • Box Cutter

Lay the cardboard, which should be large enough for the desired size of your cactus, on the ground or a table, and sketch the general shape of the cactus onto the cardboard using a pencil.

Protect your work area by placing a self-healing mat, or extra cardboard pieces under the piece you want to cut out. Following your sketch, trim and cut the cardboard until you are satisfied with the shape of your cactus piece.

Paint the cardboard an appropriate shade of green and accent with other colors. Depending upon the type of cactus, you might want paint vertical lines to simulate the grooves on the cactus, or use a black marker to make small marks to simulate cactus needles.

Attach or prop the cactus against the wall, or create a type of stand for it to rest against while standing in the middle of the room.


  • Salvage larger pieces of cardboard from furniture or appliance stores, or connect smaller pieces of cardboard together with tape along the backside. Use corrugated cardboard to add a more texturized look, and alleviate the need to paint vertical stripes on the cactus.


  • Work carefully with box cutters, and make all cuts away from your body so you don’t get hurt.