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How to Make a Cardboard Dalek

The Daleks, genocidal aliens in robot bodies, are one of British TV's most iconic monsters. They originated as villains in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who. It's very easy to make your own model Daleks using thin cardboard. For materials, you can use a cereal box or a blank manila folder. You can create your own Dalek design from scratch, but it's much easier to download one of the many Dalek patterns available online through fan sites and modeling sites.

Things You'll Need:

  • Hobby Knife Or Scissors
  • Small Flat-Backed Dome Stickers
  • Computer With Graphics Package Installed
  • Craft Glue
  • Metallic Paints Or Metallic Fiber-Tipped Pens
  • Ruler
  • Fine Craft Wire
  • Art Materials Such As Colored Fiber-Tipped Pens
  • Thin Cardboard Such As An Empty Cereal Box
  • Dalek Pattern
  • Toothpicks
  • Color Printer (Or Black And White Printer If You Have Art Materials)

Download your Dalek pattern, or make one using art materials or a graphics package. Launch your graphics software and open the Dalek pattern, if you are using a computer. Check that the pattern is the right size and all the colors are correct for your desired model. Use Print Preview to make sure that the design is aligned properly on the page. Print off a test copy using a low-quality setting. If you're happy with the test copy, print out a high-quality copy.

Glue the printed paper pattern to the cardboard. Make sure that the whole paper is stuck down with glue: there should be no bare spots, bubbles, wrinkles, or unglued edges or corners. If you're using the cardboard from a cereal packet, glue the pattern to the absorbent inner surface rather than the shiny printed side of the card. If you're using a folder, use the blank inside of the folder as lines and printing on the outside can show through the paper. Allow to dry completely.

Add details to your Dalek using metallic pens or paints. Daleks from recent episodes have a dark gold/bronze color, whereas in earlier series they had many different colors such as silver with blue bumps. Color the rest of your Dalek using art materials such as fiber-tipped pens, if you have not printed it in color.

Score any folds in the model using the back of a scissor blade (close the scissors first) and a ruler. Cut out the parts for the model Dalek using a sharp hobby knife or sharp scissors. Take care not to cut away any of the tabs you need to assemble the model. Cut out any slots in the model with the craft knife or the point of one scissor blade.

Fold up the base (or "skirt") of the model first, gluing any tabs or flaps. Assemble the head section. Allow to dry before handling.

Pierce two holes in your model, one for the Dalek's sink-plunger "hand" and one for its gun. Make the "hand" by cutting out a small circle of cardboard, cutting a slit in one side and folding it into a shallow cone. Glue the cone to the end of one of the toothpicks. Wrap the end of the other toothpick for the gun, and paint both to match your Dalek's color scheme. When dry, attach the toothpicks to the Dalek.

Apply the small dome stickers to the dots on the Dalek's body. This is an optional step, but will make your model look more impressive.

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