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Small Scale Animation with Cardboard

Small Scale Animation with Cardboard

As part of the Infinite Versatility of Cardboard last week, we made new cardboard pieces on the laser cutter to use with our stop motion animation stations. We found the animated shorts that resulted so surprisingly delightful that we’ve continued to offer these cardboard pieces at the animation station a week running!


Some of the new cardboard pieces are abstract shapes, not much different than what we usually offer in wooden shapes. We also cut out silhouette objects, including planets, houses, and trees.

The most complex pieces came from previous tinkerings by our friend, Tim Hunkin. I laser cut Tim’s sketches that he has drawn to make jointed forms (humans and dogs), and I attached all the limbs together with extra tiny brads.


We’ve noticed people staying for more extended times at the animation station and creating rich narratives with these new cardboard pieces.

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

The increased engagement hasn’t only come from having jointed figures or identifiable objects. I've been surprised to see the abstract shapes used in more imaginative ways than normal as well.

'Creation' and 'the ascent of Christ' on animation station

Since the cardboard I used was fairly thin, I had expected that the pieces would be too worn out at the end of the day of Infinite Versatility for continued use, but most pieces held up well enough that we’ve kept these at the stations instead of the usual wooden shapes. Each day, we quickly comb through the cardboard and remove anything that appears to have past its expiration. I also laser cut some replacements to add back to the stock so we can continue to offer these cardboard pieces at least a bit longer.