Cardboard Cut-out Critters

In coastal California, crafting cut-out cardboard critters is a cool, creative way to connect with our courageous crawling companions close-up! Come catch these crazy creatures!

Click on the links below to view and print out a critter template! Iif you don’t have a printer, you can use the template to draw your own similar shapes.

[vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”11064″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”” title=”Mule Deer”][vc_single_image image=”11058″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”” title=”California Quail”][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”11062″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”” title=”Great Blue Heron”][vc_single_image image=”11056″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”” title=”California Newt”][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”11060″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”” title=”Gray Fox”][vc_single_image image=”11054″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”” title=”Brush Rabbit”]

You’ll Need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paint, Markers, or Crayons (optional)



  1. Cut out animal parts from the templates.
  2. Trace onto cardboard and cut out. 
  3. Cut the slots no wider than the thickness of the cardboard otherwise the animals will wobble.
  4. Paint or color the animals parts however you’d like or you can leave them as cardboard.
  5. Assemble the parts by matching the letters and sliding the slots together.
  6. Release your creatures into the wilds of your home!

You can use the templates provided or make up your own cardboard cut-out critters!


Tips when making your own: 

  • Try to think about the critter in a 3-dimensional way.
  • Look at pictures or observe in person how the animal looks from the side, front, and back
  • Think about the proportions of legs to the body and ears to the head
  • If it’s not a 4-legged animal, be creative with how you make it stand


Bigger Project:

Make the same critters but much larger and cut them out of wood. Then you can climb all over them!


This project was inspired by The Best of Making Things: A Hand Book of Creative Discovery by Ann Sayre Wiseman

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