As promised, I wanted to include a second post about our Sharknado 1st Birthday Party, with a tutorial on how I made the actual Sharknado prop. You’ll have to forgive me, this tutorial isn’t the best because I was kind of making it up as I went but I did my best to take a few progress pictures to give you an idea. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section if you need more help!
Cardboard Sharknado Prop DIY:
What You’ll Need:
- Large pieces of cardboard
- Grey Spray Paint
- Black Spray Paint
- Acrylic Sealer Spray
- Small Paint Brush
- Hot Glue Gun
- White Paint
- Black Craft Foam
- White Craft Foam
- Duct Tape
- Quilters Batting
- Exacto Knife
STEP 1: TEMPLATE
I had no idea where to start making my large 3d shark head. Luckily a quick google search led me to this tutorial by Robert Sabuda : Pop Up Shark Card. You can get the template here. I took the template for the head of the shark and blew it up to a size I liked to fit over an adult head. This will sound crazy, but I blew it up 500%, but you can test it out and see what works best for you. (below is just a picture of the template, download the full size one above and blow that one up)
STEP 2: CUT IT OUT
Print our your template. You’ll have to print in tile format and then tape the pieces together, then cut out your final paper template.
STEP 3: TORNADO
Get your big pieces of cardboard and make your tornado shape. I just free handed it and taped the pieces together as you see below. Mine measures 50″ tall x 29″ wide at the widest part. Then I placed the paper template on to test the size and layout.
STEP 4: MAKE YOUR SHARK HEAD
This step I went back and forth on. At first I started with craft foam because its much easier to cut. But it was way too floppy and didn’t hold up well once attached to the tornado base, so I went back and cut them out of cardboard instead so it would be more sturdy. It’s up to you though if you can figure out a way to make the craft foam stay in place better.
STEP 5: PAINT SHARK HEAD
Sorry, at this point I got really lazy and just wanted to be finished so I stopped taking progress pictures. But I’ll do my best to explain it in detail. First, spray paint your shark pieces gray, do both sides and let dry. Do a few more coats so its nice and covered. Then, take a smaller paint brush and paint the teeth white. That will also need a few coats. Once it’s all dry, give it a coat of your sealer spray. Next, cut out larger black circles for the eyes and tiny white circles for the pupil things (do sharks have pupils?). Hot glue those together and then glue to the shark head. I give it one more spray of sealer just to give the eyes a little shine.
STEP 6: TORNADO BASE
Now that the head is done, cut a hole in the tornado that fits the head. Don’t attach it yet though, you need to wrap the tornado before hand. Take your quilters batting. I started by cutting off a piece that was just larger than the tornado and then started gathering and pinching it around the base. To attach it, I stretched it around the back and hot glued in place. WARNING: you will burn your fingers on hot glue about a thousand times, but it’s worth it. Keep adding pieces until you’ve covered the entire base. Hot glue some pieces down on the front so they stay in place. Now take your gray and black spray paint and give a light dusting of each to create the ominous cloud look. Let dry.
STEP 7: ATTACH SHARK TO TORNADO BASE
Now, taking the tabs on the shark base into the hole you cut in the base, attach them to the back of the tornado and duct tape them down. Use a lot here, the head is kind of heavy and will need the support.
STEP 8: PRINT OUT RANDOM SHARKS
Now that your main shark is in place, its time to find him some friends! Hop on your computer and look for large images of random sharks . Print them, cut them out, and attach to the tornado with pieces of duct tape.
Congrats! Your Sharknado is ready for mayhem!
Here’s the little shark of honor <3
His smash cake!
And mini sharknados for everyone else