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Cardboard Ruins - Part 2

In the first part of this article we discussed the various tools and materials that we would need. In this section we'll cut out our parts and assemble the basic structure of the buildings.


BasesThe first task is to roughly design the building's size and cut out the base. Sometimes I'll just cut out some bases and then create buildings to fit them. For my three buildings in this example I'll need a long, narrow base for the wall, a triangular shaped base for the ruined corner and a rectangular base for the multi-level ruin.

Cutting Out the Parts

RuinOnce the bases are ready it is time to cut out the walls from the corrugated cardboard. Since these are ruins you don't have to be exact but you do want things to line up more or less. Using the metal ruler layout your design and make sure to cut out items such as windows and doors before gluing the walls to base.

Once the parts are cut out they usually don't look quite "ruined" enough. Using the utility knife hack out chunks of cardboard along the edges and remove the first of the two layer of cardboard to create indentations.

Ruin Ruin


With the wall and floor sections cut out take the hot glue gun and masking tape - it's time to assemble all the buildings. You'll need to cover the exposed cardboard edges with the tape and then assemble the floors and walls. Some parts should have their edges covered first before gluing so you can reach them more easily.

Tape the EdgesTo cover the edges lay a piece of masking tape along each exposed edge. If it has lots of curves along the edge, take a pair of scissors and cut slits in the tape as shown in the photo to the left. When you fold over the tape it will go around corners much easier after you've cut the slits. As you finish covering the edges on each piece start using the glue gun to put the walls and floors together.

Window HeaderAs the buildings start to take shape the thin cardboard can be added for some extra details on the buildings. I've hot-glued some window headers in the two windows in the multi-level ruin. These really stand out later when the building is textured and painted. You don't need to spend a lot of time placing these, just put a few here and there to add variety to the ruins.

Corner TapedHere is the ruined corner fully taped and assembled. In this case I've attached the ruin to the base since I can still reach every surface with the base attached. Take care not to attach the base too early if doing so will make the next steps difficult or impossible.

It may not look like much now but in Part 3 I'll show you how to add the texture to hide the tape lines and it'll start to look great. You might not want to attach your building to a base quite yet if you can't access parts of the building with the base attached. You'll need to reach every inch of the building to apply the textured finish and for painting.

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