How to make lifesize cutouts of normal people
May 30, 2007 9:48 AM   Subscribe

A friend needs to make a lifesize cardboard cut-out of themselves and ship it somewhere. They live in Baltimore. How to do this?
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
A Sign shop and a very high resolution photograph, I would think. Maybe you'd have to put the picture on the cardboard yourself, but I think sign shops are pretty capable. Call these folks.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:59 AM on May 30, 2007

I can't believe I actually know how to do this from experience.

Okay. Here's what you do. Go out and look for campaign signs, or "1-800-makemoneyfromhome" signs or "" signs or "We buy your house" signs. They're made out of this corrugated plastic that is by far the most durable, best material for the job. You can also buy the stuff under the market name coroplast, but where's the fun in that?

Then go get a very high resolution photo of yourself (or barney rubble, or your friend, etc.) and go to kinkos and get it full-color printed on the big roll printer. It's something like $5 per square foot (I think.)

Then go to Home Depot and buy a can of 3M super77 spray adhesive. While you're there, go get a snap-off blade box cutter, if you don't already have one.

Go get a large workspace, and set out your coroplast. Tape it together to the size you need with strapping tape. Then spray adhesive the bottom 6 inches or so. Carefully set down and smooth out your feet. Spray the next six inches, and by rubbbing the top of printout from the already stuck part outward, stick the next six inches down. continue until all 5-6 feet of you is stuck down. You're doing it slowly like this so you don't get any bubbles in your cutout. Once you have your coroplast-backed printout, and you've waited an hour or so for the adhesive to cure up, start cutting. Go slowly, and make sure your blade is very sharp. If the cutout starts bunching or tearing, snap off the blade. Blades are cheap, a bad edge sucks.

Once you've cut the whole thing out, take some spare coroplast, and make a stand. Look at a picture frame for inspiration.

I have no idea how you'd ship it.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:26 AM on May 30, 2007 [3 favorites]

The item you want is called a custom standee, and there are lots of companies that will make them for you.
posted by jjg at 10:44 AM on May 30, 2007

what about using rasterbator to take an image, blow it up to lifesize and print it out at home, then just cut and tape cardboard from moving boxes etc (whatever is free, or buy a "large" from uhaul for $12 etc) and paste the image on the front? I have gotten excellent results from rasterbator and a cheap laser printer...
posted by chasles at 10:50 AM on May 30, 2007

I once just slapped the appropriate postage onto a 3' x 3' foam core cutout my friends face and sent it USPS. Got a little beat up, but sending it regular mail was endlessly satisfying. I bet your friend could do the same, just sandwiching it between some sheets of cardboard to protect it.
posted by waxwing at 6:00 AM on May 31, 2007

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