Indiana Jones Craft Project for Kids

Here's an easy craft project I created for kids to do or for kids at heart... a cardboard tube Indiana Jones action figure. Any young art-venturer and craft-ologist can make this using ordinary school supplies. A little bit of adult help here or there might be needed depending on skill level. The "how-to" in making our hero can be used and expanded on to create almost any fun character a kid could imagine.

  • Toilet Paper tube (or just cut down a paper towel tube)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • White glue
  • Construction paper: white, brown, black, yellow, pink, red and green (only one sheet of each is needed).
  • Ruler
  • Jar lid around 2 1/2" - 3" wide (or something similar to trace a circle with).
  • Brown magic marker

Step 1: Indy's Head and Face
  • Cut out a strip of pink construction paper about 6 1/4" long by 2" wide. Wrap around the top of tube. Overlap and glue the strip ends where they meet. That seam will now be the back of your figure.
  • For his hair, cut a strip of black construction paper about 4 1/4" long by 1" wide. Use the pencil to draw a pattern on it similar to the picture below and cut out. This will create the illusion of sideburns and ears. An optional detail is to cut fringe along the bottom edge. Center this on the back along the top of his head and wrap around to the front. Glue down. 
    • Indy's eyes are dots made by hole punched black paper. Make a few extra as they'll be used later. Glue the eyes on the face where you like.
    • Now make Indy's mouth by cutting out a smile from red construction paper and glue on.
    • You can also skip making construction paper hair, eyes and mouth and just draw on with markers.

    Step 2: Indy's Shirt
      • Cut out a strip of white construction paper about 6 1/4" long by 1 1/2" wide. 
      • To make the collar, cut a V shaped notch out of the middle and fold the edges outwards.
        • Center the collar under the face, wrap around tube and glue.
        • Use the extra black holes punched earlier and glue on shirt as buttons. 

        Step 3: Indy's Pants
          • Cut a strip of yellow construction paper about 6 1/4" long by 1 1/4" wide. Wrap around bottom of tube and glue. 
          • Make a belt with a thin strip of black paper and hole punched brown paper dot for a buckle. 
          • Draw a lineto define legs with a marker (or use another strip of paper).

           Step 4: Indy's Jacket
            • Cut a strip of brown construction paper about 4 1/2" long by 2" wide. Center on back of tube wear the shirt is and wrap around to front. Glue down on either side about a 1/2" before the end of the paper strip, this will let the jacket look open and worn over his shirt. 
            • To create the collar, fold the two top corners outwards. 
            • Use the marker and draw on side pockets.
            • Make the 2 sleeves by folding one piece of brown paper in half and cutting out an arm with rounded shoulders. Repeat this with some pink paper for hands cut out in small oval shapes.
            • Glue hands to sleeves, then sleeves to jacket. Fold or curl the arms into a pose you like.

            Step 5: Indy's Gear
            • To make the bullwhip, cut a 8" long strip of brown construction paper tapering to a thin end. Curl it by wrapping very tightly around a pencil and let unfurl. Glue to hand.
            • The bag is a simple rectangle cut from green construction paper. Draw the flap on with marker. Cut out a strap from brown paper and glue ends to bag's corners. Make two yellow dots with the hole punch and glue on bag as a clasp and on the strap as a buckle.

              Step 6: Indy's Fedora
            • To make the brim, draw a 2 1/2" to 3" wide circle on brown construction paper in pencil using a jar lid as a template or something similar. Cut out. Center on top of Indy's head and glue on.
            • Next create the crown. Cut a 5 1/2" long by 1' wide strip of brown paper. To make the hat look indented on top, cut out a wide curved V shaped notch and round off the strip's ends similar to picture below. Curl the strip into a circle and glue ends together. Center on the brim and glue on.
            • Make the hat band with a strip of black and glue on.
            • Once the hat has dried, draw some extra indented lines on the crown with marker. 
            • For the perfect finishing touch, curl the brim's back, front and sides into that distinctive Indiana Jones look.

              UPDATE: Of course cardboard tube Indy needs his true love Marion and loyal friend Sallah to complete the Raiders' hero trio. Now they're ready to dig up that Ark!

              Both were was crafted using the fundamentals in the how-to above with simple variations on the steps and materials. There are unique additions to each worth noting though.

              Marion's hair: It's a 6 1/2" black construction paper circle glued center on top and fringed all the way around. Then the strips are folded down and curled.

              Sallah's turban: It's a crumpled piece of white construction paper stuffed and glued in the top, then wrapped with several thin cut strips.


              1. Awesome, Dave! Now I have to find a horde of miniature crafster's to recreate a scene from the film! :) I bet there isn't an item in your home you cannot re-purpose and make use of it in another prop or project!

              2. Since we're on the subject of paper crafts and Indy, have you ever seen my Temple of the Forbidden Eye paper model? It's free to download and print!

              3. Dismal, Thanks! Good luck crewing up for that project. Juice boxes and nap times required by their union.

                Trader Sam, That's awesome. Downloaded it, will be making. Your work fantastic.I'm going to share that link this week, hoping to do a Indy finds around the net post.

                Thanks Monc!

              4. This is so cute! I know it's been here for a while, but I've featured it on a roundup of cardboard tube crafts for kids! Hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for the great cardboard tube inspiration. You can find the roundup here: