Giraffes out of cardboard inner tubes.

Over the lock-down, I accumilated a vast amount of inner tubes, some toilet roll inner tubes and some kitchen towel inner tubes. Having looked at the pile, I asked myself what can I make out of all these tubes? Not just using one or two, but make something using a lot of tubes, something a bit more bigger. 

I would like to make an animal, but there are so many to choose from. I lined up the tubes standing them and lying them down until I got a feel for what they could make.. In this instance I saw a Giraffe out of cardboard inner tubes! This beautiful creature is tall and elegant and I am going to go big and use up to 20 inner tubes.


Did you know that Giraffes are the tallest  land animals and stand between 16-18 ft tall. The scientific name is Giraffa Cameloparadalis. 

So called because they resemble a cross between a camel and a leopard with spotted pattern.


Their height allows them to reach leaves high up in trees. They have a taste for Acacia trees. Giraffes also have a very long tongue that helps them pull leaves. They spend most of the day eating and can consume up to 45kg or 100lbs of leaves and twigs


Male giraffes are taller and heavier than female giraffes. Did you know that those knobbly bits on top of her heads are called Ossicones. These are much smaller on females with a little bit of hair, males are bald. 

So what are Ossicones used for?  They are there to protect their heads when they fight. Which is truly a spectacular scene, which amazed me when I first saw this in motion! 

 Male giraffes fight by swinging their necks and beating each other with their heads like clubs, until one or the other succumbs giving in to the more superior one. In courtship this activity is more gentler and is more stroking necks.


I am going to demo two types of giraffes, I will start with a very simple version using 6 inner tubes, then I will move onto an more advanced giraffe for the older kids using up to 20 cardboard inner tubes.


What you need:-

  • 6 regular toilet roll cardboard inner tubes. 
  • 1 kitchen towel cardboard inner tube.
  • PVA glue/masking tape.
  • Acrylic paints, bright yellow, golden yellow, orange, white and black.
  • Scissors. Pen for marking.
  • 2 Googley eyes.
  • Green paper for leaves (optional)


The tricky part is to measure the holes using the tube as a guide and for the outline. To work out where the holes go, cut 1 tube in half and use this as a guide.  Draw around it and pierce tube with scissors and cut out a circle. This is where you insert the tubes.

To make the extendable legs cut a strip out of a tube so that you can make it more narrower, then insert it inside the half tubes. You can stick and secure with tape until dry.

As for the additional parts the head, ears, ossicones, tail and back part use the extra tubes to make these shapes.

Whilst making stick and hold in place with masking tape. Once dry make your desired colour and paint the yellow. Now make brown and using your finger to dab on paint.

Finally stick on 2 eyes allow to dry and if you like cut out a leaf shape sticking it into the mouth of the giraffe.

Here we have the easy giraffe,

A little more advanced giraffe

What you need :-

  • 8 kitchen towel cardboard inner tubes.
  • 6 smaller tubes.
  • PVA glue/masking tape.
  • Acrylic paints, bright yellow, orange, white and black.
  • Scissors.
  • 2 Googley eyes.
  • Green paper for leaves (optional)


This time we will be adding a lot more tubes as we are going much bigger.

The difference here is that all the tubes that go into the body are fanned and twisted together using glue and tape to stick tight.

(Fanned is when you snip the end of the tube and push in twisting and securing with glue. This is to make the end part round and more solid.)

The holes in body are also snipped and pushed in, this secures the grip.

Extendable legs are smaller tubes also cut glued and made tighter to insert into main legs.

The back and front of giraffe are tubes opened and cut, curled with scissors and stuck fast to body.

The tail and  ears are made from parts of other tubes and stuck on. The occicones are 2 parts pulled back up from fanned head.

Use tape to secure once you have glued parts. When dry carefully remove tape, then make paints and apply colour to body.

Decide the brown you like and use finger like in the easy version and dab on to body.

Glue on eyes in line with the ears.

Finally make a leaf like shape from green paper as an additional part, although it’s not necessary.

The inserted legs can be pulled in and out to balance the body so it doesn’t topple over.

I hope this wasn’t too difficult, an adult would need to jump in to help, especially with making the holes when using the scissors to pierce the tube.

To conclude.

I have shown an easy and an advance method of making use of cardboard inner tubes to make a giraffe. 

The choice is yours. It’s another way to make use of all your throw outs.

The tricky part is making the holes and lining parts up, but if you follow my examples, it’s pretty straight forward. So enjoy.

Have fun, I did!

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