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How to Make a Cardboard Butterfly Knife (Balisong)


This is a tutorial on how to make a cardboard or foamboard butterfly knife or Balisong knife.

Its a fun little project and easy to make.

You can download it right here: Butterfly knife template (1.3meg)

If you are not familiar with a butterfly knife it is a pretty cool thing. It has a unique way of opening and closing with swinging motions.

I have a video tutorial on this project at the bottom of this page.



The butterfly knife

To Make this project you just need a few basic supplies including a sheet of foamboard or corrugated cardboard. Three paper clips or three toothpicks and some glue. You download the template for this project and print it up. Cut out the pieces and then use them to trace out and get your foamboard pieces.


Cut out the pieces

Use the cut out paper pieces to trace onto your foamboard or cardboard and cut out the various pieces. Four of the pieces are on cereal box cardboar and eleven pieces are on foamboard.


The pieces

This picture shows the 13 pieces. See how four of the pieces are brown cereal box cardboard? They are a brown color. The rest of the pieces are regular foamboard or corrugated cardboard.


The thin spacers

Lets make the handle pieces. Start by gluing down the four thin cardboard pieces , two pieces to each handle half just as shown in this picture.

Don't skip this step. These spacers are important. They allow the knife to freely flow in and out of the handles.


Glue the spacers

Now glue the foamboard strips right on top of those thin cardboard spacers.


The handles are done

Finally glue on the top pieces. Just glue them to the spacers you had just added. Your handles are done!


Pin the Blade

Now poke a toothpick or a paperclip through the end of the blade like this. Glue it in place and trim it so it sticks out each end about a half inch.


pin the blade

Now we just need to finish this off by pinning the blade to the handle pieces. Do it with the blade closed into the handle halves.

Be sure it opens and closes very smoothly. And because of the thin spacers that we added there should be plenty of room.

You can use toothpicks or paperclips and once you have them glued into place then trim them down flush. Be sure no glue gets in where the blade is or it will stick.


the pin locations in the knife

This picture shows where the pinning goes. Notice where the toothpicks are in comparison to the tabs on the knife blade.


Your butterfly kniife is ready to use but only against cardboard enemies!

The completed butterfly knife

The Video Tutorial




Elmer's Guide-Line Foam Board 20 Inches x 30 Inches, White, 2 Foam Boards per pack

I love elmers foam board, and this has light grid lines on it .



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