How To Make A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been a beloved franchise since their creation in the 1980s. These crime-fighting turtles have captured the hearts of fans young and old with their unique personalities and iconic accessories, including their shells. If you’re a fan looking to create your own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shell, this article will guide you through the process step by step.

Materials Needed

Before diving into the construction process, gather the following materials:

  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Green spray paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Green craft foam
  • Black craft foam
  • Velcro straps
  • Elastic bands
  • Markers or paint for detailing

Step 1: Cutting the Cardboard

Start by cutting a large oval shape out of the cardboard. The size of the oval will depend on your preference and the size of the person who will be wearing the shell. Make sure the shape is large enough to cover the wearer’s back comfortably.

Step 2: Painting the Shell

Once the cardboard is cut, it’s time to paint it green. Use the green spray paint to cover the entire surface of the cardboard. Apply multiple coats if necessary to achieve an even and vibrant color. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Adding Texture with Craft Foam

To give the shell a realistic texture, cut out small hexagonal shapes from the green craft foam. These shapes should be around 2-3 inches in diameter. Use the hot glue gun to attach the foam pieces to the painted cardboard, overlapping them slightly to create a layered effect.

Step 4: Creating the Shell Details

Next, cut out strips of black craft foam to create the outlines of the shell’s segments. These strips should be slightly wider than the foam hexagons. Attach them to the shell using the hot glue gun, following the natural curves of the shell. This will give the shell a more defined and realistic appearance.

Step 5: Securing the Shell

To ensure the shell stays securely in place, attach Velcro straps to the back of the shell. These straps should be long enough to wrap around the wearer’s chest and fasten at the front. Alternatively, you can use elastic bands to create shoulder straps that will hold the shell in place.

Step 6: Adding Personal Touches

Now that the basic shell is complete, it’s time to add some personal touches. Use markers or paint to add details such as scratches, scuffs, or even the initials of the wearer’s favorite turtle. Get creative and make the shell unique to your own style.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use a different material instead of cardboard?

While cardboard is the most commonly used material for making a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shell, you can experiment with other materials such as foam or plastic. Just make sure the material is lightweight and easy to work with.

2. How long does it take to make a turtle shell?

The time it takes to make a turtle shell will vary depending on your crafting skills and the level of detail you want to achieve. On average, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.

3. Can I make a shell for a child?

Absolutely! You can adjust the size of the cardboard and straps to fit a child’s back comfortably. Just make sure to supervise them while wearing the shell to ensure their safety.

4. Can I make a shell without using paint?

If you prefer not to use paint, you can achieve a similar effect by using colored craft foam or fabric. Cut the foam or fabric into the desired shape and attach it to the cardboard using the hot glue gun.

5. How can I make the shell more durable?

If you want to make the shell more durable, consider reinforcing the cardboard with additional layers or using a stronger material such as plastic. You can also apply a clear sealant or varnish to protect the paint and foam from wear and tear.

6. Can I make a shell for a cosplay event?

Definitely! Making your own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shell is a great way to enhance your cosplay outfit. Just make sure to plan ahead and allocate enough time to create a shell that matches the overall look and feel of your costume.


Creating your own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shell can be a fun and rewarding project. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to make a shell that is both visually appealing and comfortable to wear. Remember to gather all the necessary materials, take your time with each step, and add personal touches to make the shell truly unique. Whether it’s for a costume party or simply to display your love for the turtles, your homemade shell will surely impress fellow fans.