Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good On Paper

Maybe it's the crafty immediate gratification of it all, but lately I've been obsessed with papercraft.

And this obsession MUST BE SHARED.

Remember the Star Wars snowflakes that have been everywhere lately? Well, Tesh of Tish Tosh Tesh made a steampunk version:

Great grinding gears! Seriously cool, right?

Plus, in another post she provides handy illustrations and instructions for folding a "snowflake seed", ie the "proper flat hexagonal structure for snowflake cutting." I'm so trying this.

If you don't feel like folding, how about this fun and funky geometric paper wreath?

Love the sparkly retro colors! Watch Meg's quick video tutorial here.

Jessica of How About Orange (which is such a cool blog, btw) made this fabulous woven paper ball garland:

She got the instructions from The Cheese Thief, who has a video tutorial here.

Also, if you check the left sidebar of How About Orange, you'll find links to several amazing paper ornament tutorials. I want to try them all - and not just because she uses my favorite color so much. Honest.

If you're the type who'd rather sit back and just *watch* people make amazing papercraft, then you might check out Between the Folds, an origami documentary John and I watched on Netflix streaming last night. Here's the trailer:

The French artist at the :29 mark has the most *amazing* paper seahorse on his desk - I wish you could see it better here - and the guy folding the white spirals at the :13 and :36 mark was my favorite. Really gorgeous, intricate stuff.

And finally, when it comes to free downloadable projects, Matt Hawkins of Custom Paper Toys is probably my all-time favorite. His gargoyle "Gnarley" has been on my monitor for at least two years now:

I just made a new one, in fact, since the paper was getting old.

Completely unrelated, but I have a cute little bat toy (a gift from John of SuperPunch) on the other side:


And before you ask: they're all stuck down with BlueStik, the removable adhesive putty. When your monitor's only an inch thick, that stuff really comes in handy.

Getting back to the paper, check the right-hand sidebar of Custom Paper Toys for a list of all Matt's free downloads. There are plenty of great ones, but I especially like AstroGnome, Chuckles, and Mr. Robot, which I'm making now and is definitely too complicated for beginners and tired bloggers who are trying to watch Mythbusters at the same time. Just so you know.

TIP: If you're new to papercraft, remember to use cardstock or matte photo paper for the toys, and the special paper glue they sell at craft stores will save you a lot of aggravation.

Ok, guys, your turn: If you've stumbled across any great paper crafts lately, please, share with the class in the comments!


  1. After learning about dreidels in school, my 5-yr-old wanted to try one. So I found this nifty papercraft dreidel:

  2. Ooo that origami documentary is definitely being added to my streaming que! I have a feeling I will be pulling out all my books and paper after I watch it!

    Not exactly complex but here's a really simple tissue paper Christmas decoration
    I do every year that you might like.

  3. Thanks for the link! I've updated my initial post with another gearflake, with better shapes. I'm having way too much fun making these. Gears and snowflakes just go so well together, it's a shame not to try.

  4. I love the snowflake - however for some reason we use the same idea for letters that children send for Easter - so I can't help but fell that it is for a different holiday. For this holiday I have been making pleated Christmas hearts as those are a must most Danish Christmas trees. There are so many different designs, however since it is for my parents Christmas tree I go for traditional things like stars, hearts (within the heart) and angles. (

  5. so have to check out Disney Printables. My girls and I have so much fun making them. Thanks for recommending the documentary. I know what the hubs and I are watching tonight!

  6. You have made me wanna start cutting snowflakes! Down here in Australia it's the closest i'll get to a white christmas...
    I love love love the paper toys creted by Tom at Skiddadle Games- this gorilla guy is so cute!

  7. My son is hooked on Cubees. I've helped him make a few and even made one for a friend. I currently have a Stay Puft cubee on my entertainment center.
    Cubee Craft You can also just google Cubee, because they are everywhere. Great for begineers. You can find blank templates to make your own also.

  8. *cough* One of the artists profiled in Between the Folds reads Cake Wrecks. Just so's you know. In fact, he attended a signing on your first book tour.

  9. Unfortunately, I just found this awesome free Calendar of the Month link from Scout Creative a couple of weeks ago. At the moment you can still download the 2011 months for free and each month comes with an alternate piece that you can use instead of the calendar. I made the December Jack-in-the-Box Nutcracker. Adorable.


    They have updated it for 2012 and are offering the entire year for $9.99 on Etsy, still a good deal.

    They have some other free projects on their website, I did the Puss 'n' Boots, very cute.

  10. I found these last week and have been busily making them during quiet times in my shop (Christmas has not been great for us this year). The hot air balloon Santa is particularly cool and looks great in the tree.

  11. Here is a link to an easy 5 pointed star/snowflake seed made from a 8 1/2x11 paper:
    (Hope the linky cheat works!)

  12. I LOVED between the folds! Such a fascinating story. I took a free origami class our library had when I was in junior high, and I was hooked. Then there's my 1000 cranes story, but it takes a lot of space to tell. But overall, lemme just say folding 400 red cranes in 24 hours left my hands full of paper cuts and the red dye did not come off for WEEKS. But it was so worth it in the end!

    Thanks for the paper ideas. I also enjoy paper crafts!

  13. All pulled from my pinterest acct - When will I find the time to try a few???

  14. dang it! dang it! Hate it when the hubs (runningbrent) is signed on instead of me!!!!

    Who spends more time on this computer anyway??!!!

    (ha-ha, Word verification is "checkin" as in "you should be checkin' to see if you're logged in before you comment..."

  15. My kids and I enjoy paper craft once in a while. My favorite things to download for them come from The Toymaker

    She has such adorable things. I do love her little mice and the little houses. At one point she put a paper trebuchet link on Facebook, but I'm not sure if it has made it to the website yet.

  16. Have you tried quilling (aka paper filigree)? It's quite easy to do, and you can end up with lovely and intricate designs. It has a very Victorian feel to it, and it wouldn't be difficult to come up with some steam punk designs. Check out these quilled snowflakes ( )It's not hard to picture them on your steam punk tree - especially if you made them out of gold paper.

  17. I don't have any websites, but I do have to brag: from the time my son was fifteen months old, all of our Christmas tree ornaments have been made out of watercolor paper, tissue paper, old envelopes, whatever looks good. It was a necessity thing at first, but it's turned into a tradition of adding one or two new creations every year...this year it was a baseball "bat" (complete with wings) for my son and a hatching egg for the "Sparrow" we're expecting in two months.

    Now, on the "sharing" side, we also bough Son a battery-powered paper plane launcher. It's absolutely long as you're not in the line of fire.

  18. Papercrafts! Yeah! You may enjoy my friend's paper model site. He's given me some awesome ones (plus one of the ones there is a custom design he did for us--for our Tom Swift event). (Now I know you'll remember us from San Diego as the crazy Tom Swift people).

    Anyways, I think you'll like his downloadable paper models.

  19. You need to do a papercraft airship.

  20. Do you think the little paper balls would be cat-friendly? Both of our kittens love paper and balls, so I figured I could put a jinglebell in each one. Would they tear these to shreds and choke and die? How sturdy are they?

  21. I was so excited to see that you featured Tesh's steampunk snowflake!!! Tesh is my brother and we both love your blogs. I feel like I've vicariously become famous, now. :D

  22. You don't have to have the computer program they talk about to download and make these awesome old paper models. I particularly like the "Christmas Kit," which has a train! :D

    (also while we're on the topic of paper, um, you like zelda?.... Paper Link and more Link)

  23. If you like paper crafts, quilling is super fun. Quilling is just twirled paper. It is very simple and requires only one tool, and you can make almost anything. You can find patterns online, or buy kits at craft store. Here is a website with pictures and info :)

  24. I've been obsessed with papercraft for over a year now. Last year, I got an awesome "Fold Your Own Zombie" calendar. Every month had a new papercraft zombie for you to assemble. If you like, you can see the results, here:
    This year, I got a calendar from the same company and it's Fold Your Own Robots! You can make a new robot pal every month. Here is a link to it on Amazon:
    I'm also posting pics and a short story to go with each new robot on the 1st of each month. It's so fun!

    Gonna go check out your papercrafty links . . .


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