Saturday, May 19, 2012

DIY Star Wars Papercraft (With A Hidden Surprise!)

Here's a fun Star Wars "card" I made for my friend Chris' birthday yesterday:

This is a papercraft set of electrobinoculars - those nifty binoculars you see everyone from Luke to the Storm Troopers using in the films. However, the really cool part is that these binoculars have a special message inside:

Ok, so it's hard to see from here. But it's there. Honest.

The papercraft template is by Tektonten Papercraft, and you can download it for free from their site. (woot!) The template wasn't actually designed to have a message inside, though; that's my own little addition.

Now, this is probably the most difficult papercraft project I've ever assembled (mostly because of the visor; that thing required two do-overs and a John consult to figure out), but if you have a lot of patience and want to give it a go, here's all you need to put a message inside:

When you've completely assembled the front half of the binoculars, cut a hole like this in the piece that goes on top of it. Then print and attach your message to the very far end inside (the very front of the binoculars) before gluing that top piece in place.

After that, all you have to do (besides finish assembling the binoculars, of course) is punch holes in the eyepieces to look through. That's actually trickier than I expected, since the printed eye pieces are set much too wide. Your eye holes will need to be a lot closer in to the nose piece if you want to be able to read your secret message. (In the end mine turned into big ovals because I had to keep widening the holes. Harrumph.)

And one more quick tip for anyone planning to make these: that pesky visor will be a LOT more manageable if you add three extra tabs before cutting out this visor piece:

Note my (badly) drawn-in tabs.

Then, when you've assembled the visor, insert those tabs into slits cut into the faceplate, and fold & glue the tabs to the backside of the faceplate. This is the *only* was I was able to get that lousy visor to stay in place securely, so please, learn from my mistakes/trials & errors!

Now, let's all bask in the glow of my creation! Mwuah-ha-haaa!!

Hm. Maybe these glue fumes are getting to me.

Oh, and if you have any interest at all in papercraft, definitely check out Tektonten Papercraft. I just stumbled across it a few days ago, but already I've found TONS of new templates I can't wait to download. (Where has this site BEEN all my life?!) They also have simpler projects for kids and newbies (like this cutie), so you're sure to find something fun to try no matter what your skill level!


  1. What a great birthday gift! And you are so clever to add a message inside - I'm sure Chris will love it!

  2. Those are unbelievably cool. I will be making them for my middle son this year!

  3. The Kingdom Heart/Disney chests are so cute, but I think the links to the actual files aren't working now. :( (Unless I have become randomly computer challenged. :P)

  4. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for featuring my electrobinoculars papercraft! I like the hidden surprise you added. :) I look forward to seeing what other papercraft of mine you may build in the future.

    -Chris @ Tektonten Papercraft

  5. @Niksia
    All links to the treasure chests should be up and running. Let me know if you continue to have problems.

    -Chris @ Tektonten Papercraft

  6. What a cool site. Today is my son's 15th birthday and he such a HUGE Doctor Who fan. So I am going to attempt to put together the Tardis from the link that's on that site since it looks pretty easy. Maybe I can figure out a way to make the door open and put the birthday note inside, too (stealing your idea, thank you). He'll be so thrilled! Any others he wants, he'll be on his own. ;->

  7. Good golly Miss Molly! Those are so life-like! Amazing to me that 1) Someone thought up patterns to make by folding paper and 2) You followed that pattern to make these. Awesome. Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. I need to make a dozen of these and have a photoshoot with friends. I'm thinking...attending a baseball game and checking out the field action with these "binoculars".


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