Playing with Paper?

To be honest, until we were looking for ideas for the Dec/Jan holiday programme, I’d never heard of 3D Papercraft. And then another member of the CYS team showed me the book “We Are Paper Toys” by Louis Bou, which features the work of a wide variety of artists, designers and other creative minds using paper to create amazing and unique 3D toys/models from paper.

Front Cover Image

The book that gave us the idea...

Google 3D Papercraft and you’ll get approx. 1,350,000 results – including recreations of people’s heads from photo images, tugboat models, iconic computer game characters, buildings… the list goes on. It seemed like a perfect choice for a workshop aimed at 13-18 year olds.

Of course, this meant that now I got to play with paper myself in order to create the examples that would go up around the library as advertising for the workshop. And what an experience that has been!

First I found out the hard way that you really need to be working with at least a large A4 pattern… cos A5 is toooooo small. Also, ordinary paper is just too flimsy, poor little guy can barely stand up.

Oh boy, was he a fiddly little beast to make...

For something so small, he sure took a lot of time and effort...

Working on Max also reminded me to have glue on hand at all times… he’s held together with sticky tape for the most part and it just doesn’t look as good.

My next efforts were on a slightly larger scale… Undead George and Werewolf Michael Jackson.

It was around Halloween... so there was a theme to my choices this time.

More lessons on what not to do when playing with paper...

With Undead George I discovered that printing the pattern out in greys doesn’t look very good and colouring in with texta only mildly improves things.
However, he did teach me that the simpler patterns are definitely the easiest ones to work with. (Not really a big surprise, that one.) And that scoring the fold lines before you start trying to make the model does, in fact, make things much easier!

Werewolf Michael Jackson was a very good lesson in why you can’t use a glue stick to make these awesome toys/models – it just doesn’t work. The glue doesn’t hold things together and takes too long to dry… very frustrating when working with something as intricate as this pattern turned out to be. So sticky tape came to the rescue again… until craft glue stepped in and saved the day entirely.

Cute little bunny...

This little bunny proved a challenge.

And finally, I took all the lessons that I learned from the previous three toys/models and had a go at “Nodder” …

Simple but adorable

Ta daaaaa!

and another simple pattern that creates this little guy:

Say hello to my little friends...
Come along to the workshop and see what you can make for yourself!



Craft glue may be fiddly and scoring fold lines may take time, but it is totally worth the time and effort for the end result.

So if you’re 13-18 and would like to have a go at making some 3D Papercraft models/toys of your own, we would love to see you at the workshop on January 20 from 3pm-4pm!
Make your bookings via the library.
All the equipment and 3D Papercraft patterns will be supplied.

2 thoughts on “Playing with Paper?

  1. Very nice to see my precious Nodder Bunny being made! Interesting to read she’s a challenge to build, but honestly: she’s meant to be 😉 Please keep me posted on how everyone succeeds. I would love to see pictures!

  2. She was totally worth the challenge, Maarten! I’ve already had people asking if they can give her a home once she’s finished her duty as advertising eye-candy in the Teen Fiction area.
    I’ll be sure to put up a blog post after the workshop (with photos) so you can see how the participating teens fared with the various paper-toy-options we throw them.
    Thank you for the visit! Drop by anytime. 🙂

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