How to make 3D paper images

Written by erin maurer
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How to make 3D paper images
Turn a stack of paper into fun, 3D images. (Stack of Die Cut Papers image by Allen Stoner from

Pop-up images are often used to enhance children's books and other materials. These pop-up images help give two-dimensional products a three-dimensional feel. Crafters and scrapbook enthusiasts can make these 3D paper images at home with a little time and patience. Websites such as Robert Sabuda and Paper Toys feature downloadable templates for creating a variety of paper pop-ups. On these sites, pop-up templates may be found for everything from animals to historical landmarks. Be sure to purchase extra paper because it make take a few tries to properly create a 3D image using the paper pop-up technique.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Printer
  • Computer paper
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Heavy paper (preferably cardstock)
  • Glue
  • Coloured pencil (optional)
  • Crayons (optional)

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  1. 1

    Locate the proper paper pop-up template online and print the template on standard white computer paper.

  2. 2

    Cut out the image according to the instructions included with the template. Typically, this involves cutting around the image's outline and leaving tabs where it will attach to a flat sheet of paper.

  3. 3

    Place the cut-out template onto a flat sheet of cardstock or other heavy paper. Trace around the template. Be sure to mark the lines where the flat image will be folded.

  4. 4

    Practice folding the pop-up using the original template printed on basic computer paper. Be sure to make creases sharp and stiff where indicated by the template. Practice several times until you are pleased with your folding ability. Print out additional templates if necessary.

  5. 5

    Cut out the image previously traced onto the cardstock, following the instructions indicated on the template. Colour or decorate the image using coloured pencils, crayons or markers.

  6. 6

    Fold the cardstock in the same manner as practised in Step 4. Refer to the template if necessary. Glue the folded image's tabs to a flat piece of cardstock, as seen on the template design. Allow the image to dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Use coloured cardstock to create a more vibrant image.

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