How to Make a Mini Paper Transformer

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to Make a Mini Paper Transformer
Papercraft has developed far beyond the one-piece flapping bird. (origami image by Vasiliy Koval from

You can make a mini paper transformer that is fully operational and easily recognisable. Paper craft that is carefully assembled and stored can last for years even if it is played with. Mini paper transformers employ flexible rubber joints to connect the separate paper pieces and allow the freedom to move. Test your ability to cut and paste neatly while you closely follow the directions to make a working, three-dimensional, shape-changing paper craft.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Printer
  • Medium glossy cardstock paper (150 to 180 gram)
  • Scissors
  • Cutting board
  • Razor blade knife (X-acto)
  • Markers
  • Glue stick
  • 1/8-inch-wide rubber bands

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  1. 1

    Print a transformer template from a paper crafting website onto thick card stock. Print in colour, if possible, to save decorating time later. See the link in Resources for an Optimus Prime template.

  2. 2

    Cut larger pieces and long straight edges with a sharp pair of scissors. Set the smaller pieces and more difficult-to-cut pieces on a cutting board and cut them out with a razor blade knife. Poke small holes, approximately 1/16 inch, in the panels where they will connect at the joints.

  3. 3

    Add colour and detail to the cutout pieces of paper with permanent markers. Freehand draw some dents and marks on a few panels for a realistic battle-damaged look.

  4. 4

    Fold the cut pieces into their three -imensional forms according to the directions. Use small amounts of glue from the stick on the white tab and rubber bands to hold them in place as they dry. Most glue sticks dry completely within five minutes.

  5. 5

    Snip the rubber bands so they are a straight strap of rubber and tie a small knot in one end. Run the end of the band without a knot through the holes in the panels to connect the pieces according to the instructions in the template. Trim the excess rubber and tie a knot in the end when all sections are connected.

Tips and warnings

  • Move slowly when you transform your mini paper transformer to avoid tearing the paper or breaking a section apart. Pieces that pull apart can often be glued back together.
  • Keep your mini paper transformer away from open flames and direct sunlight to keep it looking as good as the day it was made.

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