How to a make 3D paper cut out

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How to a make 3D paper cut out
Three-dimensional paper cutouts come in a variety of themes. (paper angels image by GeoM from

One of the best ways to make models is by assembling three dimensional paper cutout patterns. Since they're made of paper, the cost is low. In addition, many patterns for paper cutouts can be found on the Internet and downloaded for free. Models of animals, cars, planes, buildings, spaceships, carousels and hundreds of other items are available. Patterns range from simple to complex and are suited to any capability or age. Teachers can use three dimensional paper cutouts to help students learn certain subjects.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper cutout pattern
  • Markers or crayons
  • Computer and printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Envelope
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Locate a paper cutout pattern. You can find the patterns in books and on many websites. If the pattern is in a book, carefully pull out the page with the cutout pattern. If the pattern is on a website, download it to your computer and print it in colour or black and white.

  2. 2

    Examine the cutout pattern. Often there is only the pattern, but sometimes there are special instructions in the form of a diagram or in text. If the pattern is from a book, there may be specific instructions in the book, so study that. Imagine putting the pieces together so that you understand the general concept.

  3. 3

    Colour the pattern if it has no colour and you want to enhance it. Use markers, crayons or whatever you wish.

  4. 4

    Cut the pattern out with scissors. Some patterns have only one piece and others have multiple pieces. If there are many pieces, store them in an envelope until they are all cut out so you don't lose any.

  5. 5

    Bend the outside edges of the largest piece of the cutout pattern toward the back–in a logical way. Glue it into a three dimensional shape using the tabs. Only put the glue on the tabs, not on any other part of the pattern. The paper cutout should start to look like a realistic model.

  6. 6

    Bend, fold and glue the other parts of the paper cutout. You may have to partially bend some pieces like fenders of cars or crease some folds for building corners. You may also have to assemble smaller pieces on their own before attaching them to the main cutout.

  7. 7

    Attach all the parts of the paper cutout until the three dimensional model is complete. Now you can proudly display your cutout.

Tips and warnings

  • If you print paper cutouts from the Internet and want to make them look realistic, print them in colour on glossy paper.
  • You can also use tape to secure the tabs together instead of glue.

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