Papercraft and Origami

Latest Update: Just updating the URL for the 3D dragon from Grand Illusions.

Projects

General Sites

Most of these sites have a selection of models to make, often with PDF files to download and print…

  • Paper University – site aimed at kids full of fun papercraft projects.
  • Currell Graphics – lots of models, mainly of flying things and related stuff. Nice stuff, found via Make:.
  • The Fitful Flog – a folder’s blog, with a whole lot of cool and different designs.
  • Origami.com’s list of Diagramsshedloads of them. Really. And it would have to be a big shed.
  • Yamaha Paper Crafts – rare animals, seasons, and motorbikes. No idea what the obsession is with Japanese companies providing papercraft stuff online, but it’s good stuff, so we won’t complain. (Via Make:.)
  • 3DPapermodel – site is based in Taiwan, so I don’t understand much of the text – looks pretty good from the pictures, though, and there’s lots of models, with PDFs to download.
  • Canon’s Origami Projects and Papers – a nice selection of projects to print, and patterns for making your own stuff.
  • Printable Patterned Paper for origami, from thekhans. (Thanks to Make:.)
  • Homespun Magixx – lots of models to make, including SpongeBob Squarepants, Powerpuff Girls, Star Trek, The Tick, and 3D puzzles.
  • Paper Forest – papercraft blog – lots of projects to try.
  • Sarah’s Origami – instructions for origami models, written by Seraphim from Megatokyo.

Papercraft Projects

A whole lot more specific projects to have a go at…

  • Into tinkering with electronics? How about making your own 555 timer chip from paper? OK, so it won’t work, but it looks the part – well, maybe a bit on the big side. (Via Make:.)
  • Take a trip back to the schoolyard with the Origami Fortune Teller.
  • Turn those old fashion mags into funky jewellery with Recycled Paper Beads.
  • When you’ve had really good service at a restaurant, make sure you’re remembered by leaving a fun folded tip in the shape of a shirt, rosette or (not so sure about this one) a spider. Found on ReadyMade Blog.
  • How about models of music synthesizers? The templates aren’t free, but they do look very cute.
  • Make a custom tuckbox – enter your desired dimensions and this nifty little thing will produce a template. Found on ReadyMade Blog
  • Make Your Own Envelopes – a colourful way of storing momentos, among other things. Via Lifehacker
  • Origami Mini Jotter – What a fantastic way of storing bits of paper, index cards etc. Could this be the next Hipster PDA?
  • Tiny, tiny planes at Paper Forest. Assembled with tweezers, and you need to use a single human hair as a glue brush. Sounds a bit tricky for me.
  • The Wicked Wench from Pirates of the Caribbean. You’re supposed to search for the model, hidden on the site. Paper Forest give you some clues, and there’s more in the comments. Looks like a complicated one – it’s 16 pages of instructions, and 26 pages of parts. Wow.
  • Models of Old Japan – again, I’ll link to Paper Forest’s page – they explain how to get the models. It’s not that they’re hidden, it’s just that the page is in Japanese.
  • Origami Water Balloon on Instructables. Someone suggests in the comments that the same design can be filled with washing up liquid, and chucked in a fountain for bubbliciousness.
  • Quake and Half-Life models – paper models of characters in computer games. Not pretty, but could look very cool next to your computer if you play the games concerned. (Via Boing Boing.)
  • Paper Science from Paper Forest, including a microsope, a DNA model, and working slide rules. Great stuff. Not all of the models mentioned are free, but most are.
  • LighthouseInATree have made an updated version of the classic Dirkon papercraft camera.
  • Motorola DynaTAC Mobile Phone – I know someone right next to me now who’ll love this – a big old mobile phone – ‘brick’ style. Mmmmm, chunky.
  • Paper Plants – cactii and more. Just don’t over-water them.
  • Kaleidoscope Flowers – another one from PaperForest. Maybe you should just go there instead of here. Sorry, no, don’t do that. We’d miss you.
  • Papercraft FTO – looks a bit too tricky for me. Impressive, though.
  • CD Holder – an antidote to the FTO above – a nice easy one. Just a bit of paper folded around a CD.
  • Flying Pig – they sell designs, including some pretty impressive animated models. There’s a few freebies too, including a really cool nodding sheep. Baa.
  • Star Wars R2-D2 ‘Droidel’ – Happy Hannukah, Star Wars Fans (via Boing Boing).
  • Shin Tanaka Custom Papercraft – Downloadable blank templates for you to decorate, build and photograph for display on the site. Via Make:
  • Paper Pets – (Via Paper Forest.)
  • Sushi – Japanese text, so you’ll have to work from the pictures unless you can read Japanese.
  • Paper Steam Engine – with working flywheel, piston and valve. (Thanks to Boing Boing.)
  • Grand Illusions – 3D Dragon – Dragon Optical Illusion. Print out the PDF from this page, and get cutting and folding – it’s worth it. The result is a 3-D origami dragon that seems to move it’s head to follow you as you move around it. It’s quite amazing. There’s a video on the site so you can get the idea, and it really does work.
  • Readymech – an assortment of little boxes, that I can’t quite figure out the purpose of. Looks like they might be intended to sit on the walls of a cubicle – papercraft for the Dilberted. Nice designs.
  • Assorted Cars – including more Citroens than you can shake a stick at. Well, actually, I just tried with a pencil, and successfully shook it at all of them, but there’s quite a few.
  • Batmobile from 1966
  • iPod Stand
  • MoneyWallet – make a wallet out of money. Twenty notes.
  • Panasonic Papercraft Appliances – in Japanese, but there’s pictures, and the links to the actual PDF files you need are labelled ‘PDF’. Looks like it’s one PDF file for the pattern, and another for the instructions.
  • Build a Zoetrope – a mechanical cinema, or if you prefer, a mechanical animated GIF. Via Make:
  • Paper Garden – build your own paper garden complete with flowers, insects and microbes! Via ReadyMade Blog
  • April Fool Trickery – for those who can’t resist being a prankster, but like to keep their ‘A’ material for April 1st, this hi-larious project will have you in stitches for weeks. Both kinds.
  • Origami PC – An incredibly detailed origami laptop. Via Make:
  • Trout made from Japanese Betting Slips – looks impressively real.
  • Cardboard Helicopter by Shannon Goff – this is fantastic – it’s almost 10 metres long. (Thanks to Boing Boing.)
  • Disney Haunted Mansion – (Via Boing Boing.)
  • Mini Papercraft Moog Synth – maybe your kids have been watching MTV Cribs too much if their doll’s house has a studio, but if it does, now you can make a moog for it. (Thanks to Make:.)
  • V8 Engine – a year of work, containing 5756 pieces of paper. There’s no instructions for building your own, but it’s worth checking out the pictures. (Thanks to Boing Boing.)
  • Post-it Mosaic – Elvis in Post-it notes? Uh-huh. This one’s worth checking out pictures of, at least – it takes up a whole wall of the company’s meeting room.

Recycling

Papercraft with stuff you’d otherwise be throwing out:

Inspiration

  • Cut-out Wall Art – a beautiful way of recycling unwanted paper and card. See a similar piece by the same artist here.
  • Simon Elvins’ paper record player – uses a paper cone, and he says it “amplifies the sound enough to make it audible”. (Via Boing Boing.)
  • Richard Sweeney makes wonderful geometric shapes, just by folding and scoring the paper. There’s more pics in his Flickr set than on his site. Also see a nice little post about him on Paper Forest.
  • Joel Cooper – amazing origami that looks like woodcarvings. (Via Make:.)
  • Chris Natrop – works of art from paper, some framed like paintings, some taking up most of a room.
  • Peter Callesen – makes fantastic sculptures out of single A4 sheets and glue.

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