Don’t ask me how it came to pass, but I decided to make a papercraft chameleon. After some tweaking of the color scheme, I settled for a classical B/W and red combination.


The daughter dismissed it as a toy, lacking the cuddly factor. So I had to reluctantly move it over to the decorative department.

In the photo, it’s somewhat subtle, but the chameleon is grinning. Sort of a Cheshire Cameleon (hey, that sounds snappy – maybe I should trademark this). I still don’t know if the smile is a good idea, but for some reason I always felt that chameleons have something mischievous¬†about them – maybe their sneaky color changing ability.

Speaking of color changing, I am quite unsure what the best option is here. After playing around with very bright, colorful combinations, I accidentally hit the black color and liked it. Still, I’m open for suggestions.

Building instructions

Building the chameleon is not that difficult. It consists essentially of two parts – the body and the head. Admittedly, the head looks somewhat confusing at first glance, but it’s not that hard to figure out where everything goes.

Start with the body, part a. First, glue the two tail parts b and c to a. Next, glue flap 6 to the opposing side. This will form a six-sided interface to the head. Keep the other flaps of part a open yet, so that it’s easier to attach the head.

Now turn to part d, the head. Glue flaps 7-11 to their opposing sides. This will form the head, with a six-sided opening that will attach to the body. The flaps of the head go into the body – that’s why you should keep the other flaps of the body unglued until the head is attached. Now, glue the head to the body.

Next, close the body by gluing all flaps 2-6 to their counter parts. Glue the two parts of the tail back-to-back.

Almost done. On to the eyes. These are simple: Carefully put them into a round shape – wrapping them around a pencil works fine. Then glue them into a cone, leaving a small hole for the ‘pupil’. Then attach them to the head, centered over the red and white spot respectively.

The final step is assembling and attaching the legs. These are pretty self-explanatory, except maybe for the first part: Fold the feet onto the adjacent square and glue them in place there. This will bring the printed side up. Then, fold the other two flaps onto the feet, fixating the shape of the legs. Then, attach the legs to the body. Use the pattern to see where exactly the legs go. Parts e and f are the hind legs, g and h are the forelegs.

Here is the template (see also instructions here):

It’s just the PDF for now (sorry, am somewhat short on time right now), but if you’d like to have an SVG, or CDR file or if you need a template for the CraftRobo, please let me know in the comments or via the contact form.

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