2016 - December

Huge collection of vintage Donald Duck papercraft templates

For those of you who are fans of Donald Duck and/or papercrafting, here is a huge collection of vintage papercraft templates which were part of the monthly German ‘Mickey Mouse’ magazine. The site’s name is Seite 42, which translates to ‘page no. 42’ – the place in the magazine where the papercrafting projects were to […] Read more

Dino calendar 2017 edition

A lot of you have asked for a 2017 update for the dino calendar. Well, finally here it is. In case you don’t know what I am talking about, this is it: A nice little stegosaurus, which holds monthly or weekly cards, where each card’s tab doubles as one the blades of the stegosaurus. The […] Read more

2016 - November

3D printing fixed it

Ok, so the big promise of 3D printing is that I can get whetever item I need at any moment, in whatever shape I desire, which would be very handy for repairs and replacements. As anyone dealing with 3D printing can attest, the truth is that it is not always that easy. Usually making replacement parts […] Read more

Mobile phone microscope adapter

Recently my kids inherited a very old children’s microscope, which had been used in elementary school. As these low budget microscopes go, it’s resolution and chromatic fidelity were abysmal, and despite featuring a decent nominal magnification of x500, it was more or less a glorified magnifying glass. It’s really difficult to get reasonable images out […] Read more

2016 - October

Baal bust

For a kids’ church activity, my wife recently asked me whether I could create a Baal bust (don’t ask!). This is what I came up with: It looks surprisingly good, considering that it is made entirely from cardboard. I used gold-colored acrylic paint, which turned out excellent, and makes it seem very solid. It’s only […] Read more

3D printed key knob

When buying a new lock for your front door, smart people consider buying a lock with a turning knob on the inside, like this: It allows you to lock – not just close – your front door with a turn of the knob. Well, I didn’t, and thus I ended up with a lock where I […] Read more

New paper miniature airplanes

Remember my miniature airplane display case? Well, I recently received a custom order for the design of new airplanes. Turns out the requested airplanes are some of the most interesting ones ever engineered. It was great fun working on the models and reading up on the background of these planes. First was the Boeing 747, […] Read more

Scavenger hunt in the dark

For my daughter’s last birthday, we had some of her friends for a sleepover party. Before bedtime, I wanted to use this opportunity to do something that only works after dark: A scavenger hunt in the dark. In preparation, I requisitioned: A blacklight flash light A UV marker pen An infrared LED array A package […] Read more

Alphabet calendar

A couple of days ago I received in the mail a copy of a new 2017 calendar – the theme is ‘hand-lettered and artsy alphabets’, published by Amber Lotus Publishing. The calendar features – among other very nice artwork by other artists – my papercraft alphabet on the December page. Speaking of calendars, rest assured […] Read more

Tageba – allowance bank

Here is a deviation from my usual papercraft content: A web application I recently created. It’s an ‘allowance bank’ for kids. The idea came to me when I was on a trip with my own kids. They wanted to buy something, and I knew they had some money back at home in their piggy bank, […] Read more

Can I Have a Kitten

Here is a very nice project in which I took part. It's a new papercraft book, beautifully illustrated by the very great Mina Braun, an incredibly talented illustrator. I was asked to do some papercraft designs for Mina's illustrations, and was very grateful for the enjoyable collaboration. Read more

2016 - July

Tutorial for the business card holder

Some of you may remember the series of business card holders (butler, scientist, sheriff, beaver) I did some time ago. Here is a quick tutorial on how to make them: Start by cutting out along the contours of the template: Fold along the edge of the base, so that the front is at a 90° […] Read more

2016 - April

Virtual version of my cryptograph

scratch-catcher has implemented a virtual version of the cryptograph, using MIT’s Scratch. For those of you who do not know it, Scratch is a very easy to learn visual programming environment, tailored towards kids. If you and your kids are interested in programming at all, in a playful way, you should check it out. Read more

2016 - February

Time lapse ‘Making of’ video for the Fokker Dr.I model

You may remember the miniature paper airplanes from the ‘airplane butterfly case’: In case you were curious how these are made, here is a time lapse video detailing the complete process, from printing to cutting (with a Silhouette Portrait) to assembly: Read more

2016 - January

Sample package for clients

Last week, I shipped out a couple of sample packages to clients who are interested in commissioned projects. The samples consist of a collection of stuff I have been working on in the past months, including some toys, the vaccines book, the alphabeticals book, a customized Maneki Neko, and some promotional toys. When I had everything collected […] Read more

2015 - December

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a Happy New Year! May 2016 be peaceful and in a good sense “boring”, so that we can get excited for the right reasons. Above is a little New Year’s card I made for friends and family – and which I’d now like to share with you, dear reader. And here, […] Read more

Winter village model no. 22 – Two-story house

Here is model no. 22 of the winter village advent calendar is a house with a bit of a peculiar design. Two stories, nestled into each other. Here is the PDF. You can buy the (very affordable) whole set from my Etsy store. Read more

Winter village model no. 14 – Tower house

Here is model no. 14 of the winter village advent calendar is a little three-story tower house. Here is the PDF. You can buy the (very affordable) whole set from my Etsy store. Read more

Winter village model no. 11 – Gullwing roof house

This is model no. 11 of the winter village advent calendar is a house with a gullwing roof. This roof type gives the house quite a unique and nice look. Here is the PDF. You can buy the (very affordable) whole set from my Etsy store.   Read more

Concept for 12 Days of Christmas Paper Models

Even if you are not from the UK or US, you probably know the song 12 Days of Christmas. I am somewhat partial to that song, with its very nice, over the top imagery of ever more luscious gifts being piled onto the dearly loved recipient. It lends itself very well to illustration, of course, […] Read more

Winter village model no. 5 – Narrow wooden house

This is model no. 5 for the winter village advent calendar: This is a very narrow, wooden house. This has probably been cramped in between two existing houses… Here is the PDF. You can buy the (very affordable) whole set from my Etsy store. Read more

2015 - November

Winter village model no. 1 – Family house

This is the fist sample from my papercraft advent calendar: the winter village. This is a small family house. Here is the PDF. You can buy the very affordable whole set from my Etsy store. Read more

Winter village advent calendar

Want to give your kids something other than candy for an advent calendar? Why not a papercraft project. This one is for a winter village, and it contains 24 easy to make buildings. From a tiny shed to the village church, some are big, some are small, but all are cute and snowy. One reader, Mike, […] Read more

Alphabet boxes

Here is a set of 26 box templates, one for each letter of the alphabet, available from my Etsy store. They make a nice wrapping for a personalized gift. You can use them for initials, spell a whole name or even a little message: Here is a video for a closer look: They are about […] Read more

Pop-up book on vaccines

This is a pop-up book about a very important topic: Vaccines. Vaccination is the most effective measure against preventable infectious diseases. Unfortunately, a lot of people are worried about possible side effects and too few are aware of the very serious consequences of supposedly ‘harmless’ diseases such as measles. Here is a video of the […] Read more

2015 - September

Low-poly bullfinch

Low poly design is quite popular these days. Luckily, it’s actually not that difficult to do, since it effectively is the reduction of complex forms into something much simpler and a bit abstract. This is why last weekend I set out to doing a low-poly bullfinch: For my German readers: Den Dompfaff gibt’s auch auf […] Read more

Jonah and the whale

Jonah and the whale is a story almost 3000 years old, but it hasn’t lost its fascination. For a children’s church project, I designed this whale and Jonah, who fits into the whale’s maw: This proejct is not difficult to build. Here are brief instructions on how to do it: All flaps and accompanying opposite […] Read more

2015 - July

Phone – cup holder adapter

Using your phone in your car has almost become a necessity, for better or worse. Naturally, the accessories industry has come up with a plethora of adapters and phone holders. But what if you are in a car that you use only temporarily, where you can’t install a holder permanently? Enter the phone – cup […] Read more

2015 - June

Kid-friendly papercraft: Spaceship

Many papercraft printables are not accessible to younger children – they require motor skills that only come with age. At the same time, papercrafts are a perfect pastime for young children: They teach important construction and manual skills in a playful way, let children learn about shapes and geometry, and they provide a lot of space […] Read more

2015 - May

3D printed loom thread separator

My daughter is the proud owner of a loom. Recently her interest in the loom was rekindled by a school project, and as we wanted to start working with the loom again, we noticed that one part was missing. A wooden bar with slits which keeps the individual threads nicely separated, so that the shuttle can […] Read more

Work in progress: Paper mechanism

I am currently working on a new project which will be an animated / kinetic model, a bit similar to the multiplication machine. I have to say, a kinetic model with its moving parts is at least an order of magnitude more difficult and time consuming than a static model. Here are pictures of various […] Read more

How to print A4 templates on US letter paper

History, unfortunately, led to two different paper format systems in the US and Europe – US letter and the A series (here is an interesting history of paper sizes). The PDF templates on my website are generally in the A4 format. If you are using US letter format (or any other format, for that matter), you […] Read more

2015 - April

Back from AERO Expo

One week ago, I was at the AERO Expo – a big trade show for general aviation. I was invited to join an exhibition of a couple of very talented artists who paint, design, and photograph on the topic of aviation. I highly recommend the group’s website, flugsucht.de. It’s in German, but you don’t need […] Read more

This week on Thingiverse

Here is a run-down of a few nice things I found on Thingiverse, ready for 3D printing. Clicking on the images will take you directly to the Thingiverse object. Let’s start with some transportation options. This nice rocket, by Gabor Vecsei, has that nice quirky vintage cartoon look:   And here is a nice model […] Read more

Bird Cage Egg

This is a 3d print I made last minute for Easter: A bird in an egg-shaped cage. The egg is just a little bit smaller than a real chicken egg. I like this one in particular because it is something that would be difficult to do with injection molding – at least in one piece and […] Read more

2015 - March

Alphabeticals: My papercraft alphabet as a book

Great news: My papercraft alphabet is coming out as a book! So for those of you who felt that printing and cutting out the 26 letters was a bit too much of a time investment (which, frankly, I absolutely understand), here is your chance of making the alphabet:   The letters in the book are […] Read more

Exhibiting at the Aero Expo, April 15-18, Friedrichshafen

For the aviation fans among you, this might be interesting: I will exhibit paper art at the Aero Expo. The Aero is a global trade show for general aviation, taking place in Friedrichshafen, Germany (near the very beautiful Lake Constance) April 15-18. I will be part of a very nice art show called ‘AEROkunst’ which […] Read more

2014 - December

3D printed cookie cutter bear

My wife found a very nice idea on the web for cookie bears holding almonds. Naturally, we wanted to have those bears, too. However, we didn’t have a bear-shaped cookie cutter. So I turned to Thingiverse and found this very nice cutter from user rozoom, which not only cuts out bears, but also makes dents for the […] Read more

Planetary Baubles

Prompted by a comment from Marcus (thanks for the great idea!), I have turned the paper planets into Christmas baubles. They actually turned out very nice, and in mid-air from a tree gives off a much more planetary impression than when they sit on a shelf. And they are easy to make, too. When assembling the […] Read more

Dino calendar 2015 edition

Upon popular request, I have updated the original dino calendar for the year 2015. Not only that, but I have created a new violet variant for the new year. You can find the new template below, as well as templates for weekly and monthly cards. The original, green, dino can be found here, and there is […] Read more

3D printed spider ring

You got to love 3D printing: The turnaround time from an idea to its execution is extremely short. Yesterday in the evening I had the idea for a spider ring (don’t ask – that’s the kind of ideas you get when you have small kids). Scavenged Thingiverse for a spider model, and found this very nice Creative […] Read more

2014 - November

3D printing complex objects without support

With the popular and affordable standard method of 3D printing, FDM (fused deposition modelling, a fancy way of saying that the object is created by squirting a string of liquified plastic layer by layer onto a support), one problem is that overhangs are difficult to print. Anytime something protrudes horizontally from a model, the printer literally needs […] Read more

Solar system

Something for astronomy geeks: Our solar system as a DIY papercraft kit. The set contains all eight planets, sad little pluto who not too long ago got demoted to 'dwarf planet', and - of course - our home star, the sun. Read more

2014 - October

Working on a poster…

Currently working on a poster for a discussion on the good, bad, and ugly of electronic media for kids. Here is a quick glance at the work in progress. The draft:   Illustrated in CorelDraw: Read more

Ready for Halloween? 3D printed skull clothespin

For Halloween, I designed a clothespin with a skull attached to it (don’t ask, all kinds of weird ideas happen when you have kids): This one was 3D printed in PLA, which is a sturdy enough plastic to withstand the forces of the clothespin spring. Here it is in action: In the unlikely case that you want […] Read more

Speaking paper parrot

Today I wanted to share a little prototype I was working on for a charity event. It’s not yet finished, but well on its way. This is a money collecting box with a parrot sitting on top of it. Whenever someone drops money in the box, the parrot says something.   Here is a video: […] Read more

2014 - September

3D typography: Yeah!

  Continuing from the Blam! experiment, here is the next 3D typography:   And again, it’s not exactly easy to build. In fact, this one seems slightly more difficult than Blam! Anyway, here is the template: PDF template   Read more

Molar

Here is a somewhat random object: The model of a molar tooth in paper.   I made this primarily to test my workflow for creating semi-realistic models with a low enough number of polygons so that they actually can be built. Still, even with the simplified form, this model is a bit difficult to make. […] Read more

German version of groceries game added

Upon request, I have added a German version of the groceries game. The game has very little written content, in fact the only things that needed translating, were the shopping list cards. You can download the German version from the original post. Read more

Grumpy (un?)lucky cat

You may remember the paper maneki-neko or lucky cat I made a while ago. Today, I made an update to the design – meet grumpy maneki-neko. (Disclaimer: Although this is an infinite loop, since the model is not motorized, in reality, the arm stops after a few swings). She (did you know grumpy cat is […] Read more

Frankenstein and Friend

Halloween is coming up in a few days, and here is an appropriately themed pair of models: It’s Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. And since there are still some people out there who think the monster’s name is Frankenstein, the two have donned tee shirts that explicitly make clear who is who. By the way, the name […] Read more

Butterfly case with airplanes instead of butterflies

This is a butterfly case (you know, the kind biologists and collectors create, with dead butterflies mounted on pins), but instead of dead butterflies, I used tiny paper airplanes: If you want one of these, check out my Etsy store. The eight airplanes are rather famous: The Supermarine Spitfire was a very popular British fighter plane […] Read more

Sandbox toys

We recently spent a few very nice days at the sea. I knew there would be a beach with very neat sand, and so I prepared some toys for the kids. Before I go into details, I should mention that a short while ago I bought a 3D printer kit (which, by the way, works […] Read more

QR Cat

A free template which you can customize with a QR code pointing to your website (or twitter, facebook, whatever you desire). Just enter a text, click the button and download the PDF. Read more

2014 - April

The groceries game

Here is something for kids learning basic math: The groceries game is about going to the supermarket and shopping for everyday groceries. So how does it work? First of all, this is not a competitive game. There is no winner or loser. You just buy and sell items to your co-players. However, I found that […] Read more

2014 - March

Pseudo origami animals

    This was a commissioned work I did for a company, as promotional items for a trade show. The idea was to provide easy, precut templates that would fold into origami-like animals effortlessly and without glue. We wanted to give people something they could play with, even if they had never done any kind […] Read more

2014 - February

And another elephriend custom: Devil

    Ok, here is the third (and possibly final) installement of my three-piece series of elephriend customs: The devil elephriend.   He is the evil (and grumpy) counterpart to the angel elephriend. Here is the template. PS: The third one is the steampunk elephriend. Read more

Elephriend angel

Here is another custom elephriend, based on the template published by the Urban Paper Collective: The angel. Here is the template PS: Here is the counterpart, the devil elephriend. And here is the first one, a steampunk elephriend. Read more

Elephriend custom design

The Urban Paper Collective has released a ‘platform toy’, the ‘Elephriend’. What they mean by platform toy is that this is a blank papercraft template that you can use as a starting point for your own designs. Well, I did, and the result is this steampunk elephriend:       Here is the printable PDF […] Read more

Birthday party theme: Under the sea

My daughter’s birthday is coming up, and she asked to have a theme: Under the sea. Today, we started on the invitation cards: Not too shabby, don’t you think? At least my daughter liked it. I will post more on the theme once the party is over.   Read more

Valentine day projects

If you are still looking for some quick and easy project for Valentine’s day, here is a compilation of the Valentine projects I have done: The valentine vase is a small papercraft model that is ‘2.5D’, i.e. it’s not really a three-dimensional model, but rectangular planes make it look (and stand up!) like one. This […] Read more

2014 - January

A new mascot

I wanted to have a simple, easy to build mascot that I could use in header graphics for Twitter and Google+. It's a shelf sitting cube guy. This one is really easy to make, so feel invited to download the PDF template. Read more

A comprehensive backup strategy

Today I want to stray from the usual path of papercrafting and talk about something entirely different: Backup strategies. I was prompted by the recent reports of the Cryptolocker malware to reconsider my own strategy, and I think I came up with quite a nifty scheme for backups. Just as I did, you may think […] Read more

2013 - November

CorelDraw 11 crashes on Core i7 CPU

I just had to reinstall CorelDraw 11 on a relatively new machine with an Intel Core i7 CPU, running under 64 bit Windows 7. I know this is an unusual scenario, but I also know that a lot of people still use older CorelDraw versions, so I thought I’d share a problem and its solution: […] Read more

2012 - December

Phone directory cards for the stegosaurus

Another use for the stegosaurus calendar is as a telephone directory. Here are suitable cards: Actually, the use as a directory and calendar is not mutually exclusive: You can put the calendar cards in front, and the directory cards behind them: And here is the PDF.     Read more

Blank cards for the stegosaurus

You may remember the stegosaurus calendar. In addition to its use as a calendar, you can do all kinds of other things with it. In order to facilitate this ‘hacking’, I have prepared a template for blank cards: Here is the PDF. Read more

Tutorial: How to build the stegosaurus calendar

Here is a quick photo tutorial for those of you who want to build the stegosaurus calendar. Very importantly, make sure that you use thick enough cardboard. Something in the range of 300 g/sqm is fine. If the cardboard / paper is too light, the model will easily warp and the cards may no longer […] Read more

2012 - November

Nativity scene update: The wisemen

I had some requests for adding the wisemen to the nativity scene template I posted about a year ago. So right before Advent Sunday, here they are: See the original post for the downloadable PDF template. Read more

2012 - October

Lucky cat – alternative design

Following up on my previous post of a Maneki Neko / Lucky Cat, here is an alternative design courtesy of my five year old daughter (if you are more interested in the original, more traditionally textured model, click here): She decorated a blank test model with a black felt-tip pen. This is probably just a […] Read more

2012 - August

Tutorial on making the alphabet letters

Update: The alphabet is now available as a beautifully printed book. Since it contains the letters already precut, it saves a lot of time. I noticed that the papercraft alphabet created some interest among people who are not (yet) experienced in papercrafting. Therefore, some letters turned out to be a bit too difficult for some, which […] Read more

2012 - June

Determining the length of a curve in Corel Draw 11

When designing in Corel Draw, it can be very useful to know the total length of a curve. Since the curve may consist of straight and curved sections, this is not trivial, and unfortunately the user interface doesn’t help you here – it only tells you the width and height of an object. So in […] Read more

2011 - June

Red lines (unconnected edges) in Pepakura

I work with the combination of Blender and Pepakura for creating paper models. Sometimes it so happens that a seemingly perfect model in Blender has unconnected edges in Pepakura. These show up as red lines and result in a model where two faces are not connected although they should be. There are several causes. One […] Read more

2011 - May

From Blender to Pepakura to Corel Draw to CraftRobo

Blender is an excellent open-source 3D modelling application. Pepakura Designer (short: Pepakura) is a very useful tool for papercrafting, which converts 3D models to 2D templates which can be printed on paper, cut and assembled into the original 3D model. The two are a great combination for papercrafting. In fact, I found the combination of […] Read more

Converting AVCHD files to MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVI or WMV

It so happens that my Panasonic GH-1 is capable of spitting out so-called AVCHD files (with the extension .MTS). AVCHD is supposedly superior to older video encoding formats, but a lot of old software (such as Adobe Premiere Elements 3) cannot process it. Being a strong proponent of not touching a working system, and seeing […] Read more

Infrared photos

I noticed that there are still some hits for the infrared photos I had up on the site a long time ago. Those were taken with a Canon G2 – still a nice camera, although it feels like a toy these days, now that I am used to the Panasonic GH-1. And I guess there […] Read more

2011 - April

Paper model of the Reddit logo

This is my stab at a paper model of the Reddit logo. The rounded shapes of the logo do not lend themselves well to papercrafting, and so a paper model will either be very complicated to assemble or inaccurate. I took the easy road and made a rough approximation, which only looks good from the […] Read more

2011 - March

Books: Roadside picnic

If you know this title, congratulations: You seem to be a true scifi geek. If not, don’t feel bad – it’s a rather obscure book by conventional literature standards. You may know the movie that’s based on Roadside picnic, though: Stalker. Still no luck? Ok, this will be a tough sale, but don’t let your […] Read more

The Saddest Music in the World

Another movie by Guy Maddin, and equally nonconformist, fascinating, and beautiful as Careful. ‘The Saddest Music in the World’ is a very unique film, and as Careful, it comes with its very own, very unconventional visual language. It’s the 30ies, shortly before the end of probhition, and everybody is drowning in the global depression. Lady […] Read more

At the movies: Careful

‘Careful’ is set in a rural mountain village, ‘Tolzbad’. Tolzbad is under constant threat from avalanches, forcing the villagers to keep noise to a minimum. You would expect that growing up with such a burden would leave its mark in the souls of the villagers, and oh boy, it does. Tolzbad’s inhabitants are perfect showcases […] Read more

2011 - February

Lego Group’s fair play

Among other things, this site contains templates that can be used in conjunction with Lego® toys. The Lego Group is rightfully protective of their trademarks, and for anyone providing stuff related to Lego® bricks, it’s a good idea to follow their fair play rules. I usually despise all documents in legalese and am very easily […] Read more

Printing and cutting the templates of this site

This site features several models which can be printed and cut. You have three options: Print a model, then cut it manually Print a model, then cut it using Craft Robo Import the artwork and cutting outline into a software for whatever cutting plotter you use, and proceed as required. Option 1 is self-explanatory, for […] Read more

Converting CorelDraw to GSD files

Craft Robo’s aptly named control software Robo Master uses a proprietary file format ‘GSD’. I work with CorelDraw, and while CDR is perfect for cutting directly (and in my opinion much better suited for complex Craft Robo projects than Robo Master), there is no way around the GSD format if you want to pass on […] Read more

Paper weight and measurements

Ok, so this is one more thing where the shadow world government has failed miserably: Paper weight (technically, grammage) and dimension units, or – even worse – paper size standards. There is the big divide between continental Europe and the British empire, including its overseas colonies, but then there is also a whole mess of […] Read more