Tag Archives: paper

Y is for Yak

This is basically the single one animal starting with the letter ‘Y’ both in English and German. If you have made all 24 letters coming before this one in the alphabet, you will be relieved to fnd that this one is very easy to make.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

V is for Vampire

Vampires seem to be quite en vogue these days. Well, I prefer the old-school ones over their ‘new millenium’ counterparts.

I was slightly tempted to include a bit of blood tripping from one of the canines, but then I didn’t want to have to explain to my five year old daughter about the staple diet of vampires.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

U is for UFO

Turns out there are surprisingly few concrete nouns in English starting with the letter ‘U’. And technically, UFO is not a noun but an acronym. Anyway, I think for the purpose of the papercraft alphabet, this works quite nicely:

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

T is for Tiger

The tiger is again easy to make. I realized soon after having finished the design, that he looks much more clueless and much less fierce than his relative, the lion. Sorry, tiger – you may be in for a redesign in the future.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

S is for Snake

The snake is vaguely modelled after the Garter snake (with different colors, obviously). It is once again somewhat difficult to build, with all the curvatures. Prepare to be patient with this model and glue segment for segment, making sure that each part is solidly sticking before moving on to the next one.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

P is for Parrot

The parrot is once again an easy template, except maybe for the curvature of the beak. Very importantly, don’t forget to glue a small weight into the base – such as a small coin. Otherwise, the parrot will fall over.


Here is how to make the P (the photos are a slightly updated version from the Alphabeticals book): First, glue a small weight (such as a 1 cent coin) to the back of the parrot, from the inside, near the bottom. This will allow the parrot to stand up and not fall over:


Next, glue the edge faces to one of the two P sides, following the outline:


Finally, close the shape by gluing the remaining P face to the edge.


You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

O is for Orange

Making the orange ‘O’ is a bit difficult because of the inner ring. I suggest you start with gluing it to one side, then the outer ring to the same side, then cover everything with the other side.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

N is for Ninja

Congratulation: If you made all other letters in alphabetical order, you are now halfway there – this is the 14th of the 26 letters.

In typical ninja fashion, this guy is quite sneaky: If you approach him from the front, he looks just like a plain and inconspicuous letter N. Only if you look at the side, you will notice that this is a fierce ninja ready to jump at you from out of the shadows.

Having the ninja clad in the black signature clothes is actually historically pretty inaccurate. The black ‘uniform’ originates with the Japanese Kabuki theater. However, nobody would recognize a ninja if it weren’t for the black clothes – ironically, as they were supposed to make the stage hands in the Kabuki theater invisible.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

I got a request for a version without sword, suitable for small children – here it is.

K is for Kangaroo

Technically, this letter is actually two animals – mother kangaroo and her joey in the pouch.

I should warn you that cutting out and assembling this letter is a bit challenging – the parts around the faces are quite small.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

H is for Handshake

Probably the most abstract of the papercraft letters – the handshake:

I only realized after the fact that these guys have but one hand. Well, I think the letter still works as it is, but maybe this is a good candidate for a revised version sometime in the future.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

F is for Fly

Ok, I admit I had struggled a bit with the animal for the letter F. Flies are not exactly my – or, I imagine, most people’s – favourite pet:

No need to even pretend this is cute, but hey – there aren’t too many animal names starting with the letter F both in English and German.

When you build this, it is very important that glue a small weight – such as a cent coin – into the base, otherwise the center of gravity will be too far to the right and will make the fly fall over.

You will find the other 25 letters of the papercraft alphabet here.

Here is the template as a PDF file.

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 is that one or more vertices are duplicated, i.e. that two vertices are positioned at the same location. To fix this, go into Edit Mode, then press A to select all vertices, then press W and “Remove doubles”.

If that doesn’t help, in Edit Mode press ctrl+alt+shift+M. This selects non-manifold edges, i.e. edges where the model is open. Then press alt+M in order to merge the affected vertices.

If the problem still persists, you can recalculate the normals. Go into Edit Mode, select everything (press A), then press ctrl+N. The problem in this case is that each face of your model has an orientation. You can think of it as the “front” and “back” of the face. The so-called normal is a vector perpendicular to the plane of the face. Since the face has two sides, the normal can point in either of two directions. If a model consists of a contiguous surface where the normals of some faces are oriented differently than those of the other faces, Pepakura assumes that the surface isn’t actually contiguous (and rightly so).

In most cases, ctrl+N solves this problem automatically. However, there are some models which do not enclose a space completely, but which contain openings. In such a case, Blender may fail to orient all faces properly. You will see the problem in Pepakura by two sets of faces, one showing the texture (or face color) on the “outside”, and one showing it on the “inside” (double quotes, as technically there is no such thing as in and out for a model with openings). You can switch the orientation of the normals manually in Blender – here is a tutorial.

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 Blender for 3D modelling, Pepakura for unfolding, Corel Draw for postprocessing, adding artwork and finetuning, and finally CraftRobo for cutting perfect. Here is the complete workflow:

First, you need to export the Blender model to the 3D Studio format understood by Pepakura.

Go to

File > Export > 3D Studio

then save the file. Then, simply open the file in Pepakura. Once you have created a satisfactory 2D pattern, the next step is to get it into Corel Draw. There are several vector export formats available in Pepakura, however all of them have some problems. I found the best one to be DXF (AutoDesk’s ‘Drawing Interchange Format’).

In Corel Draw, click on

File > Import

then select ‘DXF AutoCAD’ as file type and select the file exported from Pepakura. You will then be able to place the file into your existing page, by pressing LMB and dragging the mouse until the shape has the correct size.

Note that the DXF format separates the shapes for folding and cutting into different layers, which are preserved in Corel Draw. This is very convenient when you want to process them differently (such as assigning them to different cutting types for the Craft Robo).

One important drawback of the DXF format is that Pepakura chops up the outline of a shape into individual edges. This can be difficult to work with in postprocessing. Therefore, another option is to use the EPS format. Here, you need to carefully c0lor all cutting edges in the same color in Pepakura. This will create a contiguous outline in the EPS file. Unfortunately, the EPS file does not preserver the color information itself, so all edges – folding and cutting – are black, and you have to separate them manually.

You can now add artwork and edit the shapes, if necessary. Once that is done, you can simply send the file off to the Craft Robo for cutting. I keep the folds and cuts in different layers (see above) and assign the following cutting parameters:

Folds: Index 90lbs paper, 10cm/s, force 30, line type: Custom 1 (0.120 cm a, 0.120 cm b), Passes: 1

Cuts: Index 90lbs paper, 10cm/s, force 30, line type: 1, Passes: 2

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 front. Well, at least it’s relatively easy to assemble.

If you want something more refined, look here.

Here is a glimpse at the not so elegant backbone structure:

And here are the parts:

And here is the template (see also instructions here):

Assembly should be easy: First, glue the large strip into a cylinder – this will be the “body”. The body, head, and feet are connected by sliding them into assembly slots cut into the opposing part. The head has two strips which interconnect via the same slots. They form an ‘X’ which can then be inserted into the slots in the body cylinder.

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 local customs, regional deviations, and odd preferences.

It seems nobody can agree on what size paper should come in, and how to measure its dimensions. Luckily, here is a convenient table for everything, and here is the Wikipedia article on the same topic.

Most projects described on this website will be based on190g-300g DIN A4 paper, which corresponds to 53 -82 lb bond/ledger and 8.27″ x 11.69″.  Using US letter format should be fine, but you should slightly scale the templates to fit on the page before printing. If you are unsure about the grammage, just use sturdy carton which is still flexible and thin enough to be easily cut and folded.

If you use a Craft Robo, you have probably already found the thickest paper you can still cut through, and that should work fine for the projects on this site. If you are unsure about what the Craft Robo can digest, I suggest that you do some quick experiments. Note that there is a huge difference between a sharp new blade and a blade that has cut through a couple of dozen sheets already, so try to use a fresh blade.