Test Drive

Cut, fold and paste – simple instructions to turn paper into paper art. Cut, fold, tape. Voilà!Templates make 3-D art projects come to life.

By Bonnie Lewis

Each time I search the Internet for a specific piece of information, I inevitably stumble onto something vaguely related and completely unexpected. So it was, the day I was searching for examples of paper art and came across the Canon 3-D Papercraft Web site.

For those who love puzzles, this is a wonderful site. It offers hundreds of free, printable templates for paper-art projects ranging from animals, science and architecture, to history, culture, toys and crafts. Some are geared toward children, but teens and adults who like puzzles and crafts can enjoy the more sophisticated templates as well. There are varying degrees of difficulty, ranging from very simple, to mind-bogglingly complex.

I began with the jaguar, which was fairly difficult. It took me several days to complete, with quite a few missteps and quite a bit of fussing. But the final product was lovely, and there was the wonderful sense of accomplishment that comes with solving a puzzle.

It’s easy. Go to cp.c-ij.com/english/3D-papercraft. Choose a project, print, cut, fold and tape as directed. Voilà! You’ve exercised your brain, utilized your fine motor skills and created art.


Tips and Tricks

If you’d like to take a stab at creating some of the projects on the Canon 3-D Papercraft Web site, here are a few helpful hints.

1. Print out two copies of each pattern in case you make a mistake.

2. Use an X-acto knife instead of scissors. It’s more precise and easier on tight curves and angles. Children however, should use scissors, and only with adult supervision.

3. Use roll-on double-stick tape to assemble the pieces. Glue takes too long to dry, glue sticks are messy and regular tape requires two hands.

4. Understand what the different lines on the pattern mean.

    ——- mountain fold (^)

    -—-—- valley fold  ( V )

    –––––– scissor cut

5. Be creative in finding tools around the house. I used tweezers, the handle of a wooden spoon and the top of a Bic pen to make tiny folds, curves and connections.

6. Before cutting out parts, lightly score the mountain and valley folds with the rounded edge of a paperclip. Use just enough pressure to make a crease. This will help the paper fold cleanly.

7. Cut out all pieces, then assemble. Make sure you have a large, clean work space so you can spread the pieces out. Some projects have a lot of small pieces. I found it helpful to label them with post-it notes for easy identification.

8. Take your time. This is supposed to be fun!

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