Render unto me your papercraft recommendations
September 18, 2017 7:06 AM   Subscribe

So I read the very interesting Irving Harper post and, looking at his papercraft stuff (especially the hanging sculptures) I thought, "I could do simpler, clumsier versions of that stuff and it would still look pretty neat".

Recommend me your papercraft resources - materials, websites, books, etc. YouTube videos are my least favorite - I do better with text and illustrations - but if you have some that are really useful, that's okay. I am especially interested in mobiles and things that hang from the ceiling. Geometric shapes are preferred over literal stuff but again, if you really like something else, feel free to share.

When I was younger, I made a bunch of mobiles and would like, in particular, to get back to that.
posted by Frowner to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Origami inspiration!
posted by fritillary at 7:25 AM on September 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're interested in the mechanics of pop-up at all, Duncan Birmingham is pretty good. I have his book, and enjoy messing around with the ideas in there.
posted by pipeski at 7:28 AM on September 18, 2017

Tomoko Fuse is the queen of Kusudama - basically paper balls made with a bunch of identical units. It is nice because you can start small with 8-12 units and work up to larger ones. My favorite is the little turtle unit because it is so versatile. Most will stay together without it, but I want my creations to last so I glue them together.
posted by soelo at 7:47 AM on September 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

If the low-poly aesthetic appeals at all, gedelgo has a bunch of free patterns online - just print on cardstock and go. They also feature other artists on their blog from time to time.
posted by btfreek at 9:53 AM on September 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Check the papercraft section at your local library. I have rarely found one book to be so amazing or iconic or comprehensive or game-changing that I actually remember the author's name, but there's a lot to be gained from flipping through a variety of books. I learned a lot of technique from a book on making paper flowers - I don't generally make flowers, but that book helped me put together how pieces were going to fit into the whole. And a book on papercuts helped me understand that fine lacy cutting was not my thing, but learn how to do the necessary cutting better. Thus I'd recommend LOTS of books, over any specific book.
posted by aimedwander at 11:39 AM on September 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Papercraft + geometric + things that hang from the ceiling makes me think of modular and kusudama origami. They're related terms, but generally kusudamas are ball-shaped, and can involve sewing or gluing pieces together, while modular origami encompasses a variety of shapes and generally the pieces can all be folded together (although sometimes glue gives it extra support).

A good place to start with this is sonobe units. They're super easy to fold and can be used in a wide variety of patterns, which helps you get a feel for how models piece together. Here's a video showing how to make the unit, and you can find videos showing how to assemble them into cubes, octahedrons, and icosahedrons. From there you can move onto a pentakis dodecahdron or a truncated icosahedron.

Once you've learned the basics, there are a lot of lovely intricate designs that can be done with more complicated base units.
posted by bookish at 5:18 PM on September 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Strictly Paper doesn't seem to be updating anymore but it's still a great resource.

12 Museum-Worthy DIY Paper Mobiles

This is the kind of thing Pinterest is really good at.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:37 AM on September 19, 2017

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