Archive for the ‘Tips ‘N Tricks’ Category

Paper Toy Tutorials

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012


Would you appreciate step-by-step tutorials on the following topics?

  1. How to design paper toy templates
  2. How to customize existing paper toy templates using specific software applications
  3. What software to use when designing or customizing paper toys

Paper Toy Template Customization Tutorials

The reason I ask is because I have been meaning to make them for some time now, and more importantly, some of you have requested for them at some point.  I just haven’t found the time to do them just yet, but if a lot of you would find those tuts useful, then I’d really consider doing them sooner than later.

One more thing, if I do release those tuts, which applications would you prefer featured in them?

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Blender3D (Open-source)
  • Gimp  (Open-source)
  • Inkscape (Open-source)
  • Pepakura

For apps NOT in the list above, you’ll have to look elsewhere as I am not familiar with any of those.

Let me know.  Just sound off in the comments section.




Tips ‘n Tricks: How To Mechanical Appendages (Doc Oc, Iron Spider, Lizard, etc…)

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Hi folks!

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the Iron Spider, the uber cool Crafty Collab by Ralph Rayenyson.  Not only did he design Iron Spidey, but he also sent over images for a step-by-step tutorial on how to assemble those cool spidey arms.  Many thanks go out to him yet again.

Note that this same tutorial can be used on a few more of Ralph’s customs.

How To Assemble Mechanical Appendages

Template: The Contender

STEP 1: Precut

STEP 2: Prefold.

STEP 3: Glue tabs.

STEP 4: Fold joints.

STEP 5: Almost there.

STEP 6: Glue them like this.

STEP 7: Voila!

That’s it.


Tips ‘n Tricks: How To Assemble The Trench Coat

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Hi All,

Just adding a new tutorial to the “Assembly Instructions” page.  I hope y’all find this useful.  This is also a sort of teaser – I guess now you know what other character I’ve been working on behind the scenes.

How To Assemble The Trench Coat

Template: The Contender

STEP 1: Cut.

STEP 2: Fold.

STEP 3: Attach the arm, snip that excess off. Glue the arms if preferred.

STEP 4: Curl the bottom edges, for effect.

STEP 5: Attach the arms - if you haven't glued them yet.

STEP 6: Position the coat and attach around the neck.

STEP 7: Like so.

STEP 8: Tighten up the fold that attaches to the neck with a tweazer.

STEP 9: Voila!

Check out more tutorials here!


Tips n’ Tricks: The Assembly Instructions Page Is Now Up!

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Hi All!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to create a page on this site with information on how to assemble the paper toy templates released from this blog.  Anyway, I just want to announce that that page is now up and that you’ll find a number of tutorials in there already.  Some are linked to old tutorials, some are brand new, and some are still to come.

Go to the Assembly Instructions Page

Just click on the Assembly Instructions page on the right to access the tuts.





Tips ‘n Tricks: How To Assemble The Cape

Friday, June 15th, 2012

This is long overdue.

I’ve been meaning to write, for some time now, a series of visual, step-by-step, tutorials on how to assemble the paper toys released from this site, most especially for the Contender template.  As you know, the Contender has many different variations, and it is always helpful to have instructions handy.

That said, this then is the first installment.  I will also create a special section for tutorials for easy access.  That page should be up next week.

And now, the tutorial proper, which is very timely as a number of the next toy releases have capes.


How To Assemble The Cape

Template: The Contender

STEP 1: Cut

STEP 2: Fold

STEP 3: Review

STEP 4: Position and attach to the neck




Tips ‘n Tricks: Tweezers, My New Best Friend

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I wrote a post a while back sharing how I cut, fold, and glue.  This post is sort of an update or an addendum.  Nothing new here really, I just wanted to share how I’ve been folding paper toy templates whenever I’m in a hurry.  Specially when I don’t have the time to use a ruler and cardboard.  (Don’t know what I’m yammering about?  Go check out my cut, fold, and glue post for clarity)

Tweezers, my new best friend!

Not only can you use tweezers to reach those hard-to-reach places.  You can also use it to fold straight lines.  This is how I do it.

Step 1: The Setup

Position the tweezer along the line where you want to fold the template.  As you can see, the yellow outlines the template I am folding while the red is the line that I want to fold.

Step 2: ...aand "Tweezt!"

Twist your wrist and use the tweezer as a guide for the fold.  Voila!  A fold in a hurry, complete in just a matter of seconds!

I hope this helps cut down your assembly time while still keeping your folds neat and clean.





WIP: Assassin’s Creed Paper Toy Part 2 – How to Assemble the Hood

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Just a quick update on the Assassin’s Creed paper toy that I’ve been working on.

I’ve finally decided on a ” folding pattern ” for the hood.  I designed a couple of studies previously and finally settled on one of them.  I think what I ended up with is consistent with how the base contender template is designed – it’s sorta hard to explain, so let’s just leave it at that.

The template is not ready for download just yet, I am still making a few modifications.  It should be available in a few days, so check back soon.

For now, let me just show you a quick step-by-step guide on how to fold the hood ( and the face ).  Just refer back to this post once the template is out.

Step 1: Prefold, prefold, prefold.

Step 2: Assemble the body. Position the parts of the front section similar to how it was done in the image.


Step 3: Glue the left and right edges at the back.

Step 4: Glue the sides of the face on both sides ( internal ) of the hood. Use the crease to help you position the face section.

Stop 5: Apply glue on the tabs of the hood sections ( sides ). Insert and glue them into the side folds of the hood's center section.

It’s quite challenging to write assembly instructions.  Hopefully these images help show the process.

That’s it for now.  Check back soon for the finished template.


Tips ‘n Tricks: How I Cut, Fold, and Glue

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I’m sure everyone else has their own paper toy assembly process.  I just wanted to share how I do it – specifically, the three main activities one needs to go through when assembling a paper toy ( unless the template you’re doing is glueless LOL ).  Hopefully by sharing this, others will do the same and we all get to discover different ways of doing the same thing.

So share if you can – the comments section is wide open.  You can also PM me and I’ll post your stuff on the blog, just so others get to see them too.  You can also post links to your blogs and process already online in the comments section too.

You can use this post in conjunction with an earlier ” Top 10 Paper Toy Assembly Tools and How Best to Use Them “.  Go check it out after reading this one.

Okay, let’s get started …

How I Cut
Pretty simple I think, you’ll need the usual cutting mat, steel ruler, and cutter.  I hold the cutter like I hold a pen though.  A friend commented about this once, surprised to see how I held the blade.  I’m curious to know if this is a common thing or absurd.  Let me know.

In ping pong parlance: handshake...

... penhold - absurd, no?

How I Fold
Here, I use a ruler and a flat piece of sturdy cardboard or something similar.  I place the template on a flat surface and then the ruler on top.  I position the ruler along the fold line then place the cardboard under the template.  Then I use the cardboard to fold the template.  This I think results in a neater and more exact fold than doing it ” manually ” by hand.  It’s also quick and easy to do, try it out if you haven’t already.  Tell me what you think.

Step 1: Line up the ruler based on the fold line

Step 2: Place the cardboard under the template ( btw, you can switch steps 1 & 2)

Step 3: Use the cardboard to fold and the ruler as a folding guide

How I Glue
I use scrap cardboard here.  Usually the ones that are left after cutting a template.  I put a dab of glue on scrap cardboard and use another piece as a ” paintbrush ” to apply the adhesive on the area to be glued.  This allows the adhesive to dry faster, plus you avoid ” squeezing out ” any excess glue from the applied area.




After I apply the adhesive on the area, I just hold the pieces together for a few seconds to dry.  Sometimes, especially for tight spots, I use tweezers.

Hold them together

Use tweezers

Well, there you have it.  How about you?  C’mon, go ahead and SHARE!  You know you want to.

Cheers all!

Tips ‘n Tricks: Top 10 Paper Toy Assembly Tools and How Best to Use Them

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

If you’re a pro at assembling paper toys, this post is not for you…

… then again, you can always check it out anyway – you might find something useful and new.

I thought of writing this post to share the tools I use and how I use them.  Hopefully some of you find it useful.  Feel free to add your ” stuff ” in the comments section below – why keep your ultra-cool assembly tips a secret right?

Please note that the order of the items on the list are not arranged in any particular order.  I just wrote down what came to mind while I was preparing the post.  Besides, I find them all equally useful.

Tools of the trade... ( figure sold separately )

  1. Craft Knife / Cutter: Ummm… to cut with 😉  One thing to add though is that the blade should be very sharp.  Using a fresh blade means your cuts are always “full and clean”.  By that I mean that if you use a dull edge, your cuts sometimes don’t go through the paper completely in one stroke.  Which means you’ll either have to do a number of strokes or, if you’re lazy like me, just tear it off ( ugh ).  Which of course destroys the neatness and edge quality of your paper toy.
  2. Scissors: I wasn’t a big fan of this until recently.  I used to NOT use scissors at all.  Normally, I’d cut up a paper toy using just a knife.  Why?  Because scissors can be very inaccurate – I’d say it’s nearly impossible to cut a 100% straight line – just because your hands have the tendency of moving around in different angles while you snip away.  Needless to say, this is entirely my view, no worries if you disagree LOL.  As mentioned, recently I’ve learned the benefits of using a nice pair of scissors.  I say this now – Scissors are great for non-linear cuts while Knives are best for straight ones.
  3. Adhesive: For gluing ( Duh )- since I haven’t gone glueless yet.  😉  I prefer to use the white kind and apply it in a different way – meaning I don’t apply it directly from the bottle.  I normally put a small amount on a piece of scratch paper and then get another piece of scrap to – like a paintbrush – ” paint ” the glue on the area that I want to apply the adhesive to.  For those of you who are curious and don’t understand what I just wrote, I’m actually preparing a ” How I Cut, Fold, and Glue ” post that shows how I do this exactly, so check that out.  I’ll include visual aids, promise!
  4. Tweezers: I have lots of tweezers in different shapes and sizes.  Used best for those hard to reach places.  Very useful, I kid you not.  It’s also a great tool to help glue two pieces of card stock together.
  5. Self Healing Mat: To protect your desk with, but only if you care about your desk 😉  Other people use a sheet of glass.  Haven’t tried that before, but I cringe with the thought – In my mind, I hear nails scratching a blackboard.
  6. Steel Ruler: I used to refer to this as ” hard edge “, dunno why.  Best for cutting straight lines.  The plastic and wooden ones just wont do – you tend to nick the rulers and end up ” dulling ” the edge.  Oh, and rulers are great for measuring too.
  7. Old Credit Card / Protractor / Extra Ruler / Business Card / any flat, stiff board: This I use for folding straight edges.  Used in tandem with a ruler.   It’s hard for me explain so I’ve included it in the ” How I Cut, Fold, and Glue ” post I mentioned earlier – coming soon.
  8. Pencil / Pen: For applying quick and easy guidelines.  Especially useful when prototyping – because I occasionally forget to include a fold or cut line on a test template here and there.  Use a mechanical pencil if you want to be accurate and clean ( you can erase the lead markings later ) and use any other type of pen if accuracy isn’t important.  Ball point pens are messy, felt tipped pens are better – but you’ll have to wait for the ink to dry else you run the risk of having ink smudges all over the place.
  9. Paper Stock: 120 gsm ( 32 lb ) stock.  Because I don’t like assembling flimsy paper toys.  I mean, you spend your precious time to assemble the toy, right?  It would be best for it to last longer.
  10. Printer: It’s all about color accuracy – the colors that you see on the screen, ideally, should be what comes out on paper.  You’ll need to have your screen and printer calibrated if you really want to be that exact.  Definitely something to talk about in a future post.  Me? well, as long as the colors of the printout are close enough to what I see on the screen.  I’m cool with that.

That’s it for now.  Pro paper toy guru or not, I do hope you find this post useful.  Do share your own tips in the comments section below.


How to Throw a Paper Airplane – the Record-Breaking Way.

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Usually, when you throw a paper plane, you do so by throwing it in the direction that you are facing.  If you’re normal like me, you’d throw it forward and a bit upward… then watch it crash shortly after.

Let 'er rip!

For some paper plane geniuses out there, that is the wrong way to do it.  Not if you want to keep your plane afloat as long as possible.  Simple solution, if you want your plane to stay up in the air as long as possible, throw it as far up as you can, then watch it glide down back to mother earth.

Hang time success requires a good mix of force, technique, and model.  You provide the force, this tutorial shows you the technique, and for the model.  You can use this record-breaking paper plane by Ken Blackburn.

Quick, go try it out!

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