Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

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: 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.


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