One of my favorite things to make from paper are 3D low poly paper crafts. Initially I thought that they were very difficult to make. But with time, patience and lots of practice, I have come up with a few tips and tricks that make my low poly crafts come out near perfect. The best part about them is the wow factor, so while they are quite time consuming to make, the payoff is always worth it!
Tips for Making Low Poly Paper Crafts
First of all, if you've never heard the term before, you might be wondering what low poly crafts are? Low poly paper crafts are 3D shapes that are made up of many smaller flat surfaces joined by folds and creases. Think of a gem with many different flat sides and surfaces but the overall shape is three dimensional.
Choose the right low poly cut files
Do your research when purchasing the files for these. You can search on Etsy or in Silhouette or Cricut Design Libraries and when you find the right shape or item that you are looking for, make sure that they have instructions to help you. Some designers also have video instructions on how to assemble the item. With practice you will get better but in the early days, the instructions help a lot.
Can you make low poly paper crafts without a Cricut or Silhouette?
These low poly figures can be made with a cutting machine, however, you may also print on your choice of cardstock and cut and fold by hand. It is easier with a machine however, and you have more options in terms of sizes and types of cardstock that you can use while using a cutting machine.
What is the best type of cardstock for low poly paper crafts?
I prefer to use the highest weight cardstock I can as it holds up much better for these types of projects. Just make sure that the cardstock you choose folds cleanly without cracking at the creases. Generally high quality cardstock folds nicely and if you score before folding you should get great results.
How to score cardstock for low poly crafts
Sometimes when using a cutting machine, I prefer to use dashed lines for making the cuts for the fold lines. If these options are not available then I use the scoring wheel or stylus and score again manually along the fold lines using a scoreboard. I recommend using a mini score board for these pieces. This gives you nice crisp creases.
Once the file is cut and you have scored the fold lines, start folding along those lines ensuring you get crisp folds. Have all the pieces folded and inked (if you desire) and then put them together without glue so you know which piece gets attached to which piece so as to avoid mistakes. I then glue the tabs of the joining pieces carefully.
How to add stability to low poly paper crafts
When making a box, like I did for the project pictured, you sometimes want the base to be sturdier so it can hold things. For this box, I cut out three flat heart layers the same size as the base of the box. I glued these parts together like pancakes and inserted in the bottom of the box so as to make the box a bit sturdier.
Valentine Heart Box Project details...
For my low poly heart box I used a heart box cut file from the Silhouette Store (id#408412) and Red Flash Glitter Silk cardstock. I followed the assembly instructions and love how it turned out.
I added rolled flowers to this box to add an extra touch since it was for Valentine's Day. For rolled roses, lighter weight cardstock works better. Here I have used the Astrobrights line that cuts like a dream!
Do y’all have significant others with really annoying obsessions? So my husband has always had an unnatural obsession with a paper shredder. He would collect all our paperwork at home that needed discarding to take to his office to shred! *insert eye roll here* He finally splurged and bought himself a mini paper shredder for the house. It was his most prized possession but the bane of my existence as it had to be homed in my beloved craft space! I hated it until one day, I discovered that I can use my tiny and unwanted paper scraps to make customized paper shred! Lo and behold, my husband and I now have a shared obsession and I feel good about this one as it's environmentally and budget friendly to reuse paper scraps that otherwise would’ve been thrown away.
Let me know how you liked this project and if the above tips help you out. I'd love to see what you come up with!
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