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3D Paper Projects – where do I start?

A lot of you really enjoy making boxes for gifts and Sweets. Some has also developed this to create advanced 3D projects. There are a lot of tutorials and templates online, if you don’t want to make the 3D craft from scratch. If you do have a cutting machine, you are also able to get boxes and 3D files online or even use dies. To make an item from a cutting file or a die is one thing, but to actually design it, is something else. But being able to design just want you want is also a very the fun part of creating 3D projects. 

To be able to understand how to create  simple 3D projects

If you are not really comfortable with designing boxes in itself, then you have to start there. I have seen so many people who think it is so easy to design something, but without understanding the basic, it gets really complicated and difficult. I have seen people baying expensive cutting machines, thinking that designing your own box and 3D files would be simple. A cutting machine does not make it easier to design your box or 3D file, but it just helps you cutting what you have designed.

The first simple shape you need to learn, is how to design a cube. You can also imagine it as, cutting out all the walls, and then gluing the walls together. Just remember to have glue folds, where you need to stick the sides together (see video nr 4 below).


An explosion box, is a box, where the sides folds out, and you can make a 3D scene or a little gift inside.  This is the simplest version of this box. That being said, you can make a complicated explosion box. These can be decorated in many ways. The explosion box below is a wedding card with a 3D wedding vake inside.

Another example is this explosion box with a little paper car inside.

Here is a tutorial for the explosion box itself.  I often make the box to be 10cm x 10cm x 10cm, as this works well with 12″ x 12″ cardstock.

If you are going to make a box, and stick the sides together, you need glue folds. These folds are being folded under the opposite side. Stick the fold on the inside of the box, to avoid them showing on the front of the box.

The same kind of technique can be used to make boxes where the sides are different sizes. If you find it difficult to see how the sides go together, try to cut out all the sides in paper and lay them next to each and tape them together to make a template.

This is a canvas, that I turned the wrong way around, and decorated the back, instead of the front. The suitcases the girl is sitting on, has been made in the same way as the box above. The lamp has also been built in the same way, but with 4 different shaped and cut sides, that has been glued together. The lamp has been made after a picture of a lamp in England.

To make a box in itself is not difficult. Just following the same principal, and adding a few thing to the box, it can turn into a vintage camera.

Enkle 3D-prosjekter - hvordan starte og videreutvikle det?
Enkle 3D-prosjekter - hvordan starte og videreutvikle det?

This box is quite solid. It is made of thick card board, and has been glued together by black, strong, canvas tape.  This box and album was made for my Kaisercraft DT application my second year at Kaisercrafts design team.


3D project with to shaped sides

You can also build 3D projects with dies. Use the dies to create the two sides, and add a piece og paper in between the die cuts.

Enkle 3D-prosjekter - hvordan starte og videreutvikle det?

This car has been made with a car dies from Rayher. I have added a long piece of card in between the two die cuts, and added a front screen in this piece. Then I took of a bit with the decoration after that. Having a digital cutting machine helps here, as these cuts are so integrate.

This easter egg, is made in the same way, with two sides and a piece of card stock in between. I have adde a bit extra here, so the box will open as “an egg” at the top.

This little house is also made with a die. This is a bird house die from Rayher. I have used a stripe op paper in between two die cuts to create the 3D house.

Enkle 3D-prosjekter - hvordan starte og videreutvikle det?

The little basket below is made in the same way. I have first made the front and the back, which are the same size and shape. Then I added the sides to make the basket shape.

Enkle 3D-prosjekter - hvordan starte og videreutvikle det?

You can find the template for this basket in my blog Gift Basket with template

This Halloween shoe was made from a shoe die from LDRS creative. The shoe is made in the same way, with two diecuts, and a stripe of card stock in between the two sides. Here, the side has been altered a bit to form the toe tip of the shoe.

Enkle 3D-prosjekter - hvordan starte og videreutvikle det?

More advanced 3D projects

To create other and more advanced shapes as pyramides, round balls, cones and stars, are more advanced. Think of each side alone, and then add the sides together. Add different shapes together and be creative.

As a beginning, try out the Templatemaker.

Finding templates online

You can find a lot of templates and cutting files online. Use Pinterest, You-tube or follow blogs or facebook groups that you know have templates. Just remember that if you do get the template from someone, it’s the done ting to give them a heads up by including the source of the template as you publish your work. The source is the person, blog or site you got the template from (not you-tube, google or Pinterest).

Advanced 3D projects

If you plan on designing or just making a lot of advanced 3D projects, I do recommend a digital cutting machine like Scan and Cut or Silhouette. This makes it easier to produce several boxes of the same type, or just cutting more detailed projects