DIY Project: 3D Layered Paper
05 Jun 2012
This is a simple 3D layered paper project that anyone can do from home. The paper sculpture is simply several layers of cutout paper that enhances and defines the image, making the 2D paper look as though it is 3D. It does take REALLY long to complete but once it is done, it looks beautiful. Hope the steps are clear and easy to understand.
- image (any image you want to use but simpler the image, the better)
- tracing paper
- pencil and eraser
- very nice paper to make the 3D layers
- mat board
- x-acto knife with lots of extra blades
- glue in a container with a small tip
Step 1: Initial Drawing
I wanted to make a 3D layered deer so I pretty much looked up several images on google till I found one that I liked. To create this 3D layered look, any image will work but the simpler the image is, the easier and faster it will be to produce it. The image I choose took several days to finish and it was quite tedious. I printed the image in the size that I wanted the design to be, then I got some tracing paper and traced the image into simple shapes that I would be able to transfer it onto another piece of paper later.
Step 2: Tracing Paper
After finishing the tracing paper drawing, instead of putting graphite powder on the back of the tracing paper, I just flipped the tracing paper over and re-drew the image backwards tracing over the lines. That way, when I do begin transferring the image, it wont get the nice paper too dirty. If you put a white sheet of paper behind the tracing paper, it will be easier to see the lines that you have drawn on the other side.
Step 3: Tansfering
Now that the back of the image has graphite on it, you can flip it over and begin transferring the image onto you nice paper for the 3D layering. You can transfer the whole image, but I suggest transferring a couple shapes at a time and putting together the 3D image as you cut. Trying to transfer the whole image and cutting all of it at once is okay but the hard part will be when you try to put together the 3D layers. It will be very difficult to remember where each of the shapes belong.
Step 4: Cutting out the Shapes and Glueing the Layers
With the mat board and x-acto, begin cutting the shapes that were transferred onto the paper. Because the shapes are complex they may take time to cut. Take your time to cut each shape slowly. When trying to cut them quickly, you may accidentally cut a piece of the shape off. Once you have cut the several layers and begin glueing each of them on top of the other, don't glue the entire piece on. Before glueing, bend the shape a little to make it look more dynamic and put small bits of glue on the areas that will be attached to the lower layer. If you look at the second picture of the deer's face, you can see that the layers on top are all slightly bent to create the 3D-look. Sorry about the lack of pictures. The cutting took several days and I realize that I didn't take any photos during those couple of days.
Step 5: Finish
When all the shapes are put together it should look very similar to the flat virtual image you picked out. Once again, sorry about the lack of images from the cutting to the final piece. If I do another one like this again, I will make sure that I take more pictures. So here is how my final image turned out. I just found a nice frame to put the design in. I placed a simple dark background paper (so the white artwork stands out), removed the glass, and glued the image on top of the frame so that the deer does not get squished.
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