3D Paper Art

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I’ve been making a lot of 3D paper art crafts lately and thought I’d share some of my tips for cutting the paper templates and assembling the finished product.

As I’ve probably said a million times on this blog, I really love working with paper. It is by far, my favorite material for crafts. All the scraps are compost friendly, it’s affordable and there are so many different types of crafts you can make with it.

One of the areas of paper crafts I’ve really gotten into lately is 3D paper art. I just think it’s so much fun to layer and create different designs based on simple concepts. It’s much easier than making full-on 3D paper crafts in which you really have to think in a three-dimensional space for the design aspect of it.

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Materials for 3D Paper Art

Cardstock – I like to use medium weight paper with colored cores. The more intricate the design, the more you need to use paper with colored cores. Otherwise, it looks too frayed. Here are some of my favorite brands:

Glue – If you want to get a more 3-dimensional look, I’d highly recommend using foam tape. I prefer the Scotch brand foam tape. Otherwise, I’d suggest just sticking to adhesives that do not warp the paper. Here are some products I use frequently for paper art:

Cutting Machine – I use a Cricut. Check out my recommendations for Cricut machines and accessories for beginners for more info.

Template – if you like this ocean scene 3D art piece, it is free and available in both SVG and printable PDF formats in my free resource library.

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    Tips for making 3D Paper Art

    Cutting the 3D layers

    I like to use my Cricut cutting machines for these projects. It is so easy especially if you already have the design made.

    I like to use a fresh light grip mat for most paper cutting projects. It is much easier to clean the scraps with a light grip mat. It has to be fresh though. Otherwise, the more intricate areas of the template will snag.

    I highly recommend getting a lint roller to pick up all the little scraps. It makes things go so much fasting!

    For the most intricate designs, I like mirror all the layers and then flip them over when assembling. I find the side of the paper touching the mat has a much more cleaner look (less frayed) and creates a better finished product.

    Gluing the layers together

    I have a lot of cards with multiple layers. For those projects, I like to keep the finished product a little flatter so I use just an adhesive roller and glue.

    For 3D paper art, most of the designs look better with a little spacing between each layer.

    In this scenario, I like 1/8th inch foam tape.

    It is really straight forward to use. You just cut strips of smaller pieces and stick them on. I personally like to put foam tape in roughly the same position between each layer. I find this makes for the most evenly spaced layers.

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