There’s a childlike pleasure in witnessing something unfurl – turning the page on a pop-up book, watching a bird spread its wings, or seeing a sail catch the wind. Honeycomb paper sculptures are a delight to open and after you’re done with this project, you’ll find that making one is just as delightful. It is surprisingly simple to make, but the end result is far from it. Oohs and ahhs guaranteed. Let’s get started.
What you need:
-Construction paper or gift tissue
-Blank card/Card stock
Let the kids decide on the shape, size, and color of the honeycomb paper sculpture they would like to make. Holidays are great prompts for ideas such as bells for Christmas, balls for birthdays, hearts for Valentine’s Day. This project will be using a heart as an example.
Cut your sheets of paper to your desired sizes so you have a stack of 30-40 sheets. Fold 2-3 sheets at a time in half making sure the length and width of the heart fits. Take one folded sheet and draw the vertical half of the object on it. In this case, half a heart. Start from the crease, towards the edges of the paper and back to the fold. Cut out the shape. When you unfold the cutout, you should have a whole heart shape. Use this first cutout as your template and trace on folded sheets, 2-3 at a time and trim. Once all the shapes are cut, stack the hearts.
To make a hanging sculpture, take the bottom sheet and apply a thin line of glue along its inside fold. Lay a length of string on the glue and carefully affix another heart cutout on top. Stack the rest on top of these two (no glue yet). If you are making a greeting card or valentine card, skip this step.
Fold your stack of hearts and set on a scrap of paper. With a pencil and straight edge, lightly draw 3 horizontal lines, spaced equally along the height of the top heart. Let the lines extend out onto your scrap paper. Label the lines on the scrap paper A-B-A-B from the top line to the bottom. This will be your gluing guide.
Starting from the bottom sheet, apply a thin ribbon of glue in line with both lines marked ‘A’. Glue the next sheet down. On the sheet that was just glued down, apply a thin ribbon of glue in line with both lines marked ‘B’. Glue the next sheet down. Continue applying a thin ribbon of glue on each sheet and gluing down the next, alternating between lines marked ‘A’ and lines marked ‘B’. Once all the layers have been glued in this order, put a small weight on top to keep the heart from unraveling. Set aside to dry.
Are you ready for the big reveal? Let the kids carefully open their sculptures and get ready for the wonder in their faces and the sense of pride in their handiwork. If they decide to hang their sculptures as an ornament, let them select a bead or two to embellish the string. Tie a loop on the top end of the string and hang at a window for all the world to see. If they decide to make this into a valentine or greeting card, simply affix the heart onto a blank card or card stock cut to size. Make sure the card is oriented to portrait so it opens like a book. Take care to line up the spines on the card and the heart. It will be a valentine their loved-one is sure to remember.
Get inspired and check out local Austin stationery shops for all things paper from greeting cards, invitations, specialty papers and stationery, gift-wrap and more.
“The Paper + Craft Pantry is the place for diy-ers, paper lovers, and good people.” Not only is it a stationery shop, they also provide workshops and classes. Find exquisite paper, meet new people, and learn a new craft. Visit www.thepapercraftpantry.com or call (512) 593-1978 for more information. Find them at 2511 E 6th St. Bldg. 4 Unit A. 78702. Retail shop and studio hours are Tue-Sat 12 pm to 6 pm and Sundays 12 pm to 5 pm.
Locally owned business, Paper Place, has been featured in magazines such as InStyle and Modern Bride. As the folks at Paper Place say, their name “describes only the beginning of what you’ll find here,” so better drop in to see what they offer. 4001 North Lamar Blvd Ste. 540 78756 (next to Central Market). Mon – Sat 10 am to 6 pm and Sundays 1 pm to 5 pm. Call (512) 451-6531 for more info or visit their website for a virtual tour. www.paperplaceaustin.com