Papercraft Books

Besides all my templates I wrote a tutorial on how to design your own pop-ups — but sometimes it’s nice to hold a volume in your hands. Here is a list of some of the books which have inspired me, books I hope you will enjoy too.

Creating with Paper: Basic Forms and Variations (Other Paper Crafts) by Pauline Johnson was published in 1958 and illustrated with black and white drawings and photographs, but it is the first book I turn to when I need fresh ideas. Although it does show specific projects with descriptions of how to reproduce them, it is designed to make the reader think about the creative possibilities of paper rather than simply reproduce patterns.

Folding Techniques for Designers: From Sheet to Form is a contemporary book by Paul Jackson, beautifully photographed (in black and white) and clearly written. It includes a CD with all the crease pattern diagrams which I’ve never used but you might find helpful. If you think folding paper is much too simple an act to be the subject of a whole book, think again! As part of the same series Paul Jackson also wrote Cut and Fold Techniques for Pop-Up Designs.

The New Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques covers paper crafting techniques including quilling, binding, weaving, origami, pop-up, paper mâché, pulping and making. It has step by step tutorials for simple projects and illustration of artists’s work — in full color.

This is the book which sparked my interest in paper engineering. Paper Magic: Pop-Up Paper Craft: Origamic Architecture was published in 1988 and contains templates for Masahiro Chatani’s beautiful origami architecture designs. Unlike the books above this is simply a pattern book, with projects you can reproduce — but you can learn a lot about designing pop-up cards by studying patterns and making them!

How to Make Pop-Ups by Joan Irvine, and its sequel How to Make Super Pop-Ups are written for children and they are heavily project oriented. Projects use a variety of pop-up techniques and offer ideas for how to apply these techniques to other projects a child can design.

The prolific Paul Jackson also wrote The Pop-Up Book: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating Over 100 Original Paper Projects. With its clear explanations, its beautiful illustrations and color photographs, this is an excellent introduction to designing pop-up cards.

Tools and Equipment

You can’t just read about papercraft, you have to practice! Here is a short list of the simple tools you need to get started.

Thank you

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