Guido's Paper Works

Guido's Paper Works

Simply paper, scissors, glue and a lot of patience... cut, fold and paste

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How to build paper models: Tools and Techniques Contents » Tools
» Techniques

How tools I need to build paper models?
There is no special or unique tools needed for making the paper models. There is also very little tools needed. In my studio, I use very common tools as listed below:

Cutting Pad:

It is good to have a cutting pad for any paper cutting. The cutting pad will protect any surface that you are working on. It also help to provide a smoother and easier cut.

Cutter or paper cutting knife:

These are call cutter or paper craft knife that come with various sizes and color. Knife is a very useful and important tool in making the paper models. In my studio, I use cutting knife to cut almost any thing, from straight line to curve and small hole.
Please be careful in handling sharp paper craft knife and adult supervision is needed for young children.


The ruler is an important instrument in my paper model making. Although some may use a ruler to cut along a straight line, I do not recommend this because it is not secured. The cutter may run over the ruler and cut your finger instead. I simply either use scissors or simply use a cutter to cut along the straight line without any ruler.
The ruler is used mainly for scoring /tracing the line before folding and gluing. It is important to score/trace the line with a ruler to get a nice and straight fold.


A pair of scissors will be useful (any scissors for paper cutting) although I almost do not use any scissors for all my work here. Scissors are most useful in cutting large piece and simple straight or curve line cutting.

Tracer (or a dried ballpoint pen):

A tracer is used for scoring or trace a folding line before folding. This create a light crease (or depression) along the line which help to create a straight fold.
The cheapest way is to use a dried ball-point pen (which is what I are using) as a tracer for scoring. Other alternatives include using the back of a cutter or breakfast knife. I think a dried ball-point pen is the best as it is safe and it works very well.


Any glue that are meant for paper can be used. I use vinil glue (like Vinavil) as it is suitable for paper work, dries fast and is commonly found in stores. Vinil glue is white initially and turn transparent when dried. Basically, any glue that can used to stick paper together can be used.


You will need a stick that can be used to push or press any area that your finger can not reach. I use a simple wooden stick that I have no idea where it comes from. Any way, you can use any stick that is available which will serve this purpose.

First of all: Take your time; paper models are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. You'll also get a better-looking model that you can be proud of.


Paper models can be made by yourself or purchased pre-printed on cardstock or in electronic format (bitmap or PDF). Paper models that come in electronic format must be printed out by you. I print out my models using an old HP color printer, which does a great job. Your results may vary. Experiment with different settings and papers until you are happy with the result.
Any type of home printer will work, but if you really want a nice model, use a laser color printer. Laser prints have the image literally fused onto the paper, making the images waterproof, a serious benefit if you're using a wet glue; inkjet prints tend to bleed.


Before you make your first cut, use the tracer (or the dried ballpoint pen) to score all folds.


Cut out the first several pieces you need rather than all of them since some of the pieces are small and tend to get lost in the debris.


Fold along the scored lines.


I recommend squirting a bit of glue into a shallow, non-porous container (like a plastic condiment cup, or, better yet, the a plastic coffee-cup lid) and then using a cheap brush to apply it to joints.
Do not apply it directly from the bottle since you'll end up with an uneven bead of glue rather than an even, flat coating.
Apply and smooth it with the brush instead. Do not use your finger to smooth the glue, either, since you'll end up touching the model and leaving behind glue finger prints. (If this happens, you might be able to remove the glue carefully with the blade of a knife before it dries too much).
It doesn't hurt to wait a few seconds for the glue to dry a bit before you join the two surfaces. Use a binder clip or clothespin to hold the joint in place while the glue sets.

Happy modeling! :)

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