Recently I have been really loving the 3D geometric paper shapes that are popping up everywhere, so decided to make some myself. I wanted to try something with a pattern rather than just plain card, so went for a pastel watercolour effect. Here is how they turned out, and a little tutorial if you want to make them yourself!
posted by Claire.
What you will need:
– medium thick card/paper, I usd 250 gsm
– watercolour paints
– jar of water
– geometric shape nets, printed out
– cutting mat
– metal ruler
– craft knife
– coloured thread – I used gold
– sticky tape
A note on the geometric shapes – You can find heaps of templates all over the internet, just put ‘polyhedron net’ into google. The best sites I found were ones that had free printables for teachers. If you want to use the same shape as me, search for pentagonal pyramid nets.
The first step is to get the watercolour onto the paper, and nicely blended. Using the paintbrush, cover the entire sheet with one coating of plain water. Then, choose your first colour and add it to a section of the paper. Quickly rinse the brush and move on to the next colour, making sure that the two colours touch and start to blend in together. The key here is to work fast, you don’t want the paint to dry while you are applying the second and third colours. To create the ‘splotches’ use a very wet brush to drip/flick the paint onto the paper. I used around three colours per sheet, and a different colour set on each sheet so I had a mix. I discovered that you can’t really get this bit wrong, so just go with it and add more water to the paper if dries too quickly.
If you don’t have access to watercolour paints, you could use pre-printed paper, glitter, gold foil, stamps or anything you like to make a pattern.
Once your painted sheets are dry, you’ll need to roughly cut your net shape and glue it to the BACK of the sheet. Make sure it is well smoothed out and all the edges are totally stuck down. I managed to get two onto one piece, but this will depend on the shape you choose. A better alternative to gluing it would be to actually print the net directly onto your thick paper, but I wasn’t able to do that so have gone with the glue! Or if you are really smart and own a protractor, you can draw your own net directly onto the back of the sheet. Cut out the shape using the craft knife and metal ruler. Scissors would work too, but harder to keep the lines straight.
Before you assemble the shape, you should fold all of the edges inwards, including the glue tabs. I folded against the ruler by laying it on the fold line and pulling up firmly on the paper. This will keep the fold nice and straight. Starting with the tab nearest the base of your shape, apply a thin layer of glue to the tab and press and hold it in position. It is best to do these one at a time, waiting until each one is dry. If you are planning to hang these from a thread, leave the last tab unglued.
Cut your length of thread, knot it so you have a loop, and tape the knotted end to the base of your shape. You should have a loop of thread sticking out from the top of your shape. I used washi tape as I find it a bit more sticky and reliable than sellotape.
Now you can close it up! Glue the last two tabs in place – this is the trickiest part as you have to get them both in without getting glue all over the place. Make sure that the thread is coming out from the top before you fix the sides in place. And that’s it. One watercolour geometric shape is done. Now just make a whole load more and hang them all over the place!