Transform Paper into 3-D Geometric Art

Fold our free geometric templates into a modern paper sculpture for a DIY home accessory that looks designer made.

Fold paper into fun 3D shapes and display under a cloche for easy art with high-end appeal.

Turn heads with a paper sculpture of three-dimensional geometric shapes suspended under a cloche. The shapes are easily made with folded paper cut using our free templates, but they look high end and display-ready. This simple DIY project can be done in an hour or two, and it’s easy to customize with different colors of paper or arrangement of shapes. Feature your DIY paper artwork as a coffee table centerpiece or as a decorative element on a bookshelf. Your friends are sure to ask where you bought it—the answer can be our little secret. 

  • Working Time 1 Hour
  • Start to Finish 1 Hour
  • Difficulty         Projects Kind of Easy

What you need

Tools

  • Craft knife
  • Metal ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Pencil
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Wire cutters
  • Drill and drill bit

Materials

  • Cardstock paper in desired colors
  • Printed shape templates
  • Tacky glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Cloche dome and base
  • Paper
  • Styrofoam
  • 16-gauge stem wire

How to do it

Step 1 Print and Cut Out Shapes

Download and print out our free shape templates on colored cardstock. Some of the shapes will need to be increased in scale by 50 percent before printing, as noted on the template download. Use a ruler as a straightedge and cut out the shapes with a crafts knife over a cutting mat. For our artwork, we used the following shapes:

  • Octahedron
  • Tetrahedron
  • Icosahedron
  • Dodecahedron
  • Hexagonal prism with pyramid ends
  • Dihexagonal dipyramid

However, you could also make paper artwork using just one of the shapes in several different shades. Get creative!

Step 2 Score the Fold Lines

Flip the shapes over to the unprinted side and gently score along the fold lines with the back edge of the crafts knife. Use the ruler as a guide to make straight lines. The side of the paper that you’re scoring will be the outside of the shape, so take your time and work carefully. Scoring ahead of time makes folding and assembly easier.

Step 3 Fold and Glue Shapes

Fold the paper shapes. Use a toothpick to dab a tiny amount of tacky glue onto each of the indicated glue tabs. Press gently and hold together for a few seconds so the glue sets. Let dry.

Step 4 Plan Base Design

Trace the base of the cloche dome on a piece of scrap paper. You’ll use this as a template to determine the placement of the drill holes for the standing wires. Set the paper base template on a piece of Styrofoam. 

Step 5 Attach Wire to Shapes

Gently poke pieces of wire into the bottom of each shape. Don’t worry about how long they are right now; you’ll have a chance to trim them later. Dab a drop of hot glue on the spot where the wire and paper meet to secure. Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes.

Step 6 Plan Shape Layout

Poke the shapes through the paper base template and Styrofoam to determine the placement and height of each shape. Use the wire cutters to trim the height of shapes as desired. Feel free to experiment with several arrangements to find one you’re happy with. When you’ve finalized your display, circle the correct hole marks to indicate your drill guidelines.

Step 7 Drill Holes and Secure Shapes

Remove the shapes from the Styrofoam and set aside. Use the marked paper template to drill your selected hole locations into the wood base of the cloche. Brush aside any wood shavings. Dab hot glue onto the base of each shape’s wire and insert it into its assigned spot in the cloche. Cover your finished project with its glass dome and display.

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