A long time ago, I mentioned Paper Forest a great blog about all things papercraft. Not having much experience with the subject, I could never have imagined just how many papercraft projects there were out there in internet-land. While many of these projects are fun and engaging, they're also a bit formulaic for inclusion in your revolutionary art curriculum. Not to disparage the craft at all - I just see it more of an independent hobby. However, every now and again, I find a project there that is just fantastic.

For example, I am extremely excited about Pepakura. This program allows you to design a 3D object - which will be converted into a 2D layout that you can cut out and paste together. It even places tabs and marks dotted lines to be folded and solid lines to be cut.

Even better, it works seamlessly with the free Google Sketchup, the same program that I used to design my current classroom.

I decided to test it out by making a papercraft version of the revolution's initials. First I drew them in Google Sketchup:

Then I used Pepakura to translate the 3D drawing into a 2D template:

Finally, I cut the letters out and pasted them together. Well - I got the R done. Mostly. Use a cardstock paper if you can, regular printer paper is too flimsy, and I had a hard time keeping the letter together (which you can see in the photo) You're also going to want to do this with kids who've got the 'fine motor skills' thing going, because keeping those tabs in place takes a very steady hand. I rushed it a little... and I gave up before completing the "C" - but not because this isn't a great program with a lot of potential - just because I was anxious to post about it.

In order to save projects, you have to purchase the program (although you can still use it to convert from sketchup and print)- and it seems worth the money. However, this is currently not available for mac. Hello? Tamasoft? You've created a great art program! Know your audience!

Don't let my pathetic little 'R' fool you - this is a powerful program!


  1. Vlax said...
    I really needed this type of guide.. Thanks alot
    Katie said...
    I wrote to Pepakura to ask if they had plans to make it available for mac and they said no. But if you were running Bootcamp couldn't you get it to work on the mac?
    dsgran said...
    Sure, you could use bootcamp- I'm running Parallels on my mac, and that seems to work pretty well also.
    Naomi said...
    how do you get your work from sketchup to pepakura?
    dsgran said...

    I believe that Pepakura will open your sketchup file after you save it. I'm without my PC for the next few weeks so I can't check on this myself, but I'm pretty sure that's what I did. I'll check again in January!
    Makoto17 said...
    can googlesketch make other 3D model designs as example like...anime characters shapes?
    Anonymous said...
    Japanese mostly use PC's, so I think it's safe to say they know their audience.

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