Introduction: Papercraft Low-Poly Bird

Picture of Papercraft Low-Poly Bird

This instructable will show you how to make this papercraft bird. Just download either pdf file and follow the steps. It will take a few hours but you can do it in one day. If you are new to papercraft, I linked a tutorial below that should be helpful. Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials and Printing

Picture of Materials and Printing
  • A printer
  • Paper (3-5 sheets)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ruler (optional)

I used A4 paper sheets to make this bird but you can use any size, it will just give you a different sized bird as a result. With A4 paper the bird should be approximately 15 cm high when sitting.

In my coloured version I used slightly thicker paper (135 g/m^2) which my printer could still print on but normal printing paper (70-80 g/m^2) also works fine. My white prototype is made from this. It is a bit easier to fold, however the flaps tend to be visible when light shines through the bird as you can see in the picture below.

Printing on black paper worked better than expected for me. If you can't read the numbers, just check in the pdf file.

Of course you can choose different colours. Feel free to experiment and please put a picture in the comments if you do.

As for the glue I guess everyone has their own favourite. I prefer "UHU Alleskleber" because it dries very fast. Of course you also need a pair of scissors and optionally a ruler for folding.

Step 2: Making the Bird

Picture of Making the Bird

You should have printed the attached pdf by now; Either the single colour or the multi colour version. They are both the same except that the single colour version should save you some paper.

If you have never done any papercraft, have a look at a tutorial first. I am not going into the basics here. This one by krummrey looks nice.

First cut out all pieces along the black, solid lines.

Then fold at the dotted lines. Placing a ruler on the line can help to get straighter folds faster.

But careful: folds can be a bit confusing and are opposite to the linked tutorial (sorry). Remember: the printed side (lines and numbers) should end up on the inside of the model, so you can't see anything on the bird. Therefore most folds in this model will be valley folds!

Some flaps (especially at the beak and the feet) might be too big to fit when you want to glue them to the opposite part with the same number. Just cut them smaller at a sharper angle (pepakura is great, but can't correct this as far as I know).

I advise you to start with the head, then make the tail and the feet, as these are the most difficult/smallest parts. End with the body. Remember: gluing the last flap will be hardest as you have no way to have your fingers inside to hold the flap. Therefore the last one should be an easier/bigger well accessible one.

Optionally you can glue little stones or metal pieces inside the feet to prevent it from falling over due to wind.

Step 3: Thanks

I hope you like my papercraft project. If you make it, I would be glad if you shared a picture in the comments. I would also love to see different colour combinations. If you find any bugs in the template please also let me know so I can fix them.

And last but not least: credit where credit is due!

I need to thank krummrey for his great tutorial on making papercraft objects. His moose was my first major papercraft project. Do check him out if you don't know him already.

Then there is guardabosqu that inspired me to make this bird. They have a big variety of incredible papercraft and lots of amazing birds. Unfortunately they do not publish any templates and only sell four of their models and that only in Argentina...

Also I want to thank Thingiverse user 'YahooJAPAN' for his bird model that I used in the process.

Hope you have fun making this.

This is my first instructable. I never published any of my craft work, therefore I entered it in the "Beyond the Comfort Zone" Contest. If you like it, please vote.


YvonneK18 made it! (author)2017-07-22

This was my first pepakura project and I had such a blast! I'm already planning on making a second now that I have a really polished folding method worked out. I foresee giving these out as Christmas presents in the future. :) Thanks!

Oh, quick question. I can see photos have been uploaded in this link's thread before, but they aren't showing on either of my two computers or in Chrome or IE. Are they taken down after some amount of time?

DrDee17 (author)YvonneK182017-08-13

Thanks for sharing the image and have fun with future papaercraft projects.

For me the images are showing in chrome and firefox, so not sure why it isn't working for you...

madetka1984 made it! (author)2017-04-09

Thank you!)

DrDee17 (author)madetka19842017-04-19

Beautiful, thanks for sharing!

PaulinaPerdek (author)2017-03-12

Hello! Could you please send me the PDF?

please mail to:

Sebastiankonia (author)2016-12-10

Can you please send the pdf to me for free?

DrDee17 (author)Sebastiankonia2016-12-10

The pdf is free. Just click on it (e.g. the Single-colour.pdf not on the "Download" button)

CrLz made it! (author)2016-10-12

Nice, thank you for sharing!

"Polly want a cracker?"

DrDee17 (author)CrLz2016-10-15

Yay, you made it! Thanks for posting the picture.

It seems your print is on the outside (numbers are visible). If you fold oppositely this will not happen. But I understand this can be confusing.

CrLz made it! (author)DrDee172016-10-17

Actually intentionally folded with numbers outside. I am giving a presentation on Pepakura for Kauai Makerspace at our local library and I am using this as one of the examples. The numbering printed fairly elegantly, so I thought it would be a pleasant way to convey the parts and complexity.

The colors I used were constrained by the cardstock pack I was printing on, and I would print the head (your black and red regions) in the same brown, if I could change anything.

All in all, however, your model is an excellent build, and should be a great talking piece!

DrDee17 (author)CrLz2016-11-20

I feel honoured that you use my model in your talk. It's a great thing that you spread the word about papercraft. Hope it went well.
Also I'm happy that you did understand my instructions and built it inside out on purpose ;)

CrLz (author)DrDee172016-11-21

Presentation went great and your model was so well received, Kapaa Library asked to keep it! A little bit of you is now part of Hawaii, Mahalo!

mthh made it! (author)2016-11-18

this was my first papercrafted item so far and thanks to the totally logical instruction it turned out pretty good i think. so thanks a lot for sharing this pdf!

DrDee17 (author)mthh2016-11-20

It looks awsome! Great choice of paper and thank you for sharing the picture.

bhavik zure (author)2016-06-13

impressive. nice instructable and good explanation too.


Boardattack (author)2016-06-13

Good Job. Voted.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-06-11

Fun paper craft project. I really like the minimalist appearance.

Thank you.

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