Introduction: UnaUna Hermit Crab Paper Toy

Picture of UnaUna Hermit Crab Paper Toy

I've just been commissioned to make this hermit crab paper toy for a baby equipment rental company (www.unauna.com) and have been given permission to share it out for the enjoyment of the Internets. Seriously this thing is too cute to keep to myself.

It's a single sheet of A4 and takes about an hour to build. I've also included a blank version that you can decorate yourself.

What crazy adventures will your crab get upto?

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

In order to make the toy you need a couple of things:

Paper toy - Download either the coloured or plain one from here. Print out onto 160+ gsm A4 card (The thickest your printer will take without jamming - I like to use 210 gsm) If you are struggling to print thicker paper/card types then you can glue the model to a cereal box before cutting out.

Scissors - you can make this with a craft knife, xacto or scalpel but be safe and ask an adult for help (also a cutting mat if you are going the knife route)

Glue - I'm using a tacky formula PVA as it sets quite fast and the thicker consistency means that it warps the paper less. You can use double sided tape or a glue stick style adhesive but in my experience these tend to come apart after a while.

Empty Ball point pen - Bic/Biro or similar pointy implement. This is to make an impression on the paper to help guide the folds, not to cut through it or mark it. (make sure your pen is empty before trying to score!)

Ruler - I'm using a metal ruler but anything that has a straight edge can be used.

Step 2: Score the Fold Lines

Picture of Score the Fold Lines

Run over the dotted lines with your empty ballpoint (bic/biro) or other similar pointy object. The aim is not to break through or rip the paper but to provide a line to follow when you fold the model later.

Step 3: Cut Around Solid Lines

Picture of Cut Around Solid Lines

Carefully cut around the solid lines using scissors (or a knife and cutting mat) If you need help then please ask an adult.

Step 4: Pre-bend Folds Before Assembly

Picture of Pre-bend Folds Before Assembly

Gently fold each of the scored lines so that the paper gives but not so that the paper is folded back on itself permanently. You don't really need to do this but it greatly helps assembly.

Step 5: Glue Legs to Body

Picture of Glue Legs to Body

Match the numbers on the body with the corresponding legs. You want to glue the body flap to the legs with the coloured sides facing each other. Repeat on the other side and wait until dry. Then glue each of the flap/leg combos to the inside of the bottom. Note that the spare flap of the body is bent the wrong way, this is important later.

Step 6: Build Claws

Picture of Build Claws

Fold and glue the flaps under at each end. Repeat with the other claw. You can work out which claw is left or right by the pincer shape marked on one of the ends.

Step 7: Build Shell

Picture of Build Shell

Start by folding and glueing the flaps in the centre of the spiral on each side to give the side walls the curve. Hold in place each time until dry. Then work your way from the widest part to the thinnest along the top of the spine folding and glueing the flaps under on each side.

Note the spare flap sticking out at the base of the shell, we'll be gluing the body to this in the next step.

Step 8: Attach Shell to Body

Picture of Attach Shell to Body

Glue the base flap of the shell to the inside of the bottom of the body. Make sure the side walls of the body are tucked inside of the shell sides. Hold until dry.

Apply glue to the reverse side of the flap at the front of the body and pinch it against the front of the top of the shell. When this is dry, attach the eyes by matching up the coloured side of the eye flap to this underhanging flap and glueing. When dry, fold the eyes down so they are hanging underneath and peeking out from under of the shell.

Step 9: Attach Claws to Body

Picture of Attach Claws to Body

Finally glue the flaps from the legs to the underside of the corresponding claw. You want the pincer shapes to be on the front inside faces of the shapes when glueing. Repeat on both sides and......

Step 10: Finish!!

Picture of Finish!!

You're done! Now find a place for your hermit crab to hide, chill out and do crab related activities. Take pictures and share with Unauna on facebook and instagram!

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Bio: A very hairy manchild studying illustration whilst playing around with as many different strange and intersting techniques and still trying to have a good time ... More »
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