Picture of What is Pepakura and how to start

In this tutorial, you will learn what is Pepakura and how to use it.

This is short 6 step, comprehensive introduction into a world of paper models ;)

How to:

  • work with paper,
  • what type of paper (how hard / heavy),
  • and what tools you need to start
Updated: 2014/12/17 ... 13 hours of work so far :)

Step 1: Paper

Picture of Paper

You will need a HARD, HEAVY, SOLID, THICK paper !
Ignore office paper which is soft, too thin, easy to bend = useless.

What you need is CARDSTOCK !

Card stock = paper with weights from 50 lb to 110 lb (about 135 to 300 g/m²).
I use 200 g/m² paper and I find it best combination to print on and work within smaller details.

Size / format of paper:

krsiak (author) 8 months ago

286.000+ views and 300+ in favorites !

Thanks guys the support. I started this as help for others and now it is a number 1 tutorial here on Instructables and placed on 1st place if you google for "Pepakura" or "Pepakura tutorial" or "Pepakura how to".

I wish you a Merry Christmas ;)

Great Instructable! I had actually been thinking about starting a pepakura project and you've helped me a lot.
krsiak (author)  techwhisperer2 years ago
You are welcome :)

I made Pepakura GUIDE:

So far 5 tutorials with 2 videos, more to come soon !
It will be complete series made of several instructables.

Go to any of my tutorials,  go to last step "What next ?" and there you will see all the links as well ;)
Maybe some of it will help you.

Good luck with your project.
Donaldlay3 months ago
How to use it without printer ?
krsiak (author)  Donaldlay2 months ago

if you do not have printer at home. Take the design on USB drive and take it to downtown, there gotta be some place where they print out on demand.
Pretty easy, you don't.

By the way, could you substitute construction paper, something common in craft sections, for cardstock?


I am wondering how pepakura handles non-planar faces. I want to build the model with metal sheets that can't be bent. Do I have to triangulate the whole model to be sure that all faces are flat ? Is there an other way ? For example, how would you build a model like the Dragon_Priest _Mask with a material that can't be bent because I can see that most of the faces are not flat....

Thanks in advance,


LED forrest7 months ago
Do you think it would work if I laser cut balsa wood at all the joints and wood glood it
krsiak (author)  LED forrest7 months ago

why not. I guess you could use a pepakura perhaps as a shape, stencil, glue it on, and laser cut it. But to be honest I would not "mix" tow different "realms" or how to say it :) Pepakura is one, laser cutting is quite else. If I were you I would google and youtube more info on how to work with wood and stuff. As did I myself with one side project.
JoshuaW67 months ago

Hello, I'm new to this I just built an H1 halo helmet to see if I would like doing this. I didn't have the right stuff. I used manila folders no glue only tape, and it turned out ok. Now that I know the basics and that I like it I will be getting card stock and a glue gun. My question is does it matter where you start on the model? Should you start with number 1 on the edge idea or start with page one or does it not matter?

krsiak (author)  JoshuaW67 months ago

does not matter. Start where you feel the best. Some part are easy, some not so much. Prep couple parts and assemble.

JoshuaW6 krsiak7 months ago
PepPro1 year ago

Awesome!! Thank you for writing this! I just shared it on my blog:) I just started a site/blog over at PepakuraPros.com. I plan to build a pepakura community and offer an "all in one" place for info, resources, supplies, etc. If you're into pepakura/papercraft or whatever, drop by the new site! Thanks again for the awesome instructable!

krsiak (author)  PepPro1 year ago

thanks you like it and that you share it on your blog.
i agree with you but non of them do any talk on size.... well thanks a lot bro... nice work.. you are doing great job. :)
ok thank you.. and which setting i should choose to make it wearable for me?????
krsiak (author)  Robine007hawk1 year ago

complex question, almost impossible to answer just by looking at screenshot.
  • Depends how tall you are.
  • Size of your head obviously, hell even size of your nose :)
  • My 1st helmet was all good looking till I tried to put it on.
  • Damn big nose.

Head over here: http://www.therpf.com/
There are dozens of talented prop makers and same amount of tutorials on how to scale down / up your armor parts. I did this almost a year ago and I honestly barely remember my own settings :)

Check my tutorial if you need some basics:

And definitely check out this web + YT:
i am a bit confused if these circled lines should be cut down or folded.. please help me out..
krsiak (author)  Robine007hawk1 year ago
P.S.: blue arrows = you need to move closer each part not just those 2 :)
this one
krsiak (author)  Robine007hawk1 year ago

I see your issue, so little space, confusing I know :)

1.] Cut the "full" lines.
2.] Fold down the "dash dash dash" lines.

You will have very tiny flaps that you should glue from the bottom to the other side of your cut part.
And no it does not hold together well !

Cut out from spare paper a RECTANGLE shape, thin, longer. Hold the cut lines close to each other and glue your RECTANGLE from inside / bottom as a sort of patch.

You have Iron Man helmet I see. You need to "bend it" in shape to get the face part done.
Look at this (not mine) to get you started: http://goo.gl/cqDlv3

See my colourful image :)

*  yellow arrow , start cut
*  yellow line , cut along
*  green arrow , END your cut !
*  blue arrow = shows that you need to get these parts closer and glue flaps from bottom
SHIFT!2 years ago
Pretty good instructable on Pepakura viewer. I've been using the Designer program for years in terms of turning 3D models into papercrafts. While the program is very good for basic geometric shapes, I do find it somewhat limiting for much more complex models, such as having to declare cut lines, joining pieces, adding textures etc. It's fun but very time consuming!
krsiak (author)  SHIFT!2 years ago
Thanks for comment.

I use Designer when I print my model 1st time (scale, resize parts).
After that when I glue it I just use Viewer to look at what glue to which place.
SHIFT!2 years ago
You know, a great way to overcome the extremely slow and runny disadvantages with liquid glue, I've found, is to use Arleene's fast drying Tacky Glue. It gives the same precision as regular white glue, but at 1/2 the dry time.
krsiak (author)  SHIFT!2 years ago
I use the white liquid glue.
I found that using less amount dries faster which is easy to work with.
krsiak (author) 2 years ago
2.000+ views in 5 days !

My tutorial was FEATURED in category workshop 2 days ago.
Today on Instructables.com homepage !

Thanks for support guys :)
jbrecken2 years ago
How about a glue stick for the happy medium?
krsiak (author)  jbrecken2 years ago
I added 2 new screenshots in STEP 3.

Look at the one with glue, it show how narrow and thin is the part that you apply glue with.
That was the reason I chose this glue because you can easily get to smaller parts and details.

krsiak (author)  jbrecken2 years ago

I do not use GLUE STICK.
I find it less precise and it dries out to fast for my taste.