Introduction: 3d Paper Art (Studio Ghibli Inspired)

About: Hey, I'm Muhaimina! A Craftaholic person (or Witch if you may say!). Obsessed with swirls and polka dots... and Instructables is pretty much my second home! Follow my IG Blog…

I've been wanting to make a 3d paper art but wasn't sure how to start. I had no idea where I was going with this but really happy with the final result. Added a little Studio Ghibli inspiration to give it a nice, finished look (it would have been incomplete without No Face!).

If you're a beginner or never (EVER) made 3d paper art but always wanted to, this project can be a great start.

This was my first 3d paper art and also, I challenged myself to use only the leftover/scrape papers I had. Would have been easier if I used new (full size) cardstock and craft papers. Anyways, check out the tutorial and let me know what you think :)

Step 1: List of Supplies

To create this 3d paper art you will need the following supplies:
1. Cardstock paper
2. Pencil
3. Scissors
4. X acto knife
5. Craft glue
6. Ruler

Step 2: Preparing the Base Papers

First of all, decide the number of layers you'd like to have for the 3d art. My 3d paper art has 6 layers of papers.

After deciding the number of layers, choose colors for each layer.

Measure and cut all papers into the same size. I prepared 12 inches x 12 inches papers.

Grab the paper you'd like to use for the front part. The top layer (front) will have the largest cut-out. I did a random circular wiggly pattern. Use a pencil to trace the pattern on the paper. Keep in mind to leave at least an inch around the sides of the pattern.

Use an x-acto knife to cut out the traced pattern.

Now place the second (second from the top) paper under the top layer paper. As you can see the second paper through the cut out of the top layer paper, use a pencil to trace another random circular wiggly pattern on it (the second paper) but keep it slightly smaller than the first one. Again, use an x-acto knife to cut out the traced pattern.

Place the 3rd paper (3rd from the top) under the 2nd one. Repeat the previous steps. Draw a pattern slightly smaller than the previous one and cut it out with an x-acto knife.

Continue to do the same until reaching the 5th layer.

Keep the 6th layer (or the last layer) intact.

Step 3: 3D Layer Strips

As I've said, I wanted to make use of the papers I already had and I had a lot of paper strips of random sizes. So I used paper strips to create the gaps between each layer for the 3D art.

Simply cut out a bunch of strips. The width of these strips should be 3 cm and length should be an inch or so smaller than the length of the base paper.

Make neat, straight and 3 even folds lengthwise.

You'll need 4 strips for each layer, which means for 5 layers (the 6th or last layer won't be needing it) we'll need 20 3D layer strips.

Step 4: Adding the 3D Strips

Grab the layer papers one by one and attach the 3D strips on the back side of the papers.

How to add the strips to the papers:

The strips are divided into 3 even parts, right? Each fold should be angled at 90 degrees to each other.

Apply glue on any one of the open parts.

Place the glued part along with any 1 border side of the paper (on the back side).

Continue to add the strips.

Step 5: Attaching the Paper Layers

Once you're done adding the 3D strips, start to attach the paper layers.

Apply glue along the strips and add them to the next paper layer.

Attach the last layer carefully and then allow the glue to dry.

Step 6: Preparing the Trees/ Vines/ Plants

Grab the paper cutouts of each layer and draw small vines and plant patterns on them.

Use an x-acto knife to cut out the traced patterns.

Keep drawing and cutting, you'll need a bunch of these!

Step 7: Adding Patterns to the Layers

Divide the plant cutouts into the same colored groups.

Add the plant cutouts to their same colored paper layers.

While adding the plants and vines make sure to keep it neat.

Or, you can decide a pattern before attaching them.

Step 8: Adding Grass

I had no plans for the pattern, just went for it randomly. I did cut out a bunch of symmetrical plants but decided not to use them. So, instead, I folded the symmetrical plants into half and used them like grass.

I kept on adding the plant cutouts until I was satisfied with the pattern.

Step 9: No Face <3

One of my favorite characters from Studio Ghibli!

After adding all the plant cutouts, the 3D art was still looking incomplete and it popped in my head right away! Why not place No Face in it?

Simply paint No face on a piece of art paper (the size should be appropriate for the bottom (last layer) of the art.

Once it is ready, simply glue it on the last layer.

Step 10: Framing/ Boxing

Measure the height of the joint layers and create a box from cardstock of that height and the same size as the papers.

Place the 3D art inside the box template to check if it fits nicely.

Once the box is complete, place the 3D art inside the box.

I used green colored craft paper to cover the open sides (borders) around the art.

And done!

hopefully, I'll come up with easier techniques next time as this was my first attempt.

Happy crafting!

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