Introduction: DIY Miniature Paper Carousel

About: I love creating. I love ART in all its forms. I am a daughter of the 50s, born in 1992. I had the pleasure to be a Featured Author on this fabulous site, and you can read my interview here: https://www.instr…

Hello everyone, I'm back!

It's been two years since my latest instructable and so many things have changed! During this time I've been trying to make a living from my passion, which is certainly crafting, but that left me less free time to publish new projects here.

We are all quarantined in this period, and although it was really hard at first, I decided to try my best to keep my mind busy doing the things I love... that's why I'm back!

Most of you probably don't know or remember me, but I want you to know that Instructables helped me get through hard times and find new paths in my life. Now we are all going through hard times so let's do the things we love doing AT HOME and I'm sure everything will be alright ;)

Here is my miniature carousel with light, made entirely with paper.

I love paper and I've been working with this material for years now, but this quarantine made me realize that I love creating mini paper sculptures other than just the silhouettes I make for my shadow boxes.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial just as much!


  • white cardstock scraps
  • small glass dome
  • LED balloon light
  • white glue
  • x-acto knife
  • scissors
  • pencil, ruler, awl

Step 1: Make the Base - Part 1

The base of my glass dome is deep so I needed to create a base that goes in it and makes the carousel stand out. If you are using a glass dome with a flat base you can skip this step.

Cut a card stock circle as big as the inside circumference of your glass dome's base. Cut out a smaller circle from the middle for your LED light to pass through.
You can use a compass to draw the circles if you want to be accurate.

Now cut a card stock strip as long as your circle circumference (C = π*d) and as large as your glass dome base's depth.

Apply some glue all around the circle, as close as possibile to the edge, and slowly attach the strip around it.

The first part of your base is done and should fit perfectly into your glass dome.

Step 2: Make the Base - Part 2

Make a smaller circle (about a half inch smaller) of card stock with a hole in the middle, just like the previous one.
Mine is 0,77''.

Cut a thin strip of card stock as long as your circle's circumference. You can choose its width. I made it 0,2''.

Again, apply glue around the circle's border and attach the strip on it.

Finally, glue this smaller base right on the big one.

Step 3: The Central Part

In order to make the central part of your carousel (the part that holds up the whole structure) you need to cut a card stock rectangle.

The short side is the height so make sure to keep the right proportions between the central part and the base. I made it 1,2'' x 2,3''. Keep my measures as reference.

Now divide the rectangle into 12 equal sections and make a fold on each of them as you can see in the picture. Roll up the rectangle into a circle and fix it applying some glue on a couple of sections.

Step 4: Make the Roof

Make a new card stock circle a little bigger than the small base. Mine is 1,9''.

Divide it into 16 equal sectors and make a cut on the radius.

Make a fold on each sector and roll up the circle to form a cone as big as the base. Fix it applying some glue on a couple of sectors.

Step 5: Decorate the Roof

Cut a thin strip of card stock as long as the roof's circumference and draw a decoration on it as you can see in the pictures. You can make it as large as you want but, again, make sure to keep the right proportions.

Glue the decorative strip all around the roof.

Finally, attach the central part you made previously to the roof.

Step 6: Make Horses

Draw 8 tiny horses on a piece of card stock and carefully cut them with your x-acto knife.

Now cut many paper...threads! They have to be really, really thin. It doesn't matter how long you make them because you'll be able to adjust them later, but they don't need to be longer than the height of your carousel.

Twist 2 paper threads together to obtain your carousel' poles. You need at least 8 of these now (but you'll need 4 more later).

Glue a horse on each paper pole.

Step 7: Mount Your Carousel

Grab the base you made previously and make 8 tiny holes on it using an awl: 4 closer to the border and 4 a little closer to the inside, alternating them.

Put a little bit of glue on each hole and insert the tip of your horses' poles in them.

Now adjust their height and try to make them as tall as the roof of your carousel. In order to do this you just have to place the central part in place to see if the poles fit in it. When they are right, glue the central/top part of your carousel to the base.

Carefully glue each horse pole to the roof. I used a toothpick to do this.

Finally, attach the last 4 poles all around your carousel, right on the edge (glue on the base and on the roof).

This is the trickiest part to explain but I hope photos help you understand what I mean.

Step 8: Make a Flag

A carousel needs a flag on top of it, right?

Make a very short twisted pole. You can actually use one of your previously pole's trims if you have them!

Cut 2 tiny triangles and glue both to the tip of the pole so the flag is doubled.

Make a hole in the middle of your carousel's roof, put a little bit of glue in it and insert the flag.

Step 9: Add the Light and It's Done!

Your mini paper carousel is ready and you can insert it into your glass dome.
It looks great already, doesn't it?

But if you want to add a special touch to it, insert an LED balloon light in it and turn it on to see the magic!

What do you think?

Happy crafting!

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