Introduction: What Is Pepakura and How to Start

About: React Developer

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: 2017/01/15

Step 1: 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:

Step 2: "Mountain" Vs. "Valley" Fold

First time a lot of people may have a problem how to actually fold the paper:

  • what are all the different lines (solid, dash, dash-dot-dash) ?
  • what direction should you fold ?

  • imagine a letter ... A ... you can "touch the top" edge of the paper
  • basically fold the paper on its edge: DOWN
  • "dash dash dash"
  • _ _ _ _ _


  • imagine a letter ... V ... in where you can "put your finger inside" the shape
  • basically fold the paper on its edge: UP
  • "dash DOT dash DOT dash"
  • _ . _ . _ . _


  • this is the line where you cut your shape out !
  • __________

Step 3: Tools + Material + Software


Price= $65


Price = $20


Price = $FREE (PV) and $38 (PD)

EXTRA STUFF (optional)!

I find it more convenient to use a following stuff to make my work easier:

  • cotton swabs=to clean off excess glue and/or to spread it in tiny spots
  • extra scalpel blades= you need these in case of using a hobby knife!
  • aluminium foil= a place where I lay down glued pieces to let them dry out
  • old cloth =to clean your tools, table and fingers :)

Step 4: Which Glue to Use ?

The choice is yours!

GOOD: if you use a small bit!

  • no smell
  • dries quick (3 to 5 mins)
  • easy to use and is more precise

BAD: if you use a lot of it!

  • hardens in 60 mins
  • dries slower (5 to 15 mins)
  • can soak your paper and distort it
  • cannot redo mistake, once dried, it is glued forever

How much do you need?
My glue has 100 ml = 3.4 oz ... and I glued 50 pages.


  • hardens in 30 mins
  • cools down + dries quick (2 mins)
  • you can heat it and "move" your glued parts a bit if you made a mistake


  • less accurate
  • needs electricity
  • burns your fingers if not careful
  • smells a lot (makes you sick, headaches)

How much do you need?

Cannot help here. I got sick from the smell of it after I glued like 1 page of pepakura and the glue stick barely shrank.


  • It is less precise, and it dries out way too fast for my taste.
  • I do not use this glue and do not advise it.
  • If you push hard on it, breaks down leaves big chunks all over which is bad.


Step 5: Print It ! ... Build It !

Now you have all the info you need to start building !

  1. Print it.
  2. Cut it out with scissors.
  3. Get details with a hobby knife.
  4. Glue it.
  5. Build it.

First 3 pictures = not Pepakura but custom papercraft !
The rest = real Pepakura example: Dragon_Priest_Mask

Fair warning !
Pepakura is really time consuming hobby !

My Dragon priest helmet took me 14 hours to complete:

  • cutting the paper (3 hours)
  • glue all parts (11 hours)

Well it depends on how handy and skilled you are :)

Step 6: What Next ?