DIY Papercut Bookcase Scene | Light Up Ornament | Paper Craft

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About: Multi-crafter, jewellery maker, card designer and frequent procrastinator.

I really wanted an ornament for my bookcase that was created with book pages - and, ideally, lit up in some way - and I came up with this 'bookcase scene' idea.

It's simply an open-ended box with a layered cut-paper scene inside, and I have to say that with a flickering (battery-powered!) tealight inside, it looks lovely & magical in our living room at night.

I really hope you enjoy this DIY :)

Step 1: What You Will Need

This project requires only basic tools and materials, and is nice and easy to create. Not including glue-drying time, it took me around 2 hours to complete.

You will need the following items:

- Cereal box

- Book pages

- PVA glue & apot to put the glue in; a yoghurt pot or similar will do

- A cheap paintbrush

- Ruler

- Scissors

- Sellotape

- Craft knife (e.g. X-acto knife) and cutting mat

- A battery-powered tealight

- At least 4 sheets of white A4 paper; paper that's on the thicker side would be better if you have it

- Double-sided tape

- Pencil

Step 2: Cut the Cereal Box to Size

Place the cereal box where you want to display the finished ornament e.g. in a bookcase.

Mark the cereal box with a pencil where you want the front edge to be, and then cut around the box at this point. After all, you don't want it to stick out of the bookcase.

Then cut the flaps of card off the other end of the box. I personally left one short flap at the base attached to the box, and taped it in place to add stability, but later on I ended up removing it. It's up to you what you do, but I would remove all of the flaps. The one I initially left on only got in the way of the light and created a shadow.

Step 3: Decoupage Time

Because I was set on having a book page theme to this project, I cut several book pages into squares and glued them all over the outside of the cereal box (except on the base), and then covered all of the pieces with more PVA glue.

If you prefer, you could use a different type of decorative paper to do this, or paint.

Step 4: Make a Paper Sleeve

Measure and cut out 2 pieces of white paper that fit inside the cereal box. Each piece needs to cover one of the larger sides of the box plus have a bit extra (approx. 1 cm) on each long edge that can then be folded upwards.

Add double-sided tape along these four folded-over edges.

Then cut out 2 more pieces of white paper, with each piece being exactly the same size as the narrower sides on the inside of the box.

Uncover the top of the double sided tape strips and then attach the pieces of paper together along these edges to make a sleeve that can perfectly fit inside the cereal box.

Use more double-sided between the sleeve and the box to fix it in place and to make each piece of paper lay flat against the box.

Step 5: Add the Keyhole

Cut a book page into a rectangle that is the same size as the front of the box (or very slightly bigger).

I thought it would be fun to add a keyhole shape at the front, that you could look into in order to view the 'secret scene'. Later on you will see that I enlarged the keyhole because I wanted the scene to be somewhat viewable without having to walk right up to it. It's personal preference really!

So however big you want to make this viewing point, or whatever shape you want to make, use a craft knife to cut it out of the book page.

Then tape the book page to the front of the box just along the top edge.

Step 6: Cut Out Paper Strips

Cut out strips of paper that are the same size as the opening of the box, plus an extra 1 cm or so along one of the long edges. This 'extra' should then be folded upwards on each paper strip, as seen in the photos.

I cut out 6 of these paper pieces, but you will need more if you plan on adding more layers to your scene and making it more intricate.

Step 7: Paper Cutting

Take a little time to plan out your scene; anything from vines and a castle, to a fireplace in a living room. I personally wanted to incorporate a fire because I was placing a flickering tealight inside, so I went for trees, a tent and a campfire.

Also plan which sideof the box each component will go on. You want the components to be narrow enough to not obscure things behind it; you want all of the components to be at least partly viewable.

Then you need to use scissors, a craft knife and a cutting mat to cut out your designs.

You can mark the design out with pencil on the back of the paper strip first if you wish.

Try the pieces inside the box until you are happy with the overall scene. You can always cut pieces smaller or re-cut them if they are not working.

Step 8: Assembly

Use double-sided tape to attach all of the papercut pieces inside the box, with at least a little distance in between each of them. You can be as fancy as you like with the design - you could even make a little paper bird and dangle it from the top of the box with invisible thread!

Keep viewing the scene from the front until you are happy with it, then tape the bottom edge of the 'keyhole' book page in place (at the front of the box).

Then cut out a piece of white paper to cover the back of the box, and tape it to the box along the top edge only.

Step 9: Finished!

Finally, place your tealight into the back of the box, and then display it in your bookcase. Voila!

As I previously mentioned, I enlarged the 'keyhole' at this point to make the scene more viewable.)

I hope you have enjoyed this Instructable, and I hope it inspires you to have a go yourself!

Thanks for reading :)

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