Introduction: Giant 3-D Papercraft Space Invaders
We like to be prepared for an alien invasion...Nerf guns loaded, extra rations of nachos packed away, and a Klingon dictionary in the back pocket. Unfortunately, such preparations tend to be forgotten in the routine of day-to-day life. As a subtle reminder, we created giant, 3-D, papercraft Space Invaders on our walls, and just so everyone is prepared, we show you how to build your own.
This instuctable shows you how to build giant 3-D Space Invader figures on your wall using simple, raised papercraft panels. The papercraft panels use a modified version of our Panel Poster panels. They are fast to build, no glue is needed, and are easy to install and remove using our non-permanent adhesive blocks.
Learn more details on the project page.
Here's a 7:47 minute video showing you how to build and install a panel.
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Step 1: Get Tools and Materials
- Hobby knife
- Self healing mat (or similar)
- Tweezers (optional)
- Small level (optional)
- 6-24, sheets 110 lb, 8.5" x 11" (216mm x 279mm) card stock (or similar)
- 1, Panel Poster Starter Pack (includes score tool and enough adhesive for Invader 1)
- 2, Panel Poster Adhesive Packs for Invader 2
- 3, Panel Poster Adhesive Packs for Invader 3
- Panel template file (PDF):
- Score guide version (attached below)
- No score guide version (attached below)
Step 2: Print
Download and print the panel template onto the card stock. (PIC 2-1) If you don't want to purchase a score tool, download and print the "No score guide" panel template. Here's the breakdown of the number of panels and pages that are needed for the invaders (PIC 2-2):
- Invader 1: 36 panels (6 pages)
- Invader 2: 46 panels (8 pages)
- Invader 3: 60 panels (10 pages)
Step 3: Score
The key to quickly creating a perfect panel is using our Panel Poster Score Guide to make a clean edge perfectly spaced to produce the proper panel height for installation. However, if you do not want to purchase a score guide, you can use a ruler and the "No score guide" template.
1. Position score guide.
Place a page on the cutting mat, face up. Position inside of score guide along one edge of the panels and hold firmly in place. (PIC 3-1)
2. Score inside edge.
Using the back edge of a hobby knife, drag a score line along the inside edge of the score guide. (PIC 3-2) Keep the knife at a sharp angle and apply pressure during the process. ( PIC 3-3)
3. Score outside edge.
Score with back edge of hobby knife along the outside edge of guide. (PIC 3-4)
4. Repeat for the other edges.
Repeat for the other 3 edges along the same orientation. (PIC 3-5)
5. Rotate and repeat.
Rotate the paper and repeat for the other 6 edges. (PIC 3-6)
Step 4: Cut
1. Separate panels
Using the hobby knife and score guide, cut along the five dashed lines on the page to separate the panels. (PIC 4-1)
2. Cut lines A & B
Cut lines "A" and "B", stopping at line "D". (PIC 4-2) Repeat for all four corners.
3. Cut lines C & D
Cut line "C", stopping at line "A". (PIC 4-3) Cut line "D" stopping at line "B". (PIC 4-4) Repeat for all four corners.
4. Cut corners
Cut the corner off from the end of line "A" to the end of line "D". (PIC 4-5) Repeat for all four corners. (PIC 4-6)
Step 5: Assemble
1. Apply tape strips
Using the hobby knife and score guide, cut the double-stick tape strips in half. (PIC 5-1) Place a tape strip on each "X" so the tape is close to the edge of line "A" and between the score lines. (PIC 5-2)
Fold all score lines and tabs inward. (PIC 5-3)
3. Bond the corners
Remove the protective sheets from the tape. (PIC 5-4) Line up a corner so the edges are even, and apply pressure to the tab against the tape to set the corner. (PIC 5-5) Repeat for all 4 corners.
4. Bend outer edge inward
Fold the outer edges so they point inward but do not stick to the tape. (PIC 5-6)
Step 6: Install First Panel
Print out the reference diagram. (PIC 6-1) Choose the location where you want to install. The adhesive block backing has a rubber-based, non-permanent adhesive that can bond and removed cleanly from all sorts of surfaces. (PIC 6-2) We don't recommend installing on wallpaper. Learn more. Wipe down the surface with a lint-free cloth to remove dust. (PIC 6-3)
You should level/square the first panel on the wall since all the other panels are aligned to it. The rest of the panels go up very quickly.
1. Position panel and block
Remove an adhesive block from the sheet, place the panel on the wall, and hold the block over the approximate center of the panel. (PIC 6-4)
2. Apply block
Pull the panel away and press the block onto the spot you chose. (PIC 6-5) Apply firm pressure for 10 seconds while rocking your thumb back and forth to bond with the surface. (PIC 6-6)
3. Apply panel
Peel away the protective cover on the block. (PIC 6-7) Place the panel over the block with a level on the panel, and adjust the panel until it is level. (PIC 6-8) Apply light pressure while rubbing your finger around the foam block to bond it to the paper. (PIC 6-9)
Step 7: Install Next Panel
Get another adhesive block from the sheet and your next panel to install.
1. Position panel and block
Position the panel next to the previous panel. Hold the block over the approximate center of the panel. (PIC 7-1)
2. Apply block
Pull the panel away and press the block onto the spot you chose. (PIC 7-2) Apply firm pressure for 10 seconds while rocking your thumb back and forth to bond with the surface. (PIC 7-3) Peel away the protective cover on the block.
3. Apply panel
Orient the panel in the same direction at the first one. (PIC 7-4) Place the panel over the block and align the edges with the previous panel. (PIC 7-5) Apply gentle, lateral pressure so the edges of each panel touch and close the gap nicely. (PIC 7-6) Once aligned, gently apply pressure while rubbing your finger around the foam block to bond it to the paper. (PIC 7-7)
Step 8: Install the Rest
The rest of the panels are very easy to install. You simply align the next panel with the previous, and so on. Repeat Step 7 for the rest of the panels. Do not worry about slight imperfections in panel-to-panel alignment. It isn’t noticeable in most installations. Enjoy.
- If a panel is damaged, simply build another panel, remove the damaged panel, and install the new panel.
- You can reuse the adhesive foam blocks if desired.
- Each panel's surface is designed to curve slightly inward. Learn more. If this is a problem, we recommend using Panel Poster Extensions to reduce the curvature of the panels.