Surprise a family with a miniature version of themselves in their favorite vacation spot!
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Step 1: Gathering Paper and Supplies
This is literally one of the cheapest gifts you can make. All you need is scissors, glue, paper, magazine clippings and an altoids tin box.
Design your little family. Pick out backgrounds from magazines you want to use and snip out those pages.
Pick out a color theme for clothing for the family and set aside those scrap paper pieces.
Have a pencil handy for tracing.
Step 2: Making a Bench
This family's setting will be in a Japanese garden. They will be needing a cute little bench to sit on.
To start gather black and brown construction paper.
Cut a rectangular piece of black paper and fold as shown in the photo. You will need a bottom lip for stability.
cut out the front of the bench where the two legs will be. Cut strips of black paper to fold and glue as the back legs.
Cut out strips of brown paper that are barely longer than your bench and glue as the boards.
It is optional to make arm rests, but if you do it's made of strips of black paper curled at one end. The back end gets glued to the bench and a separate little strip is a support for underneath the armrest.
Step 3: Making People
To make people you need to keep in mind that you will need to add dimension where you can. This might be just curving the paper a bit, layering paper or setting limbs so they look like they are reaching outward.
It may look intimidated to make paper people, but it's really not. Start out by sketching a paper person and rough cutting them out and bending them to position on the bench. This will help you with sizing your final person and figure out positioning.
Next draw basic body shapes on to skin tone paper REVERSE of how your person will be facing. I try to keep pieces separate and mend back together at the joints, such as the torso, upper arms and head as one piece, arms as their own pieces, thighs as a piece and legs as one or two pieces. Babies can be one solid skin tone shape and you can add clothes later.
Once you have your body shapes you can lay them down wrong side up and trace onto the paper that will serve as their clothing. Do the same for hair and shoes. You can draw on facial features of leave them blank or minimal.
Start working with the good sides of the paper facing outwards. I find glue sticks work best for flat paper onto flat paper. School glue or hot glue works for joints or getting them onto the bench itself. Glue their clothing on. Fold where your joints will be like the waist, knees and elbows. Glue limbs on at joint locations and hold.
The people will kind of look flat but from a front view they will appear to have some dimension.
Step 4: Prepping Your Scene
I used self adhesive fabric ribbon along the inside of the box and then glued in the magazine pictures. Add some pretty scrapbook paper on the lid of the container and glue down with school glue. Decorate the outside of the box as you like. I did a gold trim around the upper lid.
Step 5: Secure Your People
Arrange your family on your bench as you would like. Superglue works well for this just make sure the glue dots are hidden. Make sure arms are firmly glued on. Keep in mind not every contact point has to have glue on it. The paper is light weight so a couple good contacts points will keep your people in place.
Attach the bench to the inside of the box. Try to get at least four good contact points here. Glue the people's feet to the ground and then glue the hinge of the box at a fixed position.
Step 6: Give!
Let dry and pick off any glue strings.
You can add even more props like fake plants and a bird or grass but it's optional.
Now, present your little gift to the family it's made for!
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