Category: Reviews

WInter Wonderland box

Review: Winter Wonderland Papercraft Kit

WInter Wonderland box

Winter Wonderland: Charming Winter Paper Sculptures for Parties, Holidays, and Home Decor
by Mary Beth Cryan

Skilled artist and papercrafter Mary Beth Cryan has released a new complete kit featuring 12 winter decorations, I was offered the chance to review it, and having come across Mary Beth’s work before, I was excited to find out what was involved.

From Mary Beth’s website:

It comes in a beautiful gift box with 12 winter themed paper projects for you to pop out and assemble (no cutting required). It also contains a book with photos of the projects, instructions, instructional illustrations, some information about me, a paper craft resource section, and additional templates that you can photocopy (so you can make the projects over and over after you use up the pop out pieces that are included in the kit). It also comes with a pre-assembled 3D squirrel ornament. And would you believe the whole kit is only $14.95?

The whole kit features lots of attention to detail, from the matt-finished pre-punched card models, to the well designed and spiral-bound book. It even comes with a pack of ribbons to hang the completed models from. If I had to pick on something, I’d have appreciated a small tube of wood glue in the pack, I had to use PVA craft glue, which wasn’t strong enough for some models.

Look at the pictures below to get an idea of the quality and thought that makes this kit a fun seasonal gift for any crafty people in the family!

The kit is available now from Barnes and Noble

Disclaimer: I was given a free review copy by the publisher.

iPhone App Review: Candy Wrapper Origami

Candy Wrapper Origami is a simple iPhone app that gives animated instructions for turning sweet wrappers into origami models.

It has 12 different models to follow, selectable animation speed, and even a simple sliding blocks game.

The skills range of the models is on the simple side, so it’s a good choice for children or beginners. Most of the brands featured are hard to find outside the US, but local alternatives should be available.

Candy Wrapper – available now from the App Store for $1.99 (US)/£1.19 (UK).

Disclaimer: I was given a free review copy by the creators.


Wonderful papercraft games consoles and more

Papercraft Nintendo DS

Jun fron FX console dropped me a line about his site, as with all the others I’ve featured recently, the models are incredible.

I thought the gadget series was really great, the models include the Nintendo DS Lite pictured above, an Apple iPhone, Sony Vaio laptop, and for console lovers the range goes from Sony’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (with HD-DVD drive!) to the classic Atari 2600.

Make sure you check out the tutorials too, they’re handy if you want to get started making your own papercraft models.

Are you an origami nut?

Origami sphere

Karl dropped me a line about his origami blog, Origami Nut. He’s got some great stuff on there, including some nice videos demonstrating the assembly of different models. I really liked the Sphere 94 model (pictured above), designed by Heinz Strobl. It’s a great bit of modular origami and watching it go together is great.

Book Review – Modular Origami Polyhedra

### Modular Origami Polyhedra
**Lewis Simon, Bennett Arnstein, Rona Gurkewitz**

Cover - Modular Origami Polyhedra

Modular origami involves folding several ‘modules’ that are individually quite simple, then joining them together to form a larger origami model that is much more complex. Usually the modules are identical, but even more complexity can be added by varying folds in the modules or mixing different types together.

Modular origami - a wide selection

When it comes to getting started with modular origami, this book is one of the best available. Covering how to build over 35 origami models, there’s plenty for everyone from beginner to expert. There are plenty of illustrations and photos of completed models to make it easy to follow the instructions.

In the introduction, along with the usual legend and terminology, are several useful bits of advice about resizing paper, and details of how to create your own specially shaped sheets. After the basics, there are three main styles of model covered in detail:

**Sonobe modules**

A very simple and satisfying module that produces solid models.

3 Sonobe Modules - Toshie Takahama's Jewel

**Decoration box system**

Very similar folds produce boxes with wildly different appearances, such as this ‘Ninja Star’ cube, with star-shaped holes on each side.

Decoration box variant - 12 module Ninja Star Cube

**Gyroscope modules**

Three- or four-pointed pyramid-like modules that create endlessly complex models. The design shown below isn’t featured in the book, but it’s easy to expand on the basics by combining the modules in different ways.

A complex model made from gyroscope modules

For each style of model, there are many well-illustrated instructions, starting from the basic unit and working up to intricately folded modules that create complex patterns when joined together. At the end of the book there are a few other models that don’t really fit into the previous sections, although they are all fun to fold and look good when completed.

One of the best parts of the book is that it’s essentially open-ended – several of the modules can be joined together in many different ways, and can be combined in big numbers to create incredibly detailed models. Adorning the cover of the book is a chain of 14 linked boxes that form a loop, a very impressive model that requires only simple folds to build.

As I mentioned earlier, there’s something for everyone here, although all models require some precision in your folding, most are quite forgiving of slight misalignments. With a bit of assistance in the assembly stage, quite a few of the designs would be fun to make with children, since the finished model looks much more difficult than it actually is.

More information on Modular Origami Polyhedra at []

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