Paper toys

Although we are not quite there yet, there does come a point in the Texas summer where you just plain give up on being outside during daylight hours. The wave of heat that hits you walking out the door slaps you in the face first and then gives a crushing bear hug to your insides (otherwise known as your innards). There's a perpetual trickle of sweat down your back. One begins to wonder, in fact, if life is even possible under such conditions.

But WE ARE TEXANS. Of course life is possible! We have five ton A/C units JUST FOR THE DOWNSTAIRS. And you better believe we'll apprentice our firstborn to the A/C guy (or gal) if necessary to keep that unit pumping. [We just had to replace ours, and luckily, Jordan was out of town.] 

But I digress. My point is that it's good to have some alternate entertainment up one's proverbial motherly sleeve when hunkered down indoors. Because at some point I'm going to feel guilty enough to demand the little darlings turn off the 27th episode of iCarly reruns. Mother guilt makes me do it. Mother guilt is also responsible for at least 7 of these extra 10 pounds. And that's all I have to say about that.

For all of these reasons, I'm going to share with you my latest craft crush. May I present to you . . . the wide world of PAPER TOYS.

I know. Contain your excitement. 

snowguy web.jpg

Look at this snow guy! He's cute and manly all at the same time. Yep, it's a craft that is definitively boy-worthy. And it teaches geometry. And encourages fine motor development. (I just threw that last part in at the end because this is an educational website. )

ThunderEater web.jpg

Skulls! Really, once you start googling 'free paper toys,' you will uncover a treasure trove of printable, foldable templates the likes of which you never dreamt possible. I downloaded a few, printed them out on cardstock, assembled the required tools and waited for just the right I'm-bored moment to present itself. (I had to wait 3.4 minutes.)

scissors web.jpg

Tools of the trade: scissors (with sharp tips), an exacto blade (that Parker kept calling the zombie-killing tool), a glue stick, and double-sided tape. That's it folks. Have I ever told you that I have a fear of running out of glue sticks? I'm not even being sarcastic. Just weird. Right now I have twelve (unopened) glue sticks in my desk drawer, so I'm good.)

Parkercuts web.jpg

Parker and I sat up to the kitchen table and cut and talked about zombies. And how best to avoid/kill them. He's not really much into crafting, but he does enjoy a good zombie conversation. 

Parkercutscolor web.jpg

We also discussed the various advantages and disadvantages of constructing with tape versus glue stick. After much trial and error we found that small tabs/areas do best with glue. Larger sections that require adhesion work best with double-sided tape. We were both thoroughly impressed and entertained by what you could make with some clever cuts and folding. And yes, this is what it looks like when your mother is a nerd.

Here are some sites to get your own nerd-adventures started: 

This is where we started. We made the black and white pentagonal guy in the left corner. He's cool, but don't pick him for your first try . . . he's tricky to glue together. We also made the green guy (with the cigar). He's easy. Goes together in about five minutes. [Just click on the ones you like and a pdf link will pop up.]

Icy Huggy - the snow monster is here. All of the text is in French, but Google will translate enough for you to figure out where the download is located.

I really wanted to make these puppies, but Parker was more interested in large, hairy monster-type paper creatures. Boo.

 via  PaperToy

I gave in on the puppies, but I intend to revisit these cardboard robots inspired by a Japanese manga about a five year old girl named Yotsuba. There's a series of photographs of these guys enjoying life as a cardboard family that is pretty cool. Photos and templates to make your own found here

There are even paper minions. People! Minions! Need I say more? 

And while these aren't free, I'm super interested in this paper oven/cupcake box and these cassette-tape-gift-card holders by Claudine Hellmuth on Etsy.  

I could seriously list links of awesome paper toys for hours (and am quite tempted to do so). But I'm grumpy when I don't get my beauty rest, so I'll stop here. And yes, tangents like these are why my dissertation is in 27 piles all over my desk.

Go forth and cut. And glue. Send me pics. 

Frazzled in Texas