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Horrorgami DIY Horror Kirigami

10/24/2016
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Horrorgami

Horrorgami, created by Paper Dandy, is a DIY book that features 20 cut-and-fold kirigami designs based around scenes from horror films. Paper Dandy is a kirigami genius who makes the most beautiful and impressive scene’s out of a single piece of paper. Horrorgami gives you the opportunity to create and experience Dandy’s designs yourself.

We already knew of the amazing art of kirigami but the work of Paper Dandy is something else and a great discovery. His work is a unique combination of kirigami technique, stage design and use of light. That’s right! Light is a very important element in Dandy’s designs. His exhibitions contain light boxes that display his art on a black mirrored plate, giving the silhouetted paper sculptures a magic and mysterious appearance. His Horrorgami exhibition was a great success and this DIY book followed up. Lucky for us, we now can make these pieces of art ourselves! We gave it a try and ordered Horrorgami to review.

About Horrorgami

Each project features step-by-step instructions and a template that you remove from the book. You then follow the lines on the template, cutting and folding to make your own kirigami model. All you need is a scalpel, a cutting mat and a ruler.

Horrorgami first impressions

Horrorgami is a great book! A steal at Amazon and fun for many hours. All 20 designs look great and the pictures of the examples look breathtaking. Just like the Horrorgami exhibition. This feels like something special because now you can create some of those creepy horror scene’s yourself. All you need are some tools, patience and a nice place to display the result. Sounds easy but it’s not that simple. If you screw up, you’ll need to start over again. The more complicated a template, the more time it takes to cut it out and the more risk you’ll take to screw up.

Getting started

So before we get started, we first arrange the right tools like a sharp precision knife (x-acto), a self healing cutting mat, a ruler and something to bend the corners like a toothpick. Each project contains a template page, a picture of the result and some instructions to help you on your way. Because you can mess things up, it’s wise to make a photo copy of the template page on heavy paper. We first tried the Werewolf pop-up and that came out great using the precision knife. It took about an hour to cut everything and fold it into a working pop-up. This may seem easy but it’s pretty hard to carefully bend and push all elements into place without damaging the paper. Looking at the result, you’ll agree it’s all worth it. The effect of light going trough the layers of the pop-up is amazing. We also tried a set-up with colored lights like the examples in the book. We’ve made and posted a test video of the result on our FaceBook page.

Going trough the book, we realized that some smaller details would be very hard to cut-out. Especially the last pages and in specific the Godzilla pop-up that contains tons of tiny windows. After the Werewolf pop-up as an appetizer, we decided to give the Godzilla pop-up a try. To see if we can make something this complicated. But cutting it all out at 100% may be a problem. So we decided for this project, to make a 200% photocopy of the template.

Cutting all the windows and details wasn’t a headache but very relaxing. It helps to have some relaxing music in the background so we turned on Groove Salad, a non-commercial online radio station that plays nonstop ambient/downtempo beats and grooves. Once you get a feel for the cutting, thing smoothen up and go faster. You’ll learn quickly how to hold your knife, where to hold the paper and how far you need to cut to get all peaces out of the paper without tearing. The folding of this pup-up is a bit of a puzzle. It’s clear where you have to fold the pop-up but it’s more complicated to push it out from a flat position into a working and folding pop-up. Folding it all the way is the final check to see if you’ve done it all right. If everything is done correctly, the pop-up should completely fold in. In this position you can flatten some folds and carefully adjust mistakes. Now the pop-up folds in-and-out nice and smooth!


For the copy of the template page we have used heavy 240 gsm paper. Folding lines need to be half-cut so the paper needs to be of a certain thickness. Also, when you blow-up a kirigami design, the paper needs more strength to keep up the structure. As you can see from the results of our Godzilla project, the paper could have been a bit stiffer and heavier but that would make it harder to cut trough all the windows.

Horrorgami is unique and surprising. It’s fun to make something great out of a flat piece of paper. It’s even more fun to create beautiful scene’s designed by a talented kirigami artist like Paper Dandy! If you do have the patience, like the horror genre and you would like to give kirigami a try, then Horrorgami is absolutely a must have! The perfect DIY project for after midnight or Halloween.

Order Horrorgami at Amazon.

Paper engineer: Paper Dandy
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
Author: Marc Hagan-Guirey

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