Day 65 - 2.5D Paper Dragon Pattern

Paper dragon layout

Turns out Cricut blades are a lot easier to find in town than Silhouette blades. I now have one, but not in time to make a demo dragon. That’ll show up, along with more detailed pictoral instructions, at some point soon in #100DragonDays.

Paper dragon pattern

That links to the SVG with both the cutting and scoring lines. They’re in different layers so if your cutter’s software recognizes them, go to town, but that’s really for if you want to edit the pattern yourself.

Paper dragon cutting pattern

This is just the cutting lines, and is the one you’ll want to feed to your cutting software.

Use light cardstock or heavier paper, or the dragon will be hard to keep well creased. You can put a bit of glue on the “darts” and down the inside of the spine to keep this from happening.

Paper dragon scoring pattern

This is a letter-size PDF to print and use for scoring. Align it carefully on top of the cut pieces, and draw on the lines with a ballpoint pen (a ruler helps) or the non-serrated part of a table knife or use an actual bone folder. The printout has only got one wing, so either print a flipped copy to score the other wing, or after you’ve scored the first wing just flip the paper over and use the score lines to know where to score the other wing.

The red lines should be scored on the top of the dragon, and make valley folds. The cyan lines should be scored on the underside, for mountain folds. Getting all the “darts” to stay tucked at the same time can be a challenge.

There is a slit in the fold in the “armpit.” Fold the forward tab of the wing up, slip it through, and unfold it to lock the wing on. Then do the same for the slit on the hind leg. The wing will end up with a little curve to it to make it fit and to give the wing a little rigidity. The chin gets a tiny bit of glue - I debated about making it a tab joint, but it’s so tiny and fiddly that seemed like unnecessary purism.

Now I just need to get to work on the paper mache dragon or else plan on a second round of #The100DayProject. Which seems wrong.

Technical bits: I use Inkscape to edit the SVGs, and Robocut to run the Cameo since I use Linux on the desktop. (Specifically, there’s a forked version for the Cameo. I haven’t tried it with registration marks… yet.) It’s a little quirky - for some reason it doesn’t manage to cut in the last inch of the cutting mat, so you’ll notice the dragon is really only 11x12. Feel free to jump in with Inkscape and stretch the tail out to the full 12” if your cutter supports it.