Day 66 - folding the paper dragon

I’m still not back in the #100DragonDays routine - I left today’s until late, so I’ll do the wings tomorrow. But here’s the first part of the detailed instructions.

Cut dragon

With a fresh blade but not a fresh mat (paper will stick hard and tear rather than come off cleanly), I cut the dragon pattern posted yesterday. This is printed paper, so it’s only colored on one side. The only place I’m unhappy about that is on the inner claws, so I’ll probably end up coloring those black.

Aligning the template

To align the template (because my light box is still packed up), I trimmed it a little so I could see the nose and tail.

Scoring tools

You can score with all kinds of things. A table knife works as long as you don’t use serration - if it has a reasonable narrow back edge, flip the knife over. Somewhere I acquired a cuticle tool that has a smooth but fairly narrow point. You can, of course, use a real folding bone (technically this is a folding plastic, swiped from the Martha Stewart scoring board). A ballpoint pen works well for transferring the marks, but scores made through the template will be a little fuzzy so I re-score without the template. You probably don’t want to do that with a pen.

Scores all made

Once the scores are made, go through and crease each one sharply. Carefully pinch the head folds - they’ll tend to want to straighten out the jog above the eye, for instance. Don’t worry about folding anything into place until everything has a good fold.

Dino death pose

The triple fold around the shoulders and back will take a little fiddling. When you have them all into place, the dragon will do the dinosaur-fossil death pose. Only then can you fold the spine together.

Folds in place

It might take a couple of tries to get all of them folded at the same time. Be gentle, and take your time, and eventually they’ll all come together.

Creasing the folds

When everything is in place, crease them again. Be careful about creasing too hard, though - you can emboss the outer paper on the interior “darts” if you’re not careful.


All done! Fine-tune the head to make it all line up symmetrically, and glue the chin pieces together if you want.

The hard part’s all done!