The Paper Puzzle Parade


Tips and Tools for the successful Paper Puzzler

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How to get a print

You want to try one of the puzzles yourself and you need a print of the sheet with the paper parts? This problem is easy to solve - just observe the following:

  • A file with the sheet is available for every puzzle. This file is in the "portable document format" (PDF). You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (lots of trademarks) in version 4 or above to read this file. If you do not have it installed on your PC, download it - for free - from Adobe's website at
  • A color printout is desireable for most kits. Ink jet prints are fine in all cases, although a color laser print is more durable. Many copy shops offer printouts from PDF files.
  • All kits have been designed for use with a paper weight of 160 grammes per square meter. A paper with less strength will most likely be to soft to result in a working puzzle. Most printers can handle this type of paper and most copy shops will have it in stock.
  • All files are designed for a DIN A4 sheet size (210 x 297 mm). There is at least 5 mm margin on each side. If your printer needs more margin or if you use other sheet sizes (e.g. the US letter or legal) the Acrobat Reader has an option to fit the entire page to your printer's maximum page size. Do not resize the file to much and always use the same scaling both in x- and y-direction.
  • Some of the puzzles are available as complete kits including a quality color print, instructions and all extra parts. Have a look at the web pages of the Phantasia Versand for details. Please note that the instruction sheets of the kits are usually written in german.


Beside the material for the puzzle itself, you will need some tools and materials to cut out the parts and to join them. It is advisable not to use scissors to cut out parts as these are not precise and might also bend and damage neighboring parts.

Below is some stuff recommended for a successful puzzle builder. Most of the items listed should be obtainable in a good office supply store.

1: A cutting mat
Although you can always use some cardboard or old paper as a pad when cutting out parts, the use of a special cutting mat is highly recommended. These mats are self-healing, i.e. you can treat them with a bare knife and will not even see a scratch afterwards. They will save the blades from getting blunt. And they will save your furniture from being damaged ...

2: A paper knife
It is advisable not to use scissors to cut out parts as these are not precise and might also bend and damage neighboring parts. Better get a sharp paper knife (it looks like a lancet) and cut out the parts from the sheet placed on a cutting mat. Interchangeable spare blades (3) are available for good knifes.

4, 5: Glue
The use of a liquid glue is recommended. Find one that dries fast, does not corrugate paper and does not dissolve the colour of your printout. Water based glues might cause trouble with ink jet prints and often cause currugations when applied to paper. On the other hand, some solvents might attack the paint of a laser printer.
There are special rubber cements for montages - e.g. Marabou's "Fixogum"(5) - which allow parts to be detached and can be rubbed off if smeared to the wrong place. However, puzzles built with these cements tend to fall apart after some months.

6: A tool to prepare the bends of the paper
There are several ways to do this. One easy way is to carefully scribe the paper with a sharp knive without cutting it completely. Always scribe the paper from the side that will be the outside of the bend. A better method is to grove the paper with a blunt object, e.g. whith a blunt kitchen knife or with the tip of a knitting needle. Bookbinders use professional groving tools made from bones (6), but they are expensive and might be hard to obtain.

7: A side ruler
A ruler can be used to guide the cuts, scribes and grove. However, most of them can also be prepared freehand. Plastic rulers might be damaged by the paper knifes if used incautiously. There are special cutting rulers with a steel edge molded into the plastic. But once again, these are expensive and sometimes hard to find.

Some paper clips

These might help to keep pieces in place while the glue dries..

Building Hints

All parts on the sheets are marked with three different line types:

Cutting line, marks edges of parts
Outside bend line (see below)
Inside bend line (see below)

All bending lines must be first be scribed or groved carefully (see the tools section for details). To achieve really perfect bends, inside bend lines should be scribed or groved on the unprinted back side of the paper. This can be done by marking the ends of the bend line by small cuts and connecting these cuts on the back side.

Outside (left) and inside (right) bend lines.


To help finding the right parts, a part numbering is used for some of the puzzles:

On some sheets, the parts are marked with numbers like the one shown on the left. These part numbers are then refered to in the building instructions.
The glueing pads are printed grey on all sheets. If the parts are numbered, the corresponding part number is typed into every pad.


The puzzles have been rated into different skill levels requiered for their construction:

You have one right and one left hand? Fine - go ahead.

There might be surprises on the way to a working puzzle. So better read twice the building instructions.

Don't try these puzzles unless you have some experience with paper kits and a set of good tools.



If you have questions regarding the puzzles, feel free to contact me at . I would also appreciate if you leave a comment in my guestbook!

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This kit: © 1997, 98 by Georg Eggers, all rigths reserved. Not to be used for any commercial purpose!

Author: Georg Eggers email: - Last modifications: January 08, 2002

Visitors since January 2002