The Paper Puzzle Parade
Tips and Tools for the successful Paper Puzzler
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
- 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.
- These might help to keep pieces in place while the glue dries..
All parts on the sheets are marked with three different
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
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
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!
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