The master of
the 3-ring circus!

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Circus ringmaster and circus ring
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Under the Big Top

3D Circus Ringmaster

What you will make:

In this project, you will make a circus ringmaster and a circus ring. The ringmaster introduces all of the circus acts and does the stage direction for the circus. Make a ringmaster for your paper circus and a circus ring for each circus act. For more crafting fun, you can decorate the ringmaster's jacket and the circus ring using the ideas and techniques introduced in the Decorative Craft series.

Related crafts: This is the second of four craft projects for the Under the Big Top craft series. Make all four projects for a complete three-ring circus!

Here's what you need:
  • Computer paper (white or colored)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Empty ball point pen or bone folder
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Optional: Colored computer or craft paper, crayons, markers, glitter, sequins

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make a 3D Paper Circus Ringmaster

Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose the size of circus ringmaster you want to make. Download and print the pattern. There are both male and female ringmaster patterns. The male ringmaster stands about 7½" tall, and the female ringmaster is about 6½". Print the colored patterns on white paper. Print the black & white patterns on colored paper, or print them on white paper and then color with crayons or markers. Use the Circus Rings pattern to make a circus ring for each circus act. Each pattern will make two circus rings.

Ringmaster
Pattern for 3D circus ringmaster
Smaller Ringmaster
Pattern for smaller 3D circus ringmaster
Circus Rings
Pattern for circus rings

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Step 2: Cut

Cut out each pattern piece on its black outline. There are nine pieces for the ringmaster—jacket, two legs, two hands, front and back of head, front and back of hat.

If you printed a black & white pattern, either color the pattern pieces before cutting them, or cut out and trace the pieces onto colored paper.

Cut out pattern pieces

Tracing tips (optional): Trace each pattern onto a piece of colored paper. Use paper that is as heavy as computer paper or heavier. You can leave the gloves white. Use any colors you like. Be sure to transfer any fold lines or marks to the colored paper. Cut around the traced patterns.

Step 3: Score Score pattern pieces

Folding and assembling the ringmaster is easier if you score the fold lines—marked with red in the illustration to the right.

To score, place a straight edge or ruler along a straight line. Use a dull point, like an empty ballpoint pen or bone folder, and run it along the line using the straight edge as a guide. For the curved score line on the hat, trace the line freehand, using your scoring tool.

Step 4: Make Legs Make ringmaster legs

Fold the leg on each vertical line, and form into a triangular shape. Put glue on the tab and join to the inside of the first section. Put the eraser end of the pencil inside the leg and draw it down the tab to ensure a good join.

Fold the foot up. Snip down from the top of the leg to the dashed line at each corner. Fold down the paper to make tabs. Repeat for the other leg.

Tip: The legs should stand on their own.

Step 5: Decorate and Make Jacket

Before folding the jacket, you may want to decorate the front with fancy buttons and braids. Make buttons with a hole punch or with sequins. Add braid to the shoulders and sleeves with cut paper or with quilling shapes. Add glitter to any of the decorations. Give your ringmaster a unique personality with special decorations.

To make the jacket: Glue one hand to the end of each arm. Fold the jacket piece on the two horizontal lines to form a triangular shape. Apply glue from the shoulder down the arm. Join the front to the back of the arm. Repeat on the other arm.

Make circus ringmaster jacket
Step 6: Glue Head and Hat Make ringmaster's head

Glue the front and the back of the head together. Fold the brim of the hat up. Glue the front of the hat to the front of the head, and glue the back to the back. Do not apply glue to the hat brim.

Step 7: Put the Ringmaster Together Assemble the ringmaster

Put glue on the tabs of each leg and attach them to the bottom of the jacket. Put glue on both sides of the neck, slip it inside the jacket collar, and press. Bend the feet forward and stand the ringmaster on his feet.

Tip: If the ringmaster doesn't stand well, make him or her a base for more stability. Cut a 3" circle from cardstock or cardboard and glue the ringmaster's feet to it.

Step 8: Make Circus Ring Make a circus ring

Cut out three or four strips from the Circus Rings pattern. Glue the strips end to end to form a long strip, then join the start and the end of the long strip to form a circle.

Tip: To create a circus ring of your own design, cut three or more 1" (2cm)-wide strips of paper. Glue the strips end to end to form one strip 30" to 40" (1 meter) long. Decorate the strip with markers, a stencil, paper cuts, or stamps. A star shaped stamp works well. Join the two ends of the ring and glue.

That's it! You are done making the ringmaster and the circus ring.
Put them together with the Circus Seal for a one-ring circus!

Ringmaster, circus ring and circus seal act

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Circus Ringmaster in two sizes

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Tip: Make both a male and female ringmaster for your circus!

Join strips of circus ring

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Tip: For a nearly invisible seam, snip half of the diamond free at one end of a strip. Apply glue to the back of the diamond half and on the front of the remaining white paper. Slip the blue end of the other strip under the snipped diamond half and over the remaining white paper. Press together.

Ringmaster, circus ring and circus seal act

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Tip: Put the ringmaster and circus ring together with the Circus Seal act to make one ring of a circus!

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