Second ring of
three-ring circus!

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Circus lion and lion tamer
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Under the Big Top

3D Circus Lion and
Lion Tamer

What you will make:

In this project, you will make a circus lion and circus lion tamer. The lion act is the second ring of your three-ring circus. Make a circus ring from the Ringmaster project to complete the lion act. For more crafting fun, you can decorate the lion's mane and the lion tamer's jacket using the ideas and techniques introduced in the Decorative Craft series.

Related crafts: This is the third 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, yarn, ribbon

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make a 3D Paper Circus Lion and Lion Tamer

Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose the size of circus lion or lion tamer you want to make. Download and print the pattern. There are two sizes of lions and both male and female lion tamer patterns. 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 in the Ringmaster project to make a circus ring for the lion circus act.

To make the Lion Tamers, follow the instructions for the Circus Ringmaster.

Pattern for 3D circus lion
Smaller Lion
Pattern for smaller 3D circus lion
Lion Tamer
Pattern for 3D circus lion
Smaller Lion Tamer
Pattern for smaller 3D circus lion tamer

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 ten pieces for the lion: body, four legs, head, mane, two glue strips and the tail.

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. 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 lion 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.

Step 4: Make Legs Make legs for lion

Fold the leg on each vertical line, and form into a triangular shape. Put glue on the tab and join it 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. Repeat for the other three legs.

Tip: The legs should stand on their own.

Step 5: Make Body

Fold the body on each line, and form into a triangular shape. Put glue on the tab and join to the inside of the first section. Ensure a good join by running your finger along the glue tab.

Make lion's body
Step 6: Make Head and Mane

Clip the lion's ears away from the sides of the head, and fold the ears up. Fold the nose down. Make mountain folds on each of the four lines on the lion's head, form into a head shape, and glue the bottom flaps together.

Cut the sides of the glue tab on the lion's mane, fold the tab up, and glue it inside of the lion's head.

Make lion's head and mane
Step 7: Put the Lion Together Assemble the lion

Put glue on the tabs of each leg and attach them to the bottom of the body. Glue the glue strips halfway inside of the lion's body at the top. Fold the strips back and apply glue to attach the lion's mane to the body.

Fold the narrow strip of paper for the tail in half and glue the sides together. Curl the tail over a round pencil or pen and glue it inside the back of the lion. Tip: You can also make the tail from a length of yarn or ribbon.

Step 8: Decorate Mane (optional) Decorate mane with coils of paper or ribbon

Make your lion more spectacular by decorating the mane. You can use any of the Decorative Craft series technique. Gluing open coil quills to the mane looks particularly nice. Make 10 to 20 open coil quills with ¼" by 6" strips. Glue the coils all over the mane for a curly effect.

That's it! You are done with the lion!
Put lions and a lion tamer together to make a circus act.
For another circus ring, make the Circus Seal.

Circus lion and lion tamer

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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 lion tamer

Tip: Make the lion tamer following the instructions in the 3D Paper Circus Ringmaster craft project.

ePaper Extra

Circus Diamond and Arrow ePaper

Tip: Use the Circus Diamond and Arrow digital paper to decorate accessories for the crafts in the Under the Big Top series, in handmade greeting cards, or any paper craft. This ePaper coordinates with the Circus Paper Ribbons digital download.

Circus lions in tow sizes and colors

Tip: Make more than one lion for your circus act featuring lions and lion tamers.

Lion with curled tail

Tip: To make a curled tail, draw the folded tail strip over a round pencil or pen. Use your thumb to hold the strip against the pencil and pull the strip with the other hand. Trim the tail to any length desired.

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