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3D Paper Crafts

Give paper some shape

3D Paper Crafts

Give paper some shape
3-D Paper Crafts Under the Big Top

3D Circus Seals

First ring of three-ring circus!
Circus Seals in two sizes
What you will make:

In this project, make a circus seal and things to go with it. You will make a drum stand for it to lean on during its performance, along with juggling rings and a ball for its juggling act. Don't stop with just one seal. Why not make several for your circus seal act?

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

Circus puppets: For puppets with a circus theme, check out the Finger Puppets craft project. Make acrobat, strongman, clown, and elephant puppets, then put on a play with the circus seals!

Here's what you need:
  • Computer paper (white or colored)
  • Empty toilet paper tube
  • Facial tissues
  • Scissors
  • White glue (Elmer's, PVA) and glue stick
  • 1"-wide masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Transparent tape
  • Optional: Colored paper scraps, small hole punch, crayons, markers, needle and thread

This project is rated EASY to do.

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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.

How to Make 3D Paper Circus Seals

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose the size of circus seal you want to make. Download and print the pattern. 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 3D Balls pattern to make the alternative form of the circus seal's ball.

Patterns for Paper Circus Seals

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. Put the ball-covering pattern pieces aside for Step 6. There are left and right sides for each seal, and left and right flippers. For the drum, there is a drum top and drum covering. There are three juggling rings that need to be cut apart on the lines.

If you printed a black & white pattern, either color the pattern pieces before cutting them, or cut out and trace the pieces on 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 might trace the seal patterns onto aqua or turquoise paper, the drum covering and top onto red, and the rings onto three different colors. Cut around the traced patterns. Color the face on each seal with a black crayon or marker.

Step 3: Glue
Glue seal

Lay the right seal pattern face down. Apply a thin band of glue from the middle of the back, around the head, to the middle of the stomach. Align the left seal pattern on top of the right and press around the edges. Let the glue set for 5 to 10 minutes. (You can make the drum, rings and ball while you wait for the glue to set.)

Tip: Do not get any glue on the middle of the pattern pieces. You need a pocket that can be stuffed later.

Step 4: Stuff

After the glue is dry, gently put a pencil up into the head of the seal to open the pocket. Tear a facial tissue in half, and stuff one half into the head and neck with a pencil. (For the small seals, tear the tissue in half again and stuff the seal with one of these smaller pieces.) Glue the seal's flippers to the body: one on each side, just below the neck.

Tip: If the seam around the head splits during stuffing, you may not have used enough glue or let the glue dry completely. Remove the stuffing and repeat the gluing step.

Stuff seal's head with tissue

The seal is complete and will stand on its flippers and tail.

Step 5: Make Drum

Cut a 1" ring from an empty toilet paper roll. Wrap the drum covering around the ring and glue. Decorate the drum in anyway you choose—stencil, color, paper cuts, stamps. Tape the drum top to the drum from the inside. Use three or four pieces of tape. If the drum top is too large, trim it to size.

Tip: For a firmer drum top, glue the drum top to a piece of cardboard before cutting it out.

Tip: Not all toilet paper tubes are the same size. You may need to cut a larger or smaller covering and top. Use the ring to trace patterns to size on pieces of colored paper.

Make circus drum / stand
Step 6: Make Rings and Ball

Rings: Join the two ends of each ring piece and glue.

Ball: Wad a facial tissue into a tight ball. Wrap the ball with masking tape. Cut nine ball-covering pieces in three different colors. Glue the covering pieces to the ball from center top to the center bottom. A white glue like Elmer's works best. For a more finished look, glue the small circles to the ball's top and bottom to cover where the pieces overlap. (See the Tips section for how to make a alternative ball that is lightweight, hollow and a bit neater.)

Make juggling rings and balls

Tip: Glue three pieces of one color spaced evenly around the ball. Glue the pieces of a second color to the right of these pieces. Glue the remaining pieces over the three gaps to completely cover the ball.

Tip: The covering pieces may need to be cut down if your ball is small. Each piece should extend from the top to the bottom of the ball.

That's it! Everything for your circus seal act is complete!
Small circus seals with drum, ball and juggling rings

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