DIY Model Building With Paper in 13 Steps

person with keys for real estate
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on

Model building is a hobby that involves the creation of physical models either from kits or from materials and components acquired by the builder. The kits contain several pieces that need to be assembled in order to make a final model. Most model-building categories have a range of common scales that make them manageable for the average person both to complete and display. A model is generally considered physical representations of an object and maintains accurate relationships between all of its aspects.

Types of papers

Experiment with unfamiliar types and weights of papers. Making everything from scratch will tap your skills and talents and gain knowledge and experience.

  • Paperboard from consumer product boxes, shipping containers
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Chipboard-pressed recycled paper not corrugated
  • Newspapers
  • Photo paper
  • Computer paper
  • Card stock
  • Foam board
  • Index cards
  • Construction paper
  • Art and crafts paper

The size of the model determines the paper weight. Miniature structures may use light to medium weight. Larger models will need polystyrene, cardboard, Styrofoam, foam boards, or other boards lined with wood or metal. Corrugated boxes are excellent for texture.

These papers are available in distinct colors, depict unique textures or have drawings suitable for interior and exterior decor.

Your choice of paper to build your model is the appearance of the final project.


  1. Prepare a stable base on which we will place the house and landscaping.
  2. Draw a template or make a blueprint
  3. Trace the template onto the finished paper choice
  4. Decorate or paint the interior and the exterior before cutting. You may draw or use colorful craft paper to mark windows and curtains, hanging pictures, and other items that appear on the walls of a house.
  5. Cut with scissors or a blade (You may cut away the entire blueprint of the template or cut individual sections.)
  6. Assemble the structure (Soft paper is assembled easier by allowing additional folding tabs that will secure the sections together.) Use adhesives to fasten the house together.
  7. Use toothpicks, ice cream sticks, paper, and other small items to construct interior furniture and exterior objects.
  8. The roof is prepared by drawing a template or making a blueprint. We can place it on top of the house as one piece or in sections depending on the configuration of the structure.
  9. Place the finished structure on the foundation to make it easier to transport your creation or to stabilize it.
  10. Use paper craft or origami techniques to shape toilet tissue and rolls, and colored tissue sheets for shrubbery, flowers, lamp posts and other outdoor items.
  11. Use aluminum foil, wax paper, and butcher’s paper to make industrial appliances and pipe fixtures. Sandpaper sheets are excellent to represent textures for roads, trails, railways, streets, and industrial roofs of factories and other types of commercial buildings.
  12. Learn how to paper-mache as this is a brilliant method to make any indoor or outdoor decoration.
  13. Tour your home and arts and crafts bins to find papers and items recyclable for the model construction. After exhausting your hunt; purchase things you lack.

Designing and building models is challenging and fun. Try it.

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