Show and Tell: Paper Swallows

A craft I tried from another website

A string of paper swallows made from a patten found at the krokotak website

Three dimensional paper projects are high on my list of fun things to make. Often I don’t even have an intended use for them, I just want to see how they go together.

Pinterest is on to me, and early last week a pin for these paper swallows landed in my feed. Originally, I ignored it because they looked a little scary. But I liked how quick they appeared to come together, and I figured if I cut them from colorful paper, they’d be much happier looking.

And I was right on all counts.

From the Krokotak website, I downloaded the free printable template and then redrew it in Adobe Illustrator so I could cut it on my Silhouette Cameo. To make a foldover project like this work, the two sides need to be identical, so I drew half based on the pattern, and then mirrored it and lined it up so it would be an exact match.

I exported that file as a DXF, since the basic version of Silhouette Studio doesn’t support EPS files, but it does allow the import of a DXF.

I test cut one bird on plain white paper to make sure my pattern was good. Turned out it needed a little tweaking on the tail, so I edited that to a better point and then re-exported it.

I cut several of these from 6 x 6 colored paper. Since the wings fold out from the back side, the paper needs to be colored on both sides. I set up four sheets on my Silhouette mat and positioned the artwork so it would fit within each square.

Four squares of paper cut at one time for paper swallows

Once they were cut and weeded, I followed the Krokotak website’s video for assembly. That was easy and quick. Finding the center balance point for stapling on the hanging string was a little trickier, but eventually I found it was right behind the wings. I put them all on one long string, which I’m hanging from a ceiling hook in the corner of the kitchen.

Paper swallow flat and ready for assembly
Paper swallow flat and ready for assembly
Paper swallow folded in half
Fold the paper swallow in half
Paper swallow with folded wings
Fold the wings down toward the body

I’m toying with the idea of seeing if I can cut them from very thin plastic to make an outdoor decoration. If it works, you can bet I’ll post a photo.

paper swallow folded and finished
Finished swallow

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