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How to Make Paper 3d Shapes

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Let’s make 3d Shapes with paper! It’s easier than you may think.

I have always been fascinated with origami and other paper folding crafts. I think it is so neat that from just a piece of paper you can make so many different things. Today I want to share with you how we made 6 different 3D shapes out of paper. Plus I also have printable templates available for you.

Learning to makes these shapes would be great for geometry or just to practice the 3d shapes names.

My kids thought these were really cool. They played around with them for a while. Then they tried making lots of other kinds of shapes out of paper. They were pretty fascinated by it all.

Paper 3-D Shapes from Teach Beside Me

All you need to make these paper 3d shapes is paper, scissors, a pencil, a ruler and tape.

I also have printable templates with a few more 3D geometric shapes, if you want a simpler way to make them! They are available in my shop.


There are 6 common 3d shapes that I am going to teach you about today.

  • Cube
  • Cuboid (rectangular)
  • Cone
  • Square-Based Pyramid
  • Triangular Prism (tent shaped)
  • Octahedron (diamond0like shape)

To make each of these 3d shapes I used an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper to make them.

3d shape- coneHow to Make a 3d Cone: For the cone, I traced a large circle, then cut a wedge out of the circle. Wrap it up and add a piece of tape to secure it.

3d shape- cube

How to Make a 3d Cube: For the 3d cube, you need a cross-like shape with even squares. Mine were 2 1/2 inches per side. You need four squares going down and three going across.

triangular prism 3d shape

How to Make a 3d Triangular Prism: The Triangular Prism is made by dividing the paper into thirds. Then in the center section you will make your triangular cut-outs. I measured the sides of my paper sections to make the triangle side the same length. It ended up being 2 3/4 of an inch per side.

square based pyramid- geometric 3d shapeHow to Make a 3d Square Based Pyramid: A Square-based Pyramid is started with a square and then triangles coming out from each side. Mine is about 3 inches per side. You have to make sure each side of the triangle is equal to the sides of the square.

cuboid- 3d shape

How to Make a 3d Cuboid: For the cuboid, I divided the paper into fourths. Then one of the sections needs a square cut-out. I made this by cutting into the other parts and removing the sections.

octohedron- 3d shape

How to Make a 3d Octahedron:  The octahedron was the trickiest. It is a series of 8 equilateral triangles. Six of them are in a row facing opposite directions The other two are hanging off the ends.

The 3d octahedron I made 2 inches per side, but it ended up very small. You could probably fit a 2.5 inch one on a paper. To fold this up, you just start folding the triangles and it sort of just bends into the shape. Add tape to keep it all together.

How to Make 3-D Shapes from paper

These 3-d geometric shapes would be fun hanging up by a string as a decoration, too!

The 3d shapes set pictured below is available in my shop.

3d shape templates printable

$2.00Add to cart

Visit some other posts with FUN 3D shape projects!

3-D Alphabet Letters

Engineering: Make Paper Hold Up Books

paper experiments- how many books will it hold



Rainbow Paper Icosahedron

Stellated Dodecahedron 





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  1. I love this idea. My six year old is learning about shapes and would love this activity. Thanks for taking the time to show each step. Arts and crafts are not my natural gifting. 🙂

  2. hi, Thanks so much for this….. remembered doing it when i was a child but couldn’t exactly remember how to put them together. My six year old needed this for school. Thanks again.

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