Paper Model Tips

Take your time; paper models are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. You’ll also get a better-looking model that you can be proud of.

Keep your hands clean. Sweat, oil, glue, and other miscellaneous liquids can be absorbed by the paper, causing eventual discoloration, erosion, or a poorly constructed model.

Check off the instructions as you complete them so you can always know where you left off. Don’t cross or scribble out instructions or images; you may need to refer back to them if something goes wrong.

Paper Model Tips: Embellishments

Posted September 8, 2016 by The Disney Experience

Embellishments can enhance any paper model or craft. There are endless tools and items that you can use; here are just a few.


Some pieces have simulated metallic surfaces, such as gold. Obviously, printers don’t have gold ink, but you can make the pieces gold. Unless you want to go the extra mile and use real gold leaf, ink or paint is suggested. Opaque inks used in scrap booking are perfect; other inks tend to run and/or fade. They come in several colors, including metallic, and they are available with a few different tip shapes and sizes. Fine tips are good for edges and details, while wide tips are good for quickly filling in areas.

You can also use inks to color the edges of pieces, covering up the exposed white lines that might otherwise plague your model. This applies more to those who use card stock.


Paint can be just as handy as ink, but usually more involved and time consuming. They can also warp the paper with their high moisture content.


Wooden dowels make great poles, and can aid in gently bending or rolling paper.


To prevent glue from causing bleeding on inkjet prints, spray a couple of coats of a clear, flat or matte varnish. Gloss varnishes can be used to simulate glass or shiny metal.

Finishing Touches

Paper models are usually very sturdy, but you can mount them onto poster board, matte board, illustration board, or whatever you like. It also helps you transport the model around when needed.

As a personal touch, date and sign your model. This way, you will always know when it was finished and it can be traced back to you.


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