Paper Pups—A Book Review

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An Afghan Hound I made from the book, Paper Pups (pictured on right) — Arts&Crafts Neighborhood 736.98 HAY

I was in the new 700s last week and found this addictive little number on the shelf.

Paper Pups: 35 Dogs to Copy, Cut & Fold was created and written by Hiroshi Hayakawa, an Associate Professor at Columbus College of Art & Design. For years he dreamed of creating a book for building paper dogs using both origami and kirigami techniques.

yorkie weimaraner

I made this Yorkshire Terrier and Weimaraner first using copy paper.

The introduction tells you about why he wrote the book and talks about all the tools he uses to bend, fold, and cut the paper. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to achieve the same level of precision without them, but was quickly folding and cutting away with plain old scissors and my fingers.

There are quite a few dog breeds represented and each one looks remarkably accurate when finished. To date I have made three of the pups: A Weimaraner, a Yorkshire Terrier, and an Afghan Hound. Hayakawa provides in-depth instructions as well as templates to photocopy in the back. That’s the one draw-back to this book: unless you have a copier/scanner at home, you won’t be able to make much progress unless you have access to a copier (or come to the library and print for 10 cents!) Also, he uses really nice cardstock, whereas I used white paper. I suggest practicing with cheap stuff first, and when you get a handle on the more challenging steps (like making curved folds), switch to nicer cardstock.

Overall, I found the dogs fairly easy to make. I stopped following his instructions after the first one because the fold and cut lines felt intuitive. He also has three levels of difficulty, and tips for making your pup pop with paint.

This book is fun and a great way to make a cute replica of your pet, or something for a friend or family member. Difficulty is high at first, but once you get the hang of some of the more intricate folds, it gets easier. If you’re patient, you’ll really enjoy the challenge and satisfaction you get after a few rounds of pup-makin’. I would recommend this book to teens and adults.

Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.

  • Lisa

    Thanks Heather, This looks like it will provide fun projects! I like that you can copy the pages. Many paper craft books require you to rip them out for a one time deal.

  • Heather Kearns

    One tip: after you’ve made all your test-runs and are ready to commit to a refined product/better paper, fold with the lines down so that you can’t see them. Notice in the Yorkie you can see the fold lines, but in the Afghan, you can’t.

  • Patty Akrouche

    This looks super fun! Let me know how they come out with cardstock?

  • Heather Kearns

    The Afghan Hound at the top was made with card stock. MUCH BETTER! Paper is too flimsy.

  • Marlana

    Your post reminded me of the bird finger puppets found at the link below. I’m planning to do them in a Youth Services program this fall. With this link, you can download the patterns. You need a computer, but at least you can by-pass the scanner/copier for these.

    http://www.mrprintables.com/finger-puppets-birds.html

  • Heather Kearns

    I love those birds! I was imagining a bunch of dancers with these on every finger. A whole flock. They would make cool props.

  • Hiroshi Hayakawa

    Hi Heather, Thanks for reviewing my book and posting the pups you made online! I just want to let you and your subscribers know that my next paper craft book coming out in June 2014 is all about BIRDS! I hope you like it!
    Best,

  • Heather Kearns

    Wow, Hiroshi! How cool that you found my little review! I thoroughly enjoyed making those dogs. I was in awe of how you managed to design them to come out looking just like the breed. Each includes signature features of each breed, like jawline, coat elements, etc. Pretty incredible. I will look for your bird book next! Thanks for stopping by, Hiroshi!