Paper Minis makes a variety of cut and glue kits, printed miniatures and cd's of printables for a range of dolls house and doll scales. For those miniaturists who need extra help,clear instructions are augmented by online tutorials and tips for using their products.
Paper Minis are available in three formats, as finished items, as Cut'n Glue kits, or as cd files of printable collections. The kits are printed on high quality paper, with different weights used for different purposes. Book covers for example are printed on a glossy photo paper to allow them to be handled, while pages are on finer paper for folding.
Unique Features of Paper Minis Cut and Glue Kits
The My First Picture Book and Alpha Stack Boxes Kit reviewed is a detailed, 36 page reproduction of an 1895 children's book with colored illustrations on every page. The book kit comes with a detailed cover with the title on the spine, and there is also a detachable dust jacket. The stacking blocks are sized to build a tower or fit inside one another for display in a scene with children's toys. The book is printed on light weight paper, allowing the creation of fairly thin opening pages. A clear set of instructions is included.
Assembly:You will need glue, a craft knife with a new blade, an office clip, and a bone folder or firm plastic or metal ruler.
Assembly instructions are clear and detailed with lots of photographs. There are additional tutorials for similar books online at the Paper Minis site. The pieces are clearly labelled on the sheets, an extra book cover is included, and folds are labelled alongside the pieces.
Details:This is a bright colorful book with lots of illustrations breaking up the tiny text. The colors and style of illustration gives it a very period feel, which carries over to the book cover. The stacking blocks, although simple, are an welcome add on to the kit. Paper Minis careful attention to detail is evident in the closely stacking sizes for the complete stacking set.
Ease of Constuction
The kit goes together easily in a couple of hours. As with all paper miniatures make sure you have good light, a clean, flat surface to work on, sharp scissors and blades and a bone folder if possible to crease your work.
- There is very little color difference between the book pages and the surrounding paper. Make sure you have good light to cut out the book by. The cuts must be very precise or the book edges will be out of alignment.
- Paper Minis does a great job of marking the fold lines with a very fine dark line. Use a thin piece of stiff see through plastic (similar to the kind packaged with shirts) to act as an edge to make the fold creases. You can see the fold markings clearly through the plastic in order to line them up.
- Use thin glue to join the pages together and use a bone folder to press them as flat as possible.
- Line up each page carefully as you fold it and refold it if necessary to keep the page edges straight.
Lining up the pages can be a bit fiddly but the use of a clear plastic straight edge makes it possible to fold all the pages in the exact same place. A smooth bone folder helps set the creases to make the pages as flat as possible.
Kits Make It Easier for a Beginner
If you have never tried making your own items into printables, the Cut'n Glue paper minis kits are a great place to start. They have extras of important parts (like book covers) and clear instructions that detail any special techniques which will make assembly easier. As all parts come pre printed by a laser, not a home ink jet, on appropriate weights of paper, a novice gains experience with handling and assembling different weights and types of paper. For some kits, materials other than paper are supplied (curtain fabric and puppet rods for the miniature theatre for example). If you want to try working with a particular type of paper miniature, these Cut'n Glue kits are a good way to learn a new skill, without needing to look for any special materials.
Other Items By Paper Minis
The Paper Minis site has a wide range of items, from store and shop packaging,gardening crates and seed packages, to opening books, games and miniature theatres. The items are very carefully designed. You can, with magnification, read the text in the tiny books, and bakery packaging comes with printed cake tops, which can be inserted into the box in place of full cakes if you wish.
The site categorizes miniatures by scale. There are kits for 1:12 scale dolls house enthusiasts (as well as a few in 1:24 and 1:48), and a range of kits for Fashion Dolls in Playscale (1:6) and projects for Hitty doll scale (6.25 doll height) and 1:3 or 18 inch dolls like American Girl and My Twinn.
Online Projects and Tutorials
In addition to the finished products and Cut'n Glue kits, Paper Minis has a free club with monthly printable projects. These projects are retired in September each year, and a new set are offered to the club. If you have never tried the various forms of miniatures shown on the paper minis site, the club is a good opportunity to try popular printables, although the results from your home printer may not be as good as from the kits.