Paper gems (+ templates)


This has got to be one of my favourite projects to date…which is a good job because I nearly broke my brain putting the templates together!! I’m not so good at maths and figuring out angles (my lovely Mum is a retired maths teacher so I should know better!). By the way this project is quite fiddly so more aimed at grown-ups or older kids.

Paper gems

My paper gems were very influenced by these wonderful crayons (via Deborah’s Pinterest board).

Paper gems

You can use these paper gems as hanging decorations (for your Christmas tree) or you can incorporate them into a mobile or garland. I would love to make about a hundred and string them up in front of my window…however there is a limit to my patience!!

Paper gems

If you spray them lightly on one side they look very pretty and a bit more crystal-like! Skip below the jump for pdf templates and instructions.

Paper gems

If you love crystals and gems as much as I do then check out these cool projects:

Home-made rock candy
Home grown geodes

Edited to add: Check out this great advent calendar idea using my paper gems. Thanks Marta!

Kids craft coming up next week…I absolutely promise this time!

Off topic:
Huge thanks to Kathreen from for choosing one of my images for her 2012 calendar. Be sure to check it out!

I’ve been a total slacker on email lately…but intend to catch up over the next week. So if you have emailed, sorry, you will hear from me soon!


You will need:
♥ Paper
♥ Scissors
♥ Cutting board (optional)
♥ Glue stick
♥ Silver/gold spray (optional)

2. Print template onto a sheet of coloured A4 paper
3. Cut out the templates. (Cut along solid lines. Score and fold the dashed lines).
4. Stick together using a gluestick. (There is probably a better kind of glue to use…I would love to hear recommendations from any paper-crafters out there!)
5. If you want to spray the gems, lie them on an old piece of newspaper and lightly spray the top-side of the gems. (I think they look better sprayed on one side only).

!!If you want to hang your gems then thread a piece of cotton through before sticking the pieces together!!

Due to it’s fiddly nature, this project is not really suitable for kids.

Any problems then leave a comment!

Paper gems

195 thoughts on “Paper gems (+ templates)

      1. This is not origami. Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, WITHOUT glue :)
        This gems are simply solids made ​​up of nets.
        I hope my english is o.k. 😉

          1. I know this is not origami but Dennis is only 11 so i think he did a great job even attempting them…’s not worth sweating over the technical terms. Kate ^_^

        1. Hi there! :)

          I hope people will find this interesting – it’s only meant to give information, and not enforce correction. Dennis (and everyone else!) if you’re interested in paper craft, these will be good terms for you to know because they can help you find books on the right subject.

          The word “origami” is a Japanese word for paper folding using a square sheet of paper with no cutting and no glue. To do traditional “origami” you’re only allowed to fold.

          There’s another word the Japanese use for folding paper when you cut out shapes and use glue. That word is “kirigami” and it can be used for any paper craft where you cut shapes and/or glue the pieces together.

          So, these lovely gems are examples of kirigami gems, and I hope that was a help!

    1. thanks Sarah….yep the geometric thing is huge at the moment. I was looking for some for our holiday decorations but couldn’t find any anywhere. Hope all well with you. Love the new header on your blog! :)

    2. I agree! They’re really a great variety, and manage to mimic real crystal forms.
      You did a great job designing them!

  1. Love these and will be sharing the link. I daresay you’ve inherited your Mum’s math skill even if you don’t care for it. :) Would origami paper be a good weight or do you recommend something heftier?

    1. Hi Ann,

      I’m not sure about the math thing…I think I can do it but it doesn’t come naturally! My brain really did hurt figuring out these templates.

      As for paper I think origami paper would be too thin. The paper i used was about the same weight as regular printer paper. Any advice on glue?? You are a fabulous paper-crafter and I’m sure have a much better idea than me!

      1. Aw, that’s so nice of you to say, Kate, thank you! I’m a fan of glue sticks for this sort of project, just as you suggested. Double-sided super-sticky tape might work well too, although I have a feeling the width would need to be cut down in size, making it a bit fiddly.

      2. These are really beautiful & clever! I run art workshops at a youth theatre group & these will be ideal to create with our older kids as part of the set design for our upcoming Christmas panto. I design & make packaging for my day job, so based on my own experience of making 3D objects from card & paper, I would suggest putting strips of double sided tape on the glue tabs before cutting out to the correct shape. Once cut to shape, the excess tape will be trimmed & you have instant adhesion. I am going to try these in shiny and holographic papers for extra sparkle.

  2. Thanks! These look great. I actually AM a math teacher too, and my students are currently making piles of their own prisms and pyramids. These will be a great treat for those that finish their main project early.

  3. I came back over this morning because I saw these that I needed to teach a lesson on place value. I thought of your gems. I’m not sure any of them will work but I’m sure you could make something like this with all your talent. Something a math teacher can just print and use with her students. ; ) Thanks for your super cute ideas.

  4. These are amazing! Thank you so much for the PDF. These are going to be a lot of fun. I LOVE to use Fabri-Tac clue made by Beacon. It is the best glue I have ever used for paper crafting and one of the top paper crafting tips anyone ever shared with me! :) Thanks again for the great treasure!

  5. These are great! I made some to hang in my window as christmas decorations! They also look very beautiful with a little bit of silver glitter.

  6. I am doing them right now as a advent calendar for my little sister. (I know it is a bit late, but I just found them today!)
    I’m making them in pink, silver, white and glitter silver.

    Hope she will like them… :)

  7. Thank you so much for these instructions, and breaking your brain doing them! I tried immediately, thinking that i never could achieve the same look – but behold, they came out nice! So thank you again, and hoping it will be ok for you when i share this link on our blog?

  8. ha ha – “broke my brain”. 😉

    I made your origami hanging ornaments last year, and they were so pretty. Let’s see if I have the patience this year for some gem ornaments!

  9. I will try to interwave a piece of fabric to get kind of paper weight…
    thanks for sharing such a cute thing!!! Mila from Brasil

    1. Hi Hanna,

      I actually do understand why people charge for templates. I think creative people do deserve to gain financially for the work they do. I guess I earn money indirectly…by writing for magazines and writing my book….which would never have happened had I not started minieco….

      What do you think???

      Hmmmm….food for thought.

  10. These are great. Thank you for sharing. You could also try using scrapbook paper, not cardstock. Also for kids to do you could use carbon paper and trace the templates on the paper with the dotted lines for the folds.

  11. These are great! I used some close up nature photography, printed it on cardstock, for the templates. Then, apply a coat of clear gloss mod podge. Cut and paste away!

    Hanging them from monofilament and making my first mobile. Its so cool so far! I don’t want to stop. :) Will post pics once I do .

    1. Hi Indigo…hurray!….they look absolutely great….can’t believe how wonderful those nature patterns look. Do let me know where you got the nature images from. I posted your picture to my face book page!

      1. LOL, the number of people looking at my flickr page just jumped HUGE! glad you liked it. :)

        I got the photos either from my own pictures (i love to play with my camera and images with textures!) or from google search of copyright free images. Mostly, I was looking for color and texture, like the grey woodgrain, or the light pink dew covered rose, etc.

    1. Hi Rose…A few people have problems with my feed. Just click on the subscribe button on the right hand side and follow the directions…usually works.

  12. So awesome! I am a little behind the times with this one, but I have posted a link to this post on my blog along with some gem inspired artwork.

    So glad I found your blog, totally love it!

    1. Hi Aurelie,

      They look absolutely amazing!! Your b/friend did a great job. Love love love the colour combinations…

      I’m working on some more paper diamonds so do come back soon!

      Cheerio for now
      Kate :)

  13. Love it!
    And I always use a “Klebemaus” for glueing tricky paper projects. I dont know how its called in english but when you google the word you might get an idea.
    Its not the very most eco-friendly glue because of the plastic but…


  14. i really love these! I can´t stop! I have made a garland for my daugther and she really loves it and also a mobile and it really turned out great. I love your blog and your tutorials!

  15. Do you have a recommendation for putting the parts together? I’m finding it difficult to stick them to each other without creasing the paper!

    1. Hi Diane, it’s just patience and practice really. I found that a glue stick worked the best….glue one tab and stick it before moving onto the next. Hope that helps ^_^

  16. These are fantastic! I’m inspired to do so many projects now :]

    I would try it using PVC glue; it’s a book-maker’s glue that is specifically used for a strong bond on paper. it’s great and dries clear, too.

    Thanks again,

  17. i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i even downloaded them already!! i ve been searching so long for something like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

  18. I love these crystals!!! I’m using them in a 3D board game on a poster board, you go over hills, through pyramids, into snowy mountains, caves, islands,jungles, walking on clouds, raised of the boardgame made from cotton balls, clear tape and paper supports, along with a magma area to top it off you end on a raised star! I think this crystal folding set is the perfect thing

  19. Wow! These are fiddly! I used glue stick like was recommended, and I had so much trouble sticking all the sides together. I think for the next round I’ll try school glue. Any recommendations on how to make sure all the creases come out as perfect as in your pictures?

    1. Hi Dee. Precision & patience is the key really. I use a big-ish needle and ruler to score the paper. If you are using a glue-stick you can construct the whole model except for the last few flaps and wait for it to dry fully. Then glue the last few flaps into place (less likely to fall apart).

      Double sided tape works well too…but takes longer.

      Good luck!

  20. I’ve been attaching the three parts before sealing them in the round, any tips for getting the last seal? There doesn’t seem to be a good way to seal it as you can’t get inside.

    1. Yep it is tricky! I poked a needle through the pointy end bit and used it to press on the flap from the inside! Hope that makes sense…do let me know if not.

      It is also easier to let the glue dry fully on all the other flaps before attempting to wrestle the last flap into place (stops the model falling apart).

    1. Sorry for the confusions Sophie I meant 1, 2 & 3!

      Gem 1 has three pieces (1a, 1b & 1c)

      Gem 2 has three pieces (2a, 2b & 2c)

      Gem 3 has only two pieces (3a & 3b)

      Make a start with “gem c”. It’s the easiest one. Let me know how you get on.

      Good luck x

  21. hey, thank you for sharing the templates, they are absolutely amazing :)

    what if i want to make them larger and use them as a present box? what would be your advice?

    1. Hi Diana,

      You can enlarge the templates on a photocopier (or you printer maybe?)

      I would make them out of card rather than paper so that they are stronger.

      Good luck! x

  22. I’m totally making these for my birthday extravaganza! I’m going to place them all over the tables…can’t wait. Thank you for posting this!

  23. Dziękuję ci za to że jesteś, za twoje wspaniałe pomysły, za niewyczerpaną inwencje twórczą. Jestem wolontariuszką na Oddziale onkologii w szpitalu dziecięcym i Twoje pomysły są mi bardzo pomocne w pracy z dziećmi. Jeszcze raz dziękuję Joanna

    1. Dzięki za Joannę wiadomości rodzaju. Miło usłyszeć, że można wykorzystać moje rzemiosło dla takiego rodzaju prace. To musi być trudne i satysfakcjonującej pracy. (przepraszam o mojej próbie polskiego! użyłem google tłumaczyć!). Kate x

  24. i’m a 13 years old girl and i was successful in making these gems..
    my friends loved it and they’re begging me to teach them how to
    make these paper gems…u rule!!

    1. Yay! Way to go Mithushi…you rule :) Hope you and your friends have fun making them ^_^ (would love to see some pictures by the way)

  25. Hi Kate! I loved the gems! They were beautiful! I used regular Elmers stick glue. But the only problem I had was I thought they would be just a little bigger than they are, but I still love them but thank you once again!

  26. Hey there! I have found that tacky glue (Aleen’s) (am I spelling that correctly?) works quite well for these things. You only need to hold the pieces together for a couple of minutes and then it will stick and you can keep gluing. I made a bunch from the Paper Polyhedra guy around Christmas time. I did end up with fingerprints on the outside of my finished projects, even when applying the glue with a toothpick, though.

  27. Hey there! I know this is sort of off-topic however
    I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established website like yours
    require a massive amount work? I am completely
    new to running a blog however I do write in my diary every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

  28. thank you so much! I don’t know HOW you ever figured out how to do them, but I am grateful ’cause I think my brain was born broke-in regards to this exercise anyway!

  29. I’ve been unsuccessful with glue stick. I’m trying now with double sticky tape, and it works like a miracle. I need to cut mini strips, but it is much faster than waiting for the glue to dry and you can fold everything in immediately. I’ll send a picture once I finish with these! They are becoming a mobile for my baby to come by the end of september. Hope to finish all of them by then! Thanks!

  30. Hey, I love all of your artworks!! I’m wondering what kind of spray did you use to make the gems look shining? Thanks ;D

  31. Hi! I love all of your artworks! I was wondering what kind of spray did you use to make it shining? thank 😉

  32. you should just put it on this page because some people can’t download things and also don’t have a printer. like me:{

  33. Your blog is just so amazing and inspiring, I think crafts are something that I want to do rest of my life!
    I’m 14 years old and this was my first project on your blog that I made. Everything was super easy to do, but it just took some time and effort :)

    Greetings from Estonia!

    1. Hi Anita, thank you for leaving such a lovely comment. I’m always happy to get teenagers on the site (good to know the projects are cool enough – haha!!)

      I, like you, decided I wanted to do creative things from a young age – good for the soul I think! Happy crafting. *Waves to Estonia*

      Kate x

  34. I use Rubber Cement and a fine paint brush for paper crafting, put it on both sides, let it dry and then stick the two together

  35. Hi there, i love the paper diamonds and gems but when i print out the templates, they’re missing a lot of the dotted lines!! :( without the lines there’s no point in getting started because i’ll not be able to measure them as straight as they should be…….what can i do???

    1. Hi Isabelle,

      Make sure when you print you select ‘text & photo’, ‘photo’ or ‘best photo’ from your printing preferences dialog.

      To do this: Open the pdf in your browser and press ctrl + shift + P and then click on the preferences button. Let me know how you get on.

      Kate ^_^

  36. Hi! This is such a cute idea! Gem2 is my favorite shape (apart from the diamond tutorials ^^). Do you maybe also have a template for each individual gem? So if I print it, I dont always end up with all three at once?

    1. Hi Claire, the only thing I can suggest is to try to be as accurate as possible when folding and cutting. The models are mathematically correct and should fit together perfectly. Kate ^_^

  37. Thank you so much for sharing these! And even more so for taking the time to figure them out for the rest of us! They are lovely and I can’t wait to try them myself!

  38. Hey Minieco! Thanks so much for this tutorial, I instantly became obsessed with your site and picked up an exacto knife immediately after seeing this project. Pardon me if it’s a stupid question, but what’s the trick to get all the inside tabs to stick together? I’m thinking my mistake is not lining up the seams on the pieces, and that I probably have to glue the seams last, which is NOT what I was doing. Gem 2 turned out pretty good, but 1 is a hot mess. Thanks for any tips you have to offer a newbie, non 3-d thinker like me! And thank you for your brilliant, cheerful work!

    1. Hi Ashley,

      So sorry for the late reply. All I can suggest is patience and good glue. I’m going to put some updated gem templates on my site in a few weeks so hopefully they will be easier to put together.

      Kate :)

  39. Decided to get my craft on for this year and use these gems on our Christmas tree. Your gems are more challenging than I expected! But not all pretty things come easy. Still figuring out the best way to put them together, but my early attempts at each gem didn’t turn out so bad. :) Thinking of maybe gluing some parts on the outside instead.

    Thanks for these templates. My brain could use a bit more exercise. 😉

    p.s. I’ll give you an update (and pictures!) after the hols if I get to pull these off in time. They’re so cute. <3

    1. Thanks Henri,

      Would love to see the results. I will be posting new (& improved) paper gem templates within the next few weeks so keep a look out.

  40. These are sooo pretty! Perfect for holiday! I have a question for you, is there anyway I can these templates individually and larger? Thanks!

  41. Hi Kate,
    I find your website inspiring, not only for the content but also for how you present it, photography, themes and all of that.
    I used these templates to create some Christmas tree decorations for my 5 years old daughter. Yes, we separated the Christmas trees since she wanted it really bright and colored and I didn’t!

    So, thank you very much for your templates.
    You can check my use of it in my blog:
    I linked your website of course.


  42. Hi,
    I really like these, they are such a cute design!
    However i am having a little trouble glueing them together, i get most of it glued, but it is always the last 2 tabs that i cannot get to stick without having to crumple the rest of the gem. Is there any oder in which you stuck the tabs down which would help me? :)
    thanks :)

  43. I love these paper gems! I’ve covered my ceiling partly in them. It took me a whole Saturday (in between trips trips to the shops, town and for food). But it was well worth it! How can I send you photos? I’m sure you’d love it!

    Ali xxx

    1. Hi Ali,

      Pat on the back for all the effort. I would love to see the photos. You can pin them (and send me the links). Or you could upload them via twitter…or you could email me: (please let me know via this comment thread if you have emailed me as I don’t check that address every day). Kate ^_^

        1. Hi Ali,

          I’ve replied to your email. You photos were great. No worries with regard to twitter. Social media is over-rated anyhow. ^_^

          1. I’ve sent another email in case you haven’t seen it. If you have, is the you-know-what in the post?

            Ali xxx

  44. Hi! Thank you so much for posting. I will be using your templates for our kids activity on Sunday. Your works simply inspires me! I am confident the kids will have fun with these just like I did…. God bless… Thanks for being so generous with your skills and talents… ^^

  45. Hello!
    I love the jewles! I have been making them at work when it gets slow. I am planning on making a garland with them and using them to decorate for birthdays.Thank you for posing the templets.

  46. Hello, I work for a paper company in NJ and I do a lot of the artwork for shows and products cover. We recently started making a plastic poster board that I used to create these jewels. It worked wonderfully!! I am so happy with the finished product. Using your stencils to create beautiful gems out of the plastic was easy and fun. Thank you so much!!

  47. Ty wonderful talent making grandson crystal knack costume I was thinking how am I gonna do this, you my dear have shown me a way I may make his dream come true,
    Thank you.

  48. Fantastic items from you, man. I’ve keep
    in mind your stuff prior to and you’re simply too fantastic.
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  49. Hi! So I’m 11,and homeschooled. I get very bored during the day,and I was on Pinterest (yes,I am on Pinterest) yesterday and decided to look up paper craft. I saw these cute little gems and your diamond and decided that I could maybe do them. My question is,how do you do some of the folds? Otherwise,I think it would be easy and cute to hang around my room. Thanks,Dani.

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