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

168 thoughts on “Paper gems (+ templates)

    1. i am a 11 year old kid and i succefuly did this origami it looked really cool and my friends loved them!

      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. You are absolutely correct! This is kirigami, a variation of origami that involves cutting and folding of the paper.

    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! 🙂

    1. Haha…I used to dance to abba when i was a little girl. The boys love them too…great for boogies in the kitchen!

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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… 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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…


  10. 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!

  11. 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 ^_^

  12. 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,

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

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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. They look stunning Rachel. I think the watercolor effect works really well ^_^ I’ll have to give it a go.

  17. Hey! I love these so much! They are so sweet! May I know where did you get these colorful papers? Really love the color!

    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

  18. sorry, i didn t know it was 3 parts for one piece..
    thank you and congratulations for your amazing website !!!

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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)

  22. These are beautiful! I made some with kraft paper cardstock and elmer’s and they turned out pretty great:) I shared them on my blog with a link to yours for the templates! thank you!

  23. 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!

  24. These are really great, I tried one of each design! What spray did you use? Is it regular spray paint, or a special type?

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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

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

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

  31. 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 ^_^

  32. 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?

  33. 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.

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

  35. 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.


  36. 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 🙂

    1. Hi Laurie,

      I got it from Paperchase or WHSmiths. I’m sure you would be able to pick some up in any craft store. Kate ^_^

  37. 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… ^^

  38. 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.

  39. 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!!

  40. 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.

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  42. 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.

  43. Help! I also have the same problem with glueing the final flaps… is there a proper order to glue them in? I can’t figure it out!

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