Thursday 29 October 2015

Crafting Corner Review: Paper Dandy's Horrorgami - Marc Hagan-Guirey

Paper Dandy's Horrorgami features 20 kirigami (cut-and-fold) designs based around haunted houses and scenes from horror films.

Each project features step-by-step instructions and a template that can be removed from he book. Cut the lines on the back of the template and make the folds to create your own kirigami model. All you need is a scalpel, a cutting mat and a ruler. The step-by-step photography guides you through each stage, while a clear image shows you how the finished model should look. Projects are ranked from beginner to advanced.

Suitable for folding experts and beginners alike, Paper Dandy's Horrorgami makes the perfect Halloween activity.

Visit Marc Hagan-Guirey's website for more information.

When I was offered a review copy of Paper Dandy's Horrorgami I had no idea what kirigami even was but the image on the cover immediately caught my eye so I had to find out. After a little research I discovered kirigami is a form of paper craft where you make 3D images by cutting and folding a single piece of paper and I knew I had to give it a try. I've tried origami in the past but this was very new to me and I'll admit that I was more than a little nervous that my cutting skills wouldn't be up to the job.

A couple of things you need to know before you get started:
  1. This isn't a craft book for young children, the designs are far too intricate to cut out using scissors so it's not for anyone who can't safely use a sharp knife. It takes patience and practice to create even the beginner designs but the results are well worth the effort.
  2. You're going to need some extra equipment before you can get started. At minimum you'll need a craft knife but I would highly recommend a metal ruler and a cutting mat too. You could probably use thick cardboard to lean on but if you're not REALLY careful you'll end up cutting right through and marking your table so I wouldn't recommend it. I was able to purchase a set of knives, a metal ruler and a cheap cutting mat for less than £10 on Amazon so you don't have to spend a fortune but I wouldn't have got anywhere without them.
So, back to the book. Marc Hagan-Guirey has created 20 templates for you to use to make horror themed kirigami models. These templates range from beginner, through intermediate to advanced so are suitable for all skill levels and I think you'll be surprised at the huge range of images included. You can make everything from haunted houses, catacombs, gallows, a headless horseman, Dracula's castle, a ghost train and many more. I've included pictures of the 5 templates I've completed so far below to give you some examples.

Each template is printed on card that can be removed from the book and used straight away (which is what I've been doing) or photocopied onto your own card so that you can reuse them as many times as you like. My only tiny complaint about this book is how hard it was to remove the templates, it would have been so much easier if they'd had perforated edges and were easier to tear from the book. The author talks about his inspiration for each of the designs and then gives tips on how to cut and fold them. The book includes clear and easy to follow images of the cutting process and gorgeous pictures of what the finished designs should look like (I wish I'd been able to replicate the lighting at home because it wasn't the easiest thing to get decent pictures myself!).

It's funny because I was most worried about my lack of cutting skill before I started the first project but the thing I actually found hardest was folding the designs. The first template in the book is called The Thing Under the Stairs and I'll warn you now that those stairs were a nightmare to fold! It was well worth the effort though and finishing gave me a real sense of accomplishment.

The template for The Thing Under the Stairs
Starting the cutting phase
Design 1: The Thing Under the Stairs (Beginner)
Design 2: Crypt Creeping (Beginner)
Design 12: The Werewolf (Intermediate)
Design 13: Alien Abduction (Intermediate)
Design 16: Skull Island (Advanced)
I thought you might like to see Skull Island
from the back to give you a better idea how
much cutting and folding is involved.
I absolutely love this book, I've had so much fun with these designs and I still have 15 more waiting for me to get to. I have to admit I don't think I have the skill to create my own templates so this book is ideal for me, I get to have the fun of cutting out and folding something that looks fantastic and none of the hassle of trying to make sure I get the design right in the first place. I'm definitely hoping that Marc Hagan-Guirey brings out more books in the future, the number of potential themes is endless and I'd definitely be first in the queue to buy the next one.

Source: Received from Laurence King Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.



  1. Those pieces are really neat! A great way to make decor for Halloween! I'm normally a sketcher and painter when it comes to doing my own Halloween decor; but I wouldn't mind trying to do one of those for next year. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I'm really enjoying creating these designs, kirigami is something I'm completely new to but I love how impressive it looks when it's done. I'm hoping the author will bring out more books with other themes, the Horror ones are fab but there are so many other possibilitie s:-)



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