Sunday, July 21, 2013

3d Cowboy Boot Papercraft Tutorial

Create this fun dimensional papercraft cowboy boot
to sit on a shelf, fill as a picnic wares paper-weight,
stuff with cello-bagged or bandanna-wrapped frontier-style candy,
or as a place card at a family barn raising banquet.
Finished size (original) is 6.5" tall.
Available from SnapDragon Snippets
in the Silhouette America on-line store.
Designed by Jodi G. Warner.

For understanding in identifying pieces, the parts of the boot will be identified as (top to bottom):
UPPER CYLINDER with rim trim, side strips and fold-over tabs, side decoration shapes
UPPER with right and left sides, center front, upper heel and sole pieces
SOLE with additional four sole shapes

Here are the cut pieces required to construct the boot. For the model shown, four values of brown card stock were used.
DARKEST: heel box, 2 of the extra sole pieces
MEDIUM  DARK: upper right and left sides, heel, center from, rim trim, side strips and tabs, decoration base shape
LIGHTEST: cylinder front and back, 'R' sole and 2 of the extra sole pieces, decoration top shapes.
CONTRAST for cutout liner on center front (not shown in this layout of pieces)

Locate UPPER heel shape. Fold all perforations as "inward" or valley folds. Apply glue to the triangle gusset tabs. 

Align adjoining straight edge at gusset perforation line and hold until glue is secure.

 Locate and fold UPPER left and right sides ('R' symbol) on perforations: tabs and center lines are mountain folds; 2 front-most are valley folds.

Attach back tabs of side pieces to heel side edges.

Locate UPPER center front piece and contrast liner. Glue liner to backside behind cut out section. 

NOTE that the narrow part is the boot toe tip, and the wider part is the top opening part. Fold perforations: top-most as valley fold; all others as mountain folds.

Align and glue each center front edge to corresponding tab on the front edge of appropriate UPPER side. This image shows the right side being attached.

Complete one side (right side shown - see the small 'R' symbol near thumb), then complete the opposite side in the same fashion. 

Locate the 'R' sole piece. Fold widest perforation as mountain, narrowest as valley folds.

Compare the sole piece to the opening and edge tabs. NOTE the 'R' symbol of both pieces match up.

Begin at the heel end to align and attach tab to end edge. Continue to glue, align and attach along each side toward the toe area, working in pairs of edges to assist with the alignment process.

 As progress reaches the toe area, it may be necessary to "flex" or squash the upper portion to allow the sole and tab edges to align.  This is the most difficult part of the assembly, and may require extra time and re-positioning to achieve desired result.

Once the edges are aligned and glue is applied, hold in place until the glue grabs, then .... (see next image)

..... rotate and apply pressure between front and back to help secure the glued edges.

To provide strength and give the sole area some depth and thickness, four more sole shapes are glued in place. The model uses alternating colors of brown cardstock.

Fold each sole shape on perforations as was done with the upper sole piece. Apply generous glue, especially at the edges. Attach one by one, holding and applying "flat" pressure until thoroughly secure.

Locate the HEEL BOX piece, then fold all perforations as mountain folds. NOTE the 'R' symbol. This face of the completed shape will attach to the bottom of the bottom-most sole piece.

Fold and align the side edges with the boxing tabs, then glue in place one by one.

Continue working in the same fashion to complete the gluing of the opposite side.

 For the final side, apply glue, then tuck the long and two short end tabs into the box. Apply pressure until glue is secure.

Apply liberal amount of glue, especially at edges, to 'R' face of heel box. Align at heel end of sole and hold in place with pressure until glue is secure.

Locate CYLINDER front and back pieces (BACK piece includes tiny square symbol cutout on tab upper end which will end up on the Right side of boot, and star cutout at bottom). DO NOT FOLD on tab perforations. Fold all other perforation lines as mountain folds.

Apply glue to tab, overlap corresponding edge of other cylinder and apply pressure along edge as glue gets secured.

Repeat the seam gluing process for opposite tab and side.

Locate rim trim pieces, and fold all perforations as mountain folds. NOTE that FRONT trim will overlap back trim piece.

Apply glue to BACK, align with upper edge and side seams, and affix. Repeat for FRONT.

Glue side strips in place, matching the right strip (star cutout) to right side, etc., and aligning hole punches.

Fold tabs at perforation, then adjust if necessary so that hole punches align. Apply glue to inner surface of back half (straight-cut end), then position on inside of boot with punch holes aligned. Fold rounded end over to outside of boot, align punch hole, then insert and affix decorative brad.

Dry fit the cylinder inside the "shoe" assembly, with the star cutout on the right side of boot. Rotate cylinder to align center and back perforation pairs, and push cylinder fully into shoe. Most of perforations should align also.

Separate parts, then apply liberal glue to inside rim area of "shoe". Re-insert cylinder and apply pressure to all edges (especially center front and back) until glue is secure.

Glue side decoration layers, fold on perforations, then align and glue in place on front half of right and left boot sides.

And the dimensional boot is completed!


  1. Wow… just wow. I have added several of your designs to my Silhouette wish list. This is the first time I have had a chance to view your blog. Which, by the way, I am bookmarking right now.

    You have some incredible projects with incomparable attention to detail. I love how you add the finishing touches - like finishing pieces to hide seams and gaps.

    My favorite aspect of my Silhouette are the 3-D and fabric crafts. Which, as you probably know, are very difficult to find decent designs, let alone tutorials.

    So, I just wanted to say thank you. And, PLEASE, keep doing what you are doing! :)

    If you ever need a good review on a website, let me know! :)

  2. Kristina, you are so kind to leave such a positive and uplifting comment. You have made my DAY! We will keep designing and preparing 3d projects, as long as Silhouette doesn't "discount" the percentage they return to the designers to make it totally un-worthwhile. It takes a lot of time, and sometimes it doesn't seem to make time/money sense. But in the mean time, it is so much fun, and even better when nice folks like you let us know you are enjoying them. I also appreciate your mention of "fabric crafts." As you see on this blog, my technical training came through quilt making and stitching. We are currently making a pitch to the Silhouette America marketing folks to try to make more quilting specific designs available through the online store. I will assume you may be a quilter, and if so, I have two requests. Email me or leave a comment here re: what types of projects you might be interested through Silh America, and if they are quilting-related, send comments to Silhouette through their blog, and leave design requests through the online store with those specifics, such as "more quilting patterns", quilt stitching templates, "machine paper piecing patterns". If customers express interest, it may help grease the skids for us. Warmest appreciation. J

  3. Hi! This is really amazing! My 4 year old girl is having a cowgirl/boy party the 15th of march, and i want to make cowboy boots for the party packs. Do you maybe have a printable template for me? I really love this!!!! my email is I would really appreciate it. Kind regards, Marthinette*

  4. Do you have a printable template for this boot?? I have been looking everywhere and can't find one that looks as good as this one! My email is you would be a life saver for my daughter's sweet 16 birthday party!!! Thanks so much! Christine Chestnut

  5. I Would like to know of you have a printable please this is so creative an I would like to use for my western babyshower my email is

  6. I am sorry, but the design is only available as a cut file. No printed design version is available.

  7. What blade/speed do you use to cut cardstock with the silhouette for this boot?

    1. When I am cutting stock that I consider "textured cardstock", I use that setting, dialed to 5 or 6.