Friday, September 22, 2017

Skull 3D Realistic Form

Dimensional life-like skull composed of 
upper skull and brad-hinged jaw. 
Ear, eyes and nose depressions with 
optional contrast overlay shapes add to the realism. 
Sturdy construction means this decoration 
will be around for many Halloween seasons. 
Measures approx. 7.5" front to back x 5" top to bottom x 4" wide. 
The tutorial model doesn't look that spooky - and
I don't mind that.
But you could customize it to make it spooky with darker
cardstock colorings, punch light holes in the eye "lining" shapes,
(or modify the eye and nose depressions, etc.) to let
battery-lit candle shine through.
Or add jewels and gems to glam it up like a sugar skull

ASSEMBLY: 1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A. top head main  B top head add-on side
C head base   D head base rim reinforcement
E & F front head left and right
G & H side head left and right
I & J ear depression insets with contrast shapes
K nose bridge
L & M eye depression insets with contrast shapes
N nose depression inset with contrast hape
O upper jaw with connected mouth rim
P mouth pallet inset  Q pallet rim reinforcement
R cross post (interior reinforcement)
S lower jaw main
T & U lower jaw side add-ons left and right
2. Prepare the top head (A) and add-on (B) shapes
by bending back on all horizontal, vertical,
and tab edge perforations as shown.
3. Position the add-on tab next to the corresponding
side edge of the crown panel as shown, with crown
edge overlapped at tab to perf line, then glue in place.
4. Bend the side extension seam and corresponding
tab edges together to overlap to perf line,
and glue in place (two segments).
Complete these seam segments for both left
and right side extensions.
5. Identify the wedge tab near the crown panel
and bend the straight edge to overlap to the wedge
tab's perforation line to complete this seam
on both sides.
6. Complete the short seam at the back of 
the crown panel.
7. Bend the back edges around to align segments,
then overlap straight edge to tab perforation line,
adjust, and complete the 3 segments of
the centerback seam, one segment at a time.
8. Flex the top head assembly to bring the crown
straight edges to overlap corresponding tab edges
to perf lines, and glue in place the 4-edge sequence.
9. Prepare the left (shown) and right front head
sections (E & F) by bending back on all vertical, horizontal,
and tab perf lines. Also gently bend back slightly 
on the two diagonal perforation "shaping" lines.
10. Bend the upper vertical mid seam straight edge
to overlap the adjacent tab to perf line, and
glue in place. Repeat for both left & right shapes.
11. Join the left & right front head shapes together
at center top front seam line by overlapping right
over the corresponding tabs of left.
12.Position the top head assembly along the crown
and lower back side tabs as shown, with
straight edges overlapping corresponding
tabs to perforation lines of the other assembly
as shown . . . 
. . . then glue edges in place to tabs,
working each segment one at a time.
13. Prepare the side head shapes (G & H) as shown
by bending back on all body and tab perf lines,
including gently bending slightly on short
connecting perf lines radiating from ear
depression opening.
14. Position and join the 2 seam segments
along the lower edges (this ridge helps
define the cheek contour).
15. Identify the right (shown) and left ear depression
insets by locating the tiny R or L symbol in
the forward (long) tab. Compare the depression
main panel with the corresponding opening in
the side head assembly.
16. Prepare the depression inset shapes (I & J)
 by bending forward on all perforations except
for long tab perf which is bent back slightly,
as are upper edge connection tabs which are
bent back.
17. Bend the side wall extension around
the main depression polygon panel with
polygon panel overlapping the lower edge tabs,
and glue in place.

18. Position the inset under the side head opening
with the forward tab under the corresponding 
opening edge. Align and attach the forward
tab first . . . 
. . . then bend the remaining inset tab perf edges
into position at opening edges, adjust as needed,
then glue in place.
Complete for both right and left side head sections.
19. Position the side head section (left shown)
over the corresponding tabs of the head assembly,
align edges and tabs, and attach each, 
one by one.
Repeat for the right side.
20. Prepare the nose bridge shape (K) by
bending back on all perforation lines except
 bend the mid diagonal lines forward
(indicated by pointing finger).
21. Position bridge under the pointed edges
at the forward portion of front head,
and attach in place.
22. Overlap lower side straight edge of bridge
over corresponding tab of side head,
adjust and glue in place.
Repeat for both side tabs of bridge.
23. Prepare eye inset shapes (L & M) by bending
back outer edge tabs, and bending forward
the interior tabs and end connector tab as shown.
24. Form the depression shape by bringing
the tab end around platform panel to wrap
it around the top side edge of connected side wall
as shown. 
25. Bend the platform shape into position,
adjust so that each side wall bend perf falls
at platform angles and edges align at
lower tab perf lines, and glue in place.
Repeat for both left and right eye insets.
26. Compare the completed eye insets with
the eye openings in the head assembly to
determine orientation (long tab edge corresponds
to the closest-to-center opening edge) . . .
. . . then place inset into head interior to position
behind opening edges, and glue each edge
to corresponding tab. NOTE: it may be advisable
to use a quick-grab adhesive on eye and nose
insets to prevent pushing through during
remainder of assembly or use.
Complete installation of both eye insets.
27. Prepare the upper jaw shape (O) by bending
back on all perforations and tabs.
(NOTE: some of the side perf lines may be bent
forward later in the assembly.)
28. Complete the upper edge seam by bending
the straight edge over the adjacent wedge tab
perf line, and glue in place. Complete both
left and right seams.
29. Bend the side extensions around into
position to overlap the mouth rim straight edges
over corresponding extension tabs - 2 seam
segments on right side, 3 segments on left -
and join in place.
30. Bend the 2 lower edge tabs on each just past
the mouth rim (both sides) up behind
 upper jaw wall and attach in place.
NOTE: the final tab is NOT glued back,
but attached to head edge later.
31. Position the upper jaw assembly along lower
head assembly edge with straight edges
overlapping the corresponding tabs . . . 
 . . . and attach in place one by one.
Bend end tabs back . . . 
. . . then tuck under corresponding head edges
and glue in place.
32. Prepare the nose depression inset by bending
top edge tabs back/outward, panel perf lines 
and bottom edge tabs or panel forward.
33. Bend each edge wall extension around
the polygon back panel, then wrap the top tab around
the opposite top straight edge and glue in place.
Bend the polygon back panel into position and
attach in place.
 34. Compare the completed nose depression
inset to the nose opening, then . . . 
. . . apply glue to top edge tabs, and position
in place from under the nose opening
(from the inside of skull), adjust so that tab perf
lines up with opening edges, then glue in place.
(NOTE: it may be helpful to use a quick-grab
glue to nose and eye insets, such as Fabri-Tack.)
35. Prepare the base shape (C) by positioning
and attaching optional reinforcement rim (D)
on the face side, with corresponding edges 
36. Position the base shape at the bottom tabs
of the head assembly as shown, then
adjust and attach edges and tabs.
37. Prepare the mouth inset shape (P) by 
bending edge tabs back, inner tabs and
end tab forward as shown.
38. Bend side extensions toward back to
overlap straight back edge over corresponding
wall tab, and join.
39. Bend the platform panel into position
 at tab perf lines . . . 
. . . and attach tabs to backside.
40. Position and attach optional reinforcement 
rim (Q) shape at curved edge on backside. 
41. Position the mouth inset under the mouth rim
with straight edges aligned at inset tab perf lines,
and attach in place.
42. Prepare the cross post shape (R) by bending
back on long perforation lines, and back
on end tabs.
43. Form the post into a triangular tube to
overlap long straight edge over opposite
tab perf line, and glue in place.
44. NOTE that the post triangle end has
a tall point that will correspond to
the tall direction of the cut opening. Then . . .
. . . identify the post LEFT end of the post
by locating the tiny 'L' symbol cut in the long tab.
Insert LEFT end through the right side
of head at triangle opening . . . 
. . . across the head interior to insert through
backside of opposite left side opening . . . 
. . . and through to position where tabs
can be bend back and attached in place.
Also attach right end tabs in similar manner.
45. Prepare the lower jaw main (S) and
right (T) and left (U) add-on segments by bending
back on all perforation lines and tabs,
except bend forward on perf lines noted
with asterisks in the image below.
NOTE: the small tab-like extensions at sides
of rim narrow panels should not be bent.
46. Position add-ons and join tabs to underside
of main lower jaw shape.
47. Join extension first side seams to adjacent
tabs, both lower segment shown here . . .
. . . and upper (contour) short segments,
bending edge and tab perf into alignment.
NOTE: during this process, make sure that
the attached tab-like extensions underlap
the adjacent "rim" section.
48. Continue to position and join the two seam
segments of the next seams . . . 
. . . and finally the center front seam
in the same manner.
49. Test form the mouth rim by bending the left
center front extension to the jaw inside
to a perpendicular position, then unfold. . . 
. . . to apply adhesive to the underside of 
the flange along a 1/4" to 3/8" margin at bottom, 
re-fold to jaw inside and glue flange bottom edge 
to backside of jaw.
50. Apply a dab of adhesive to the top of the center
rim extension . . . 
. . . apply glue to the backside lower margin of
right center front flange, and fold over to jaw
inside in the same manner. Adjust so that
rim segments are perpendicular, with . . .
. . . right rim edge mitered across extension 
underneath, and flange edges are abutted
(not overlapped), and glue in place.
51. Continue to bend/wrap side flanges
to jaw interior in similar manner, and
glue in place. 
52. Bend the back edge rim flange back and 
glue in place.
53. Bend the jaw bottom back sections into
position and attach side tabs to jaw side edges
as shown. 
54. Position the lower jaw extensions over
the upper jaw area to align punch holes.
Then . . . 
. . . insert brads and bend prongs back inside.
Reposition jaw to complete the skull form.
55. Position and attach the contrast eye, nose
and ear shapes as desired.
Here is the completed skull 3d form front side view . . .
. . . and back side view.


  1. Oh YAY!!!! He is amazing! Way to go Jodi. Can't wait to make him <3

  2. Just finished this guy and he turned out great, but the nose insert instructions seem to be missing. I was able to get it to work anyway. Can't wait to try this in a Victorian floral paper.

  3. He's super fun and easy to put together.

    1. Thanks for the promotional comment. Glad to hear it went together well for you, too.