I’m taking you back in time today—back to the days when we didn’t all have a near-professional level picture-taking device tucked away in our pant pocket at all times. Back before SD cards housed thousands of images that could be viewed instantaneously. We’re going back to the days of film! Step back into dark rooms and the photographic emulsion process with this vintage camera paper craft.
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The cool thing about film photography is that, unlike other “vintage” things, people really do utilize film: and the process is still worthwhile! Even in my digital photography class in college, they made sure to teach us the basics of film photography theory and the development process.
Besides that, there is just something about an old-fashioned film camera that is just…cool. And since every photographer ever still uses the aesthetic of a retro camera as part of their logo, I doubt that I’m the only one that feels that way.
- Some Ribbon and/ore Yarn (for the strap)
- Hot Glue
- Bone Folder (optional)
- A Cutting Machine or X-ACTO knife
- My Free Template
How to Make
1. Use your cutting machine or X-ACTO knife, along with my template, to cut out all of the camera pieces.
Note: If you are using the SVG files that includes the score lines, don’t forget to set them as such in Cricut Design Space and attach them to their shapes before sending through your cutting machine. I used a lime green color to mark the score lines, so hopefully that helps! If you’re not using the SVG file that includes score lines, you can use the PDF version as a reference to know where your folds should go.
2. Start by assembling the back of the camera.
Attach the small vellum liner to the inside of the “viewfinder.” Then, glue the pink pieces in place on the outside.
Fold the film cartridge housing along the score marks, and attach it to the inside of the camera like so. Be sure that the side with the slit in it is on the outer edge, so that the pink tab will be able to slip into it later.
3. Now it’s time to start assembling the front of the camera.
Fold your silver piece along the score marks. Then, attach the pink overlay to hold everything in place. Feel free to add the front camera embellishments on at this time as well.
4. Put the lens together by rolling your longer, dark grey strip and gluing it into a column shape. Fold your tabs down, and you’ll be able to glue your vellum liner and lens ring on top. (I suggest doing this a few tabs at a time to ensure a strong, even hold all the way around.)
Fold the tabs on the other side of the lens in the opposite direction. Slip the lens into the hole In the camera front, and glue down the tabs.
Note: In the first iteration of my design, I started off with a longer lens, but ultimately changed the file to make the lens a little shorter; so yours will differ from this picture in that way.
5. For the top piece, you’ll first be putting some buttons together. The technique to make these is the same as with the camera lens, just on a smaller scale.
When you have all three assembled, slip them into the camera top, and glue down the tabs, making sure that the offset section on the front of the camera is facing the right direction.
6. Fold all the tabs on your camera top and bottom. Start piecing the whole thing together by attaching them to the front part of the camera.
7. Because this design has rounded corners, this last piece can be a little tricky to put on. I suggest prepping your side pieces by creating some rounded indents in your paper before you glue it onto the rest of your camera.
Once that is done, and the back/sides of the camera are attached, you can add some loops to either side of the camera. This is where the camera strap will attach later.
8. Make a cute film cartridge for your camera by rolling the smaller, dark grey piece and gluing it to make a column (just like the camera lens). Then, attach your bottom and top circles.
Finally, roll your “film” around it, and glue into place.
9. Add a strap to your camera by attaching some ribbon or yarn through the side loops. I used a couple small pieces of yarn, and glued them to a length of ribbon.
I’m thrilled with how this cute little vintage camera turned out! I hadn’t even had a chance to snap some pictures of it before my son snatched it up to play with. Luckily, it’s pretty sturdy, so no damage was done!
Maybe it’s a little extra to include actual film canisters; but, when the idea popped into my head, I just couldn’t help myself.
I use Adobe Illustrator for all of my designs, and a Cricut Maker to bring my creations to life. For tips on creating fun paper cuts like this one, see the FAQ section on my website. Also, be sure to check out the other awesome 3D projects available on my blog!
Enjoy putting this awesome, vintage camera together! When you do, I’d love to see how it turns out! You can always share your creations with me on Instagram, and by using #designsbymissmandee. Do you know anyone that would enjoy this cute creation?
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Helen RobertsFebruary 20, 2020 at 7:03 am (3 years ago)
Oh My! What an adorable camera! My daughter in Cali is a photographer and this will make the perfect present for her. Thank you for sharing.
MandeeFebruary 20, 2020 at 8:30 am (3 years ago)
Definitely a perfect project to make for her! Glad you like it. 😊
Danielle KelloggFebruary 20, 2020 at 11:03 am (3 years ago)
Been looking for something like this for a long time! Love it. Thank you!
MandeeFebruary 20, 2020 at 11:21 am (3 years ago)
Awesome! So glad it fits the bill. 😊
Mary Ellen TorresFebruary 20, 2020 at 11:54 pm (3 years ago)
this is so wonderful !!! thanks so much love it
MandeeFebruary 21, 2020 at 8:17 am (3 years ago)
I’m so glad you like it Mary Ellen!!
RikiFebruary 21, 2020 at 9:39 pm (3 years ago)
This is AWESOMENESS…thank you so much!!! Love…Love…Love it!!!
MandeeFebruary 24, 2020 at 8:41 am (3 years ago)
Yay!! So glad you like it. 😊
Maryanne GrahamFebruary 21, 2020 at 2:43 pm (3 years ago)
Thank you Miss Mandee for this lovely file, I know of a few people who are photographers that will love this. Also thanks for all your other lovely designs
MandeeFebruary 24, 2020 at 8:40 am (3 years ago)
You’re very welcome Maryanne! Glad you’ll be able to put this one to good use. 😊
CathyFebruary 21, 2020 at 6:17 pm (3 years ago)
Thank you for such a cute project!!
MandeeFebruary 24, 2020 at 8:41 am (3 years ago)
You are most welcome!!
MicheleFebruary 23, 2020 at 3:06 pm (3 years ago)
Such a cute file – thank you Mandee! I love the little film canisters too!!
MandeeFebruary 24, 2020 at 8:42 am (3 years ago)
Thanks Michele!! ❤️
GinnyJanuary 6, 2021 at 10:18 pm (2 years ago)
Thanks Mandee !!! this camera is so cute 🙂