It's a Small World - Intricate 3D Paper Craft | Designs By Miss Mandee

It’s a Small World – Intricate 3D Paper Craft

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hopes, and a world of fears. Today I am positively bursting at the seams! I’m so excited to finally share this project, in hopes that it will bring you joy. For all my Disney park fans, and paper craft lovers, I present to you: It’s a Small World!

It's a Small World

Download

THIS. This is the project that has consumed my life for a full week! While I love to challenge myself, I’ve never put this much time and energy into a paper craft as I did for this one. And, yeah, I’m pretty darn proud.

Even though you can’t visit the parks right now, I hope that this project will help bring a little bit of Disney magic to you, right at home.

It's a Small World It's a Small World

Before we get started, I just want to say that, though time consuming, this isn’t the most technically difficult build I’ve created. Most of the challenge is in finding, sorting, and assembling the myriad of little pieces that are layered together to form this intricate structure. So, if you are a puzzle-lover, this design is right up your alley!

Supplies

Tutorial

How to Make

1. Use your cutting machine or X-ACTO knife, along with my template, to cut out all of the many It’s a Small World 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 and a bright pink to mark any layered cuts, so hopefully that helps!

Tutorial

 

Assembling the Back Wall

2. Buckle up, and bring your puzzle skills, because this is definitely the most time-consuming step!

First, simply glue your two large, back wall pieces together using the long tab attached to the right side piece.

Next, sort and assemble all of the small and teensy tiny pieces of the back wall structure. You can use both the silhouettes of the shapes along the top of the design as well as my photo below to help guide you.

I recommend using hot glue for the back layers, and layers of Command Tape for the layers that overlap. This will give your back wall some beautiful, complex dimension!

Note: Feel free to add any embellishment you see fit as you go along. At this step, I also added some gold accents to the tops of a few of my buildings using a gold Sharpie Paint Pen.

Tutorial Tutorial

 

Assembling the Front Wall

3. Using the same techniques as you did in the pervious step, assemble the front piece of your It’s a Small World wall. I added some hand drawn embellishments to more closely match the original structure, and you can do this as well, if you’d like.

Then, piece together the toy soldiers, children, and time pieces.

Fold and assemble the receded window boxes.

Attach two toy soldiers in each white window box, and one more on the inside of each flap (using either hot glue or Command Tape). Attach two children to the inside of of the arched window pieces and the other ones to the inside of each curved flap. Draw numbers of your time pieces, and attach them to the inside of your off-white window box.

Glue the window boxes to the back side of the wall in their respective places.

Tutorial

 

Build the Base

4. Start by assembling the center base/tunnel piece. Simply fold along the edge tabs and glue them to the inside of the “tunnel.”

Then, assemble the right and left sections of your base. Attach them to the center pice.

Add the corresponding embellishment pieces to the front.

Tutorial

 

Attach the Walls

5. This part is a little tricky, but just be patient and persistent.

First, fold your front wall so that it forms a half-hexagon shape. Then, insert the tabs into the slits in the back wall, and tack them down.

Then, carefully, line up each of the wall tabs in the corresponding slits in the base (one at a time). Once they are all inserted, glue them down.

Note: Be sure to insert the back wall tabs into the slits closer to the rear, saving the slits up front for the hedges to come later on.

Tutorial

 

Create Your River & Greenery

6. Piece together the main lawn and river pieces by overlapping them and gluing down the tabs.

Build your oval topiary by folding the tabs of the long green strip, and glueing them to the inside of the oval piece.

Assemble the hedge pieces as seen in the second photo using hot glue and Command Tape.

Attach the dolphin topiaries to the oval hedge by inserting the tabs into the slits and glueing them to the inside. Insert your elephant, giraffe, and spiral topiaries into the slits in the lawn, and glue them to the back side as well. Using the 4 tabs on the oval hedge, fold them down, add some glue, and attach the completed piece to the center of the lawn (there are not slits for this, so you’ll just be pressing it down.

Finally, attach your two small rows of hedges to the base of the main structure using the slits provided.

Tutorial

 

Build Some Boats

7. Fold up the side and back pieces of your boat. Curve the front pieces, and glue down the tabs. Add the liner into the bottom. Then, fold your three rows of seating, and glue them in place.

Tutorial

 

Enjoy Your Masterpiece

Tutorial

There it is! It’s a Small World in all its glory. I personally love this ride: it’s 15 minutes in a relaxing air conditioned building, with lots of charming things to look at along the way! As a kid, I would always pay close attention to the dresses the dolls had on and decide which one had the prettiest outfit (it’s always a close call between Cleopatra and the dancers from India).

No matter how you feel about the ride itself, you can’t help but admire the beautiful facade, marvel at the awesome topiaries, and smile when the figures come dancing out of the clock every 15 minutes.

It's a Small World It's a Small World

I really tried not to cut any corners when it came to this design. I’ve wanted to create an “It’s a Small World” piece for some time now, and I knew it just had to be something extra special. Heck, I even included intricately designed buildings that go behind the font wall.

It's a Small WorldIt's a Small World

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!

I could go on and on about this design and what it means to me, but I’ll just leave it in your hands now. I hope you enjoy putting my It’s a Small World diorama together as much as I did!

Miss Mandee Signature

 

 

It's a Small World It's a Small World

*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking through my links to make a purchase, you are supporting this blog and the hard work that goes into providing free, quality designs.

**All Disney-inspired designs on this site are unofficial, fan creations and not associated with the Disney corporation.

61 Comments

61 Comments on It’s a Small World – Intricate 3D Paper Craft

  1. Helen J Roberts
    April 20, 2020 at 7:08 am (2 months ago)

    This is an amazing project and I want to thank you for sharing it. With all that is going on in the outside world, having a project like this to work on helps distract and entertain. I love your files as they are always easy to cut and assemble. Can’t wait to see what your crafty mind comes up with next!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:42 am (2 months ago)

      Aww, thank you SO much Helen! I’m so glad you like it! I’ve had this project on my mind for a long time, and I figured that this is indeed a perfect time to make it happen. I do hope it brings some happiness and creative inspiration to people whilst being at home. 😊

      Reply
  2. Laura K
    April 20, 2020 at 7:12 am (2 months ago)

    This is AMAZING! Thank you so much!!!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:43 am (2 months ago)

      You are welcome Laura! Glad you like it. 😀

      Reply
  3. BethAnn
    April 20, 2020 at 7:19 am (2 months ago)

    WOW!!! This is amazing! I am definitely going to TRY this one (not sure I’ll succeed)!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:45 am (2 months ago)

      You can do it!! It looks super complicated, but really it’s just a fun puzzle project! And if you don’t put all the pieces exactly where I did on the back wall, it doesn’t really matter. Just have fun! ❤️

      Reply
  4. Ileana Jimenez
    April 20, 2020 at 7:41 am (2 months ago)

    Wonderful Design, I just loved it. Thank you for keeping us busy 🙂

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:45 am (2 months ago)

      It’s what I do. 😉 I’m so happy that you like it!

      Reply
  5. Debra Wright
    April 20, 2020 at 8:05 am (2 months ago)

    Wow.. thank you so much

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:46 am (2 months ago)

      You are very welcome Debra! 😊

      Reply
  6. Corinne B
    April 20, 2020 at 8:23 am (2 months ago)

    Merci beaucoup, c’est adorable!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:46 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you Corinne!! ❤️

      Reply
  7. sonny
    April 20, 2020 at 8:26 am (2 months ago)

    fantastisch

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:47 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you!!

      Reply
  8. CHERYL Wood
    April 20, 2020 at 8:43 am (2 months ago)

    Wow! What an amazing project!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:47 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you Cheryl! I’m so pleased that you like it. 😊

      Reply
  9. Terry
    April 20, 2020 at 9:01 am (2 months ago)

    AMAZING! This one will be challenging! I am a huge Disney fan and also love this ride! Great job and thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:48 am (2 months ago)

      Challenging, but fun!! And I’m glad I’m not the only other adult that loves this ride. 😉 Have fun putting this puzzle together!

      Reply
  10. Suzanne M Kutz
    April 20, 2020 at 9:08 am (2 months ago)

    What an amazing project, you really went all out to design this one! I like how you make different projects, with different themes. Not just cliche projects. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:49 am (2 months ago)

      Aww, thank you Suzanne! You are too sweet. I do my best!!

      Reply
  11. Ingeborg van Willigenburg
    April 20, 2020 at 9:09 am (2 months ago)

    Thank you so match I make it with my grandchild. You are great.

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:50 am (2 months ago)

      What a fun project to make with your grandchild!! Have fun and make some happy memories together. 😊

      Reply
  12. Jen
    April 20, 2020 at 9:14 am (2 months ago)

    This is incredible!!!!! May I ask what the final dimensions are?

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:52 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you! And good question: if you leave it the size I have it in now, the back wall portion will come out to be 18″ wide and 10″ high (at its highest point). With everything in front, the whole piece (including the river/lawn) comes out almost 9″. 🙂

      Reply
      • Jen
        April 20, 2020 at 11:45 am (2 months ago)

        Thank you! That’s helpful

        Reply
  13. Diana King
    April 20, 2020 at 9:21 am (2 months ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing your gift of creativity with all of us. This was my Mom’s favorite ride in the park. She would have loved this one and it is a great way for me to remember when we took our parents there..

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 9:54 am (2 months ago)

      How sweet! I have so many fond memories of Disneyland, and I love hearing yours!! Thanks for taking the time to share. 💕

      Reply
  14. sandra m
    April 20, 2020 at 10:10 am (2 months ago)

    This is totally awesome. My fave ride at Disney. The first time I went to Disney I rode It’s a Small World five times. And I was an adult! Thank you so very much. Perfect timing to present this project while we’re all spending so much time at home. 🙂

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 11:35 am (2 months ago)

      It’s such a classic ride! You are totally allowed to love it—I do!! And I figured it was a pretty good time to share a more time-intensive project. 😊

      Reply
  15. Susy Cook
    April 20, 2020 at 11:10 am (2 months ago)

    This is out of this world. Speechless. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 11:36 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you very much Susy!! So glad you like it. ❤️

      Reply
  16. Stephanie Haining
    April 20, 2020 at 11:21 am (2 months ago)

    Your files are always amazing and I can’t wait to put this together with my 9 year old. Art class is going to be EPIC this week. Thank you for sharing it!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 11:36 am (2 months ago)

      Yay! I hope this makes for a memorable and fun art class for the both of you!! 💕

      Reply
  17. Patti
    April 20, 2020 at 11:31 am (2 months ago)

    OMG – this is jaw dropping fabulous. U r such an inspiration. I absolutely miss Small World (Disney, in general) – OMG, don’t know if I could pick my jaw off the floor. I better do that so I can attempt to make this – it is do darn darn cute…………ur absolute best!!!! Thank you for taking such great care to make this for us……ur are a Disney Angel…………any relationship to Tinkerbell?

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 20, 2020 at 11:38 am (2 months ago)

      Oh Patti, you are too sweet! Thanks for stroking my ego!! I’m obviously missing Disney right now as well. And yes, Tinkerbell is definitely my inner fairy—for more reasons than one. 😊

      Reply
  18. Alla Simonoff
    April 20, 2020 at 2:17 pm (2 months ago)

    Oh my, you have outdone yourself Mandee. This is beautiful! Brings back memories. Thank you so much for creating this project and sharing it with us.

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 21, 2020 at 11:11 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you so much Alla! I’m so glad you like it!! ❤️

      Reply
  19. Thersa Weisman
    April 20, 2020 at 4:13 pm (2 months ago)

    Oh my goodness! You not only made my day….you made my week. We were suppose to be going to Disney World on May 21 to celebrate my son….we aren’t able to go and had to cancel. We were at Disneyland in 2018 and I loved riding the original ride and It’s A Small World is my most favorite ride of all times. I am making two sets, one to mail my best friend so she can do one too. Thank you so very much!!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 21, 2020 at 11:13 am (2 months ago)

      Yay! That makes me so happy to hear!! I know you are not alone. I feel so bad for you and everyone else who had to cancel their Disney trips. Have fun making this piece! I hope it adds a little extra Disney happiness to your heart. 😊

      Reply
  20. Kathy
    April 20, 2020 at 5:19 pm (2 months ago)

    You are totally amazing! I can’t imagine how you can think up and create so many adorable projects and then so generously share them. Thank you so much for your beautiful gift!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 21, 2020 at 11:14 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you Kathy!! You are too nice to me. ❤️

      Reply
  21. nicole
    April 21, 2020 at 6:27 am (2 months ago)

    ~WOW I’m impressed!! Wonderfull!!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 21, 2020 at 11:14 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you Nicole!! 😀

      Reply
  22. Karren
    April 21, 2020 at 8:39 am (2 months ago)

    This is really amazing. I need some clarification tho…the piece, before it is cut out that has the clock on it, is it cut in many different pieces or am I missing the score lines? I have cut it twice but it cuts in little pieces, nothing like the back wall. What am I doing wrong? Thank you

    Reply
  23. Andrea L Clark
    April 21, 2020 at 9:44 am (2 months ago)

    Holy cow! This is absolutely AMAZING!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible work with us, and for FREE at that! Hopefully I will tackle this project soon (as soon as I can buy more white paper, that is)!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 21, 2020 at 11:19 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you Andrea! I’m so happy that you like it. 😊

      Have fun making it! And if you only have colored paper on hand, you could try and make it look like the Tokyo Disneyland version (I want to try that myself sometime)!!

      Reply
  24. Karren
    April 21, 2020 at 10:24 am (2 months ago)

    I figured out my errors! THank you

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 21, 2020 at 11:16 am (2 months ago)

      Okay good! I’ll be making a video soon to show people how to set this file up in Design Space. I realize that there are A LOT of pieces, and things can definitely come out weird if they aren’t set up correctly.

      Reply
  25. PRISCILLA
    April 21, 2020 at 11:31 pm (2 months ago)

    Beautiful & Amazing!!!! Love, love, love!! Grew up going to Disneyland and It’s a Small World is one of my favorite rides!! Thank you for sharing your gift!! 😀

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 22, 2020 at 9:53 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad my design does it justice. 😊

      Reply
  26. Maddie
    April 22, 2020 at 4:35 pm (2 months ago)

    I was wondering if the is a PDF file for this project? I make your designs by hand, and would love one if possible!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 23, 2020 at 11:22 am (1 month ago)

      I don’t have a PDF file available *yet*. I’m sorry! I always include the PDF with the designs, but I had already spent too much time on this one, and making a PDF version is going to take another hour of work, so I decided to release this one without it for now. Once I find a spare hour, I’ll add a PDF version in. 😀

      Reply
      • Maddie
        April 26, 2020 at 3:53 am (1 month ago)

        Thank you! My mom was really excited for me to make this for her, and I can’t wait to be able to!

        Reply
  27. Mary A
    April 22, 2020 at 5:58 pm (1 month ago)

    I did it! I was very intimidated, and it took me 2 days, but I did it!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing creativity with us!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      April 23, 2020 at 11:22 am (1 month ago)

      Yay!! That is so exciting. I’d love to see how it turned out (mandee@designsbymissmandee.com)! 😀

      Reply
  28. Marsha Linehan
    May 10, 2020 at 10:02 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Mandee, we LOVE your It’s A Small World! Wow, you are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with us and helping make one for my disabled sister. She adores and loves it! Best present I could give her. Now she always has Disneyland with her!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
    • Mandee
      May 11, 2020 at 11:20 am (4 weeks ago)

      So glad I could be a part of this special gift for your sweet sister!! 💕

      Reply
  29. Jersarte Hamilton
    May 25, 2020 at 2:43 pm (2 weeks ago)

    This is the Best Thing I’ve ever seen! And it’s existence is about to make one poor woman happiest Lady in the world. My friend is literally trapped inside her own home because of the virus right now. Her parents live with her and she’s their caretaker. They get sick Very Easy because of their age. So she literally can’t be in contact with anyone who might be carrying anything right now. We used to take a weekend every other month to Disneyland. It’s a small world is her Favorite ride. Seriously. We went 10 times in one day once. I think I can rig some led lights and a sound chip to this Amazing build. But even if I can’t I know she’ll love to just to have this to look at!! Thank You!!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      May 26, 2020 at 11:20 am (2 weeks ago)

      Yay! This seriously makes me so happy! Have fun putting this piece together for your friend!! Everyone deserves a little spark of fun and creativity in their lives right now. I’d love to see your results (mandee@designsbymissmandee.com) when you’re done! 😀

      Reply
  30. Debbie Villaescusa
    June 3, 2020 at 3:11 pm (3 days ago)

    First off Great Job. I love this design. I was actually wondering about the size. I downloaded the file and for some reason the back part comes out really small on design space. The other parts come out just fine. Is there something I might be doing wrong? I want to make this for my mom for her Disney collection. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      June 4, 2020 at 11:44 am (2 days ago)

      Hi Debbie! Finished, the whole piece is about 18″ wide a 10″ tall. Each of the backwall pieces are roughly 10″x7″. 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.