I hope you’re ready for a cuteness overload! Today’s design is one that is absolutely brimming with fun little details: including a whole bunch of adorable animals. Find your new best friend at this 3D pet shop!
The idea for this project was born from a memory of a toy I loved as a child. It was a cute pet shop, like this, that opened up, and included a bunch of little animals inside. My favorite were a pair of pretty birds that sat atop a perch, connected to a hamster wheel. When you turned the wheel, the birds would kiss—it was adorable!
Like most of my complex designs, this 3D pet shop project came with some challenges. But, this one was actually coupled with a uniquely challenging situation—my computer (aka my most prized possession) had to be sent in for repairs last week. So, I actually ended up doing this design on my trusty 2010 MacBook Pro from my college days!
Yeah…it wasn’t fun. Luckily, my beautiful, not-11-years-old MacBook Pro is back in my loving arms, and better than ever now.
Side note: After using some of these cute little dolls as props for my Victorian Doll House, I’ve gotten a few messages about them. They are called Calico Critters, and they are as cute in person as they look in photographs.
- Dura-Lar Film
- Hot Glue
- Foam Tape (optional)
- Bone Folder (optional)
- A Cutting Machine or X-ACTO knife
- My Free Template
How to Make It
1. Use your cutting machine or X-ACTO knife, along with my template, to cut out all of the 3D pet shop 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 having trouble with the score lines, check out this video.
2. Start by assembling the base and adding the embellishment pieces to the windows and door.
Put the base together by folding along the score lines, and gluing the tabs to the inside.
Attach the dark purple window frames on top of the white window frames, and glue them to the outside of the walls. Similarly, attach the door/doorframe. Glue the clear, Dura-Lar window pieces to the inside of the walls.
Assembling the Window Boxes
3. Layer your “wallpaper” pieces to the center section of each of your main window boxes. Then, fold along the score lines, and glue the tabs to the outside edges. Fold the front flaps back.
Next, add your pets to the windows. If you’d like, you can draw in some extra little details for these critters, like I did. I used layers of foam tape to give my pets more dimension, but, if you don’t have any on hand, you can just glue them inside.
Once the boxes are assembled and the pets are arranged the way you like, use the tabs to attach them to their corresponding windows.
When those are in place, you can fold each of your walls, and glue them together.
Assembling the Roof
4. Start by taking your four roof sections, and adding shingles. Start at the bottom, and work your way to the top, overlapping each layer slightly. Note that there are two different kinds of shingle strips (of both lengths). I suggest sorting them out before starting so that it is easier to alternate as you go along.
When you’ve successfully singled each roof piece, flip it over and trim off the excess.
Before gluing the sections together, add the white roof runner. (Obviously, I forgot to do that, and paid for it later—whoops!)
With the roof runner in place, use the tabs provided to attach the roof together like so.
5. Assemble the attic window box. This one is assembled similarly to the other ones, but is a little bit funkier shape (in order to match the angle of the roof). Attach the sidewalls to the back piece, and then layer in the wallpaper to cover up the tabs.
Glue the window frame to its corresponding mylar piece, and add an animal in there if you’d like. Then, attach the window frame to the box. glue the whole thing to the front of the roof.
Finishing the Main Structure
6. Assemble the white, flat roof section like you did the base.
Use the tabs on the top of the walls to attach it to the top of the shop.
Assemble the front step by gluing the tabs around the rounded edge of the grey half circle. Insert the tabs on the end into the corresponding slits just below the door, and glue them to the inside.
Putting Everything Together
7. Next, attach the roof to the main structure by gluing the long, bottom tabs to the flat, white rooftop.
Then, attach the whole thing to the base by inserting the bottom tabs into the slits provided. Glue them down.
Use foam tape or hot glue to attach your potted plants and any remaining animals to the front and sides of your pet shop.
Lastly, use the remaining slits in the base to attach your white picket fence around the perimeter. Make sure the gate is on the front side. Don’t glue the ends of the gate together if you’d like it to be able to swing freely.
Doesn’t it just make your heart burst with joy?! I just love looking in all the windows and seeing the cute little animals inside.
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 3D freebies available on my blog!
Enjoy making your very own, 3D pet shop! I hope you have as much fun putting it together as I did. Be sure to share your adorable results with me on Instagram!
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