Today we are taking a step back from the holiday projects because I have a super cute, new papercraft to share with you. Get your quarters ready, and put your arcade skills to the test, because today we’re making a 3D claw machine!
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Like most kids, I was always drawn to the sensory overload that is the “claw machine.” Even if you wouldn’t normally pick any of the toys inside off of a store shelf, there is just something so alluring about the idea of winning one as a prize. Plus, you get to operate an advanced piece of machinery in the process—how awesome is that!?
All that aside, I can probably count the number of times I’ve actually played a claw machine game on one hand. I was raised by a frugal mom that firmly believed that “those games are rigged, and you never win.”
So, that’s why I thought it would be fun to create my own version. And not only is it adorable, but there’s a winner every time!
Watch a short video of me putting this project together on Instagram.
- Dura-Lar Film
- Hot Glue
- Precision Craft Glue or a Glue Stick
- A toothpick
- Decorative Ribbon/Beads
- 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 pieces of the 3D claw machine.
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 them 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 layering all of your decorative pieces together—including the buttons and embellishment pieces on the outside, as well as the gold frames and Dura-lar film windows on the inside.
Assembling the Lid
3. Fold the lid piece along the score lines and glue the little tabs inside.
Attach the topper piece by slipping the tabs into the corresponding slits. Glue down the tabs to attach.
Assembling the Machine
4. Fold your two, large machine pieces along the score lines. Use the tabs to connect the front to the two sides. Don’t attach the back just yet!
Next work on assembling the interior “floor.” Start by attaching the little pink wall by connecting the two tabs to the square cutout section of the floor piece.
Note: keep in mind that the cutout section of the floor will be on the left side of the machine (to line up with the hole in front).
Then, take your other blue piece and fold it along the score lines. This will be the toy chute. Attach the “L” shaped chute to the underside of the floor piece, once again lining it up with the square cutout section.
Use the tabs on the sides of the floor piece to attach the whole thing to the inside. After it has been connected to the front piece, lined up with the chute hole, and attached on both sides, glue the back wall of the machine in place.
Assembling the Claw
5. Take your two small claw pieces and fold along the score lines, giving the paper a slight bend inward. Connect the two pieces together in the center, forming an “x.”
Attach a bit of ribbon or sting to the center of your claw, and then attach the whole thing to the inside of your lid.
6. Make a couple of joysticks for your claw machine by attaching a bead to the end of a toothpick with a dab of hot glue. Cut the toothpick down to an appropriate length. Make a second joystick and attach them both to the front of your machine.
Add any other decorative embellishments you like!
I mean, it just doesn’t get much cuter than that! This claw machine would be an adorable way to let kids pick out a little prize at a party while doubling as a centerpiece for your table. Or, if you happen to have a collection of little trinkets, this is the perfect way to keep them organized, yet on display!
If you are curious, the squishy little toys inside my claw machine are roughly 1.5″ – 2″ long (the thickness varies greatly between them), and the micro stuffed animals are about 2″ tall and 1″ thick. I found them all at my local 5 Below store. The claw machine itself is 7″ tall with approximately 4″ cubic inches of space inside. Of course, you can always scale your project smaller or larger depending on your needs!
I use Adobe Illustrator for all 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 fun freebies available on my blog!
Enjoy making this 3D claw machine for yourself! And, as always, be sure to share your finished results with me on Instagram.
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