3D Koi Pond – Summer Cut Files

Breathe in…breathe out. Take a moment to meditate with me today—to open your mind, release the negativity in your life, and fill your soul with the goodness that surrounds you. And what better place to hold this meditation session than next to my therapeutic, 3D koi pond?

3D Koi Pond

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This project is dedicated to my dad! He has had a love for fish for quite some time. So, when I [half-jokingly] suggested to him that he should take on a new challenge by building a koi pond in his backyard, he fell in love with the idea instantly.

A few weeks ago, he got to work and built himself a little oasis—complete with cute little fishies! Since then, he has added some color-changing underwater lights, a couple of trellises, lots of pretty plants, a bench next to the pond, some string lights above the whole thing, and even a little water fountain! I am truly amazed at what he has accomplished since I made that offhand comment a couple of months ago.

3D Koi Pond 3D Koi Pond

Watch a short video of me putting this project together on Instagram.

3D Koi Pond
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5 from 1 vote

3D Koi Pond

Learn how to assemble this beautiful, layered koi pond papercraft.

Materials

Instructions

  • Use your cutting machine or X-ACTO knife, along with my template, to cut out all of your 3D koi pond 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 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.

Assembling the Box

  • Start by layering the decorative side pieces together. Then, take the two detached side pieces and attach them to the base, opposite one another. Be sure that the slits are facing away from the inside
    Fold each of the sides inward and glue the tabs to the inside.

Assembling the Koi Pond Interior

  • Next, take the medium blue layer and fold the sides inward. Attach the tabs so that the whole thing is slightly raised. Then, add glue to the outside edges and slip the whole thing into the box you created in the previous step.
    Repeat the process with the lighter blue piece.
  • Take the gold ring and attach it to the Dura-Lar film piece. Next, attach your koi piece together and glue them onto the clear film as well.
    When that is all assembled, bend it slightly and slip the whole thing into the slits in the box.
  • Take your two lilypad sections and assemble them/place them inside the box as you did with the water pieces previously. Place the lighter green piece first, then the darker green piece on top.
    Then, fold the top tabs of the box inward and attach the top, light blue water piece.

Assembling the Water Lilies

  • Take one of the yellow strips and add some glue along the edge that doesn’t have any cuts in it. Then, roll the whole thing up and fluff the little strands outward.
    There are two different sizes of flowers. Curl the petals of two of the smaller flower pieces inward. Attach the yellow piece to the inside of one of the smaller flowers. Then, attach that whole section to the inside of the other small flower. Continue to do that with the two larger flower pieces.
    Repeat the process with the other two water lilies. Attach them around your pond, and your project is complete!

Notes

When assembled, this project is 6.75" wide and 1.5" tall.

View the full-size tutorial photos below.

Supplies

How to Make It

1. Use your cutting machine or X-ACTO knife, along with my template, to cut out all of your 3D koi pond 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 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.

 

Assembling the Box

2. Start by layering the decorative side pieces together. Then, take the two detached side pieces and attach them to the base, opposite one another. Be sure that the slits are facing away from the inside

Fold each of the sides inward and glue the tabs to the inside.

Assembling the Koi Pond Interior

3. Next, take the medium blue layer and fold the sides inward. Attach the tabs so that the whole thing is slightly raised. Then, add glue to the outside edges and slip the whole thing into the box you created in the previous step.

Repeat the process with the lighter blue piece.

4. Take the gold ring and attach it to the Dura-Lar film piece. Next, attach your koi piece together and glue them onto the clear film as well.

When that is all assembled, bend it slightly and slip the whole thing into the slits in the box.

5. Take your two lilypad sections and assemble them/place them inside the box as you did with the water pieces previously. Place the lighter green piece first, then the darker green piece on top.

Then, fold the top tabs of the box inward and attach the top, light blue water piece.

 

Assembling the Water Lillies

6. Take one of the yellow strips and add some glue along the edge that doesn’t have any cuts in it. Then, roll the whole thing up and fluff the little strands outward.

There are two different sizes of flowers. Curl the petals of two of the smaller flower pieces inward. Attach the yellow piece to the inside of one of the smaller flowers. Then, attach that whole section to the inside of the other small flower. Continue to do that with the two larger flower pieces.

Repeat the process with the other two water lilies. Attach them around your pond, and your project is complete!

3D Koi Pond

When designing this project, I really wanted to make something moveable—where the fish could swim around. If you turn the wheel, the fish circle their little pond, and it makes me so happy!

That being said, if you’re more interested in using this as a purely decorative design, and maybe even putting it in a frame instead, that’s great too! So, I’ve included a simplified, layered version of this design within the download that you are welcome to use. Just cut the pieces out, attach them together with foam tape, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful shadow-box art piece.

3D Koi Pond

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 koi pond for yourself or for a friend! And, as always, be sure to share your finished results with me on Instagram.

Miss Mandee Signature

 

 

3D Koi Pond 3D Koi Pond

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11 Comments

11 Comments on 3D Koi Pond – Summer Cut Files

  1. Cindy M
    June 1, 2023 at 11:13 am (1 year ago)

    Lovely!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      June 1, 2023 at 11:23 am (1 year ago)

      Thank you Cindy!!

      Reply
  2. Michele
    June 1, 2023 at 2:14 pm (1 year ago)

    Such perfect timing on this. My dad and stepmom have amazing gardens (they were even in Better Homes & Gardens years ago) that include several small ponds. This is the first year they’ve added koi and they just got them a week or two ago. This is the perfect project to send their way! Thank you for such a beautiful design.

    Reply
    • Mandee
      June 2, 2023 at 5:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Wow, how perfect!! I’m so glad that you will be able to put this design to good use! 😊

      Reply
    • Mandee
      June 2, 2023 at 5:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you Michaela!

      Reply
  3. auntie em
    June 2, 2023 at 2:58 am (1 year ago)

    This is so pretty! I love your layered design and the cut out pieces for the sides is such a beautiful addition but the fact that you can turn it so the fish swim under those delicate flowers is just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    • Mandee
      June 2, 2023 at 5:31 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww, I’m so glad you like it! I’m really pleased with the “swimming” fish as well. 😊

      Reply
  4. Angela
    June 5, 2023 at 10:42 am (1 year ago)

    5 stars
    Hi Miss Mandee. I wanted to thank you so much for your design. It is beautiful and a great gift for my father-in-law. It is difficult to see in the picture – is the Dura-Lar film, where the fish and the ring is not attached, cut out or is it one whole circle? Is there something else that I can use instead of the Dura-Lar film? Thank you again!!

    Reply
    • Mandee
      June 5, 2023 at 2:12 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m so glad that you like this design! Yes, it’s always tough to photograph clear film, haha. The Dura-Lar piece is one solid circle, and both the fish and the gold ring are intended to be attached to it.

      You can use acetate or any other clear material you’d like. Translucent vellum would also work, but it would be hard to see the water layers underneath unless you backlight the design. Otherwise, if you don’t care about the “spinning” aspect of the piece, you can use the simplified “layered” version of the design, which doesn’t include the clear film layer. And then you would just attach the fish to the water layers with foam tape. 😊

      Reply
      • Angela
        June 5, 2023 at 3:56 pm (1 year ago)

        Thank you for the quick reply! I have Shrinky Dinks paper. I will try to use that!

        Reply

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