How to Create a Colorful Paper Sculpture

Sal Matteo creates his vibrantly colored sculpture with paper shapes and swirls.


Materials and Tools:

acid-free card stock paper
latex house paints
industrial single-edged razor blade
cutting board
small clamps
1/4" thick hardboard
thick white glue
metal picture frame
small paint rollers
metal paper binding clips
table saw
safety glasses
foam board
contact cement



1. Cut the 1/4-inch thick hardboard to size and paint it the desired color. Let dry.

2. Paint papers in a variety of colors. Let dry.

3. Place a painted paper onto a cutting board and clamp it down using binder clips.


4. Cut and score the paper into various shapes with an industrial razor.

5. Bend the shape along the scored line to create a dimensional shape.


6. Repeat with different colors of paper and a variety of shapes until there is enough to make a composition.

7. Arrange a composition by moving the shapes onto the colored hardboard.

8. Glue the composition onto the hardboard using small dots of white glue applied with a skewer at the points where the dimensional shapes touch each other. Let dry.


9. Add pieces of black paper in the background of the composition raised by small squares of foam board glued on their sides to the back.

10. Cut the mat to the proper size. Glue the mat to the board using contact cement. Let dry.


11. Place the paper sculpture artwork into a Plexiglas and metal frame. Screw the hardware onto the frame.


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