Back in high school I did lots of papercraft from the Kirin website. My favorite at the time was the picnic basket, pictured below. I especially enjoyed assembling the basket itself. Teeny tiny straps and handles, while challenging, just look so cool when they’re done.
This time around the “Let’s Obento!” papercraft seemed like a good place to start. The pieces are simple enough to cut out and fold, and they are many. Lots of pieces make for lots of practice when I’m working on my scoring, cutting, and gluing skills.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned in “Minecraft and Moos“, papercraft can crush pretty easily. The recommend printing method, inkjet, is great for having ink soak into the paper so that you get fewer bald edges when folding, but the ink will run at the slightest sign of moisture. Both of these facts make for a really bad combination if you have a cat who like to knock over glasses filled with water.
I wasn’t thrilled with how this one turned out even before the cat added his personal touch. I find it challenging to get big, unsupported pieces — like the boxes and lids — to hold the right shape while gluing them. In addition, there was a strawberry that never made it through gluing because it just didn’t look right. Smashing and burning one’s failures is a cathartic benefit to working with paper. After the water incident with the finished bento, the good pieces were saved, the bad ones are now in the paper recycling bin, and the cat isn’t allowed near my papercraft now.
Assembled with 24 lb Staples bright white inkjet paper. You can find the papercraft here: http://www.kirin.co.jp/entertainment/kids/papercraft/beverage/lunchbox.html