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Last updated 30/3/2024


Cardboard Modelling / Cartonnage
This page is being used to collect information about the technique of Cardboard Modelling / Cartonnage. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

I define Cardboard Modelling as the production of two or three-dimensional forms by folding up and gluing together cut out shaped / nets and/or separate individual pieces of paper and/or cardboard.

Information about the use of the Additional Occupation of Cardboard Modelling as manual work in schools is included on this page.


In Japan (and in publications by Japanese authors)


Issue 1894 / 7 of the Japanese children's magazine 'Shokokumin' contains instructions for making a 'Western Sugar Box' using the cardboard modelling technique.


Issue 1894 / 13 of the Japanese children's magazine 'Shokokumin' contains instructions for making a 'Paper Box' using the cardboard modelling technique. The instructions say to cut out the shape along the outer line then either to glue or tie the corners together.



Issue 1895 / 10 of the Japanese children's magazine 'Shokokumin' contains instructions for making a 'Cast Net Boat' using the cardboard modelling technique.



'Shukouka Kyohon : Liron Jishuu Souga Setsumei' by Kikujiro Kiuchi, Rokushiro Uehara and Hideyoshi Okayama, which was published by Shigebei Takase in Chiba in 1905, contains a section about Cardboard Modelling..


In Europe and the Americas

Cut and Fold Polyhedral Nets - 1509 onwards

can be considered a form of Cardboard Modelling.


I have made a separate page for 'Anweisung zum Modelliren aus Papier' by Heinrich Rockstroh (see below) because it is the first known book about this type of cut and fold technique. However, I have not made further individual pages since the technique of seems to have changed very little from this point onward.


'Anweisung zum Modelliren aus Papier oder aus demselben allerley Gegenstände im Kleinen nachzuahmen. Ein nützlicher Zeitvertreib für Kinder' by Heinrich Rockstroh was published by Verlag des Landes-Industrie-Comptoirs, Weimar, in 1802.



'Die Kunst, mancherlei Gegenstände aus Papier zu formen', by Heinrich Rockstroh, was published by in 1810. This was a new extended version of his 1802 book.



'Der Papparbeiter oder Anleitung in Pappe zu arbeiten' by B H Blasche was published in 1911. A full copy of the work can be accessed here.



'Der Papierformer oder Anleitung, allerlei Gegenstande der Kunstwelt aus Papier nackzubilden' by B H Blasche was published in 1819. A full copy of the work can be accessed here.



'L'art de modeler en papier ou en carton, ou d'imiter et d'exécuter en petit toutes sortes d'objets... Ouvrage traduit de l'allemand...' was published by J. Rister in Mulhouse. The 1848 second edition can be viewed here. I do not know when the first edition was published.



'De Fröbelsche kartonwerkers. Handleiding tot het vervaardigen van allerlei soort van kartonnage' by Elise Van Calcar was published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863. A full copy can be viewed here.



'Das Deutschen Knaben Handwerksbusch' by Barth and Niederley, which was published in Bielefield and Leipzig in 1872.



Cardboard Modelling appears as a Froeobelian occupation in 'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler, which was published by Herman Bohlau in Weimar in 1873.



There is a chapter on the use of cardboard modelling to make containers in 'Spiel und Arbeit' by Hugo Elm, which was published by Verlag und Drud der Otto Spamer in Leipzig in 1874.



Cardboard modelling is included in 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was first published in single volume form by E. Steiger and Company in New York in 1882, as the Tenth Occupation.



Cardboard Modelling is included as an Additional Occupation in 'Primary Methods: A Complete and Methodical Presentation of the Use of Kindergarten Material in the Primary School' by W N Hailmann, which was published by A S Barnes and Company in New York and Chicago in 1887.



'La Science Pratique' by Gaston Tissandier, which was published by G Masson in Paris in 1889, contains a design for a Cartonnage Silveroctahedron, under the name 'Ballon fait sans rognure avec un carre de papier ou d'etoffe' (Balloon made without offcuts from a sheet of paper or cloth), which is made in two parts which then need to be glued or sewn together.


Cardboard Modelling appears as an Additional Occupation (Gift no 20) for children aged 7 to 14 in Part 1 of 'Hand-And-Eye Training' by George Ricks which was published by Cassell and Company Ltd in London, New York and Melbourne in 1889



A few simple Cardboard Modelling designs appear in 'Illustriertes Spielbuch fur Kinder' by Ida Bloch was published by Otto Spamer in Leipzig in 1891.


'Education of Head and Hand' by Gabriel Bamberger, which was published by A Flanagan in Chicago in 1891, is a compilation of six leaflets about manual work in schools. The sixth leaflet is about making containers, polyhedra and models of furniture etc by the cardboard modelling technique.



'The Republic of Childhood', titled 'Froebel's Occupations', by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith, which was published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, of Boston and New York in 1896, contains a note about the use of cardboard modelling as a Froebelian occupation.



'Introduccion a la Ensenaza Practica del Sistema de Kindergarten' by Ernesto Steiger, which was published by E Steiger and Co in New York in 1900.



'A Practical System in Folding, Cutting and Modelling' by A Louise Woodford, which was published by Broadway Publishing Company in New York in 1908, is a book of simple cardboard modelling / paper sloyd designs intended for classroom use.



'Educational Handwork' by T B Kidner, which was published by The Educational Book Company Limited in Toronto in 1910 containsa section about 'Constructive Work' ie the construction of dishes / boxes and polyhedra by the cardboard modelling technique.