The Public Paperfolding History Project

Main Index Page


De Kleine Papierwerkers Volume 4
'De Kleine Papierwerkers' is a series of four books written by Elise Van Calcar and published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863.

Volume 1: Wat men van een stukje papier al maken kan: Het vouwen (What one can make from a piece of paper Folding)

Volume 2: Wat men uit strookjes papier al vlechten kan (What one can braid from strips of paper)

Volume 3: Het prikken (Pricking).

Volume 4: Het Knippen en plakken (Cutting and Pasting).

The full text of volumes 1 (1864 and 1866 editions), 2 (1865 edition) and 4 (undated) can be accessed at De kleine papierwerkers, door Elise van Calcar, I: Wat men van een stukje papier... | erfgoed (

Volume 3 can be accessed at De kleine papierwerkers: Het prikken. III - Eliza Carolina Ferdinanda Calcar - Google Books


A follow up volume on cardboard modelling, 'De Fröbelsche kartonwerkers. Handleiding tot het vervaardigen van allerlei soort van kartonnage' was issued by the same publisher in the following year. A full copy can be viewed at De fröbelsche kartonwerkers - Google Books


This present page, however, just relates to:

De Kleine Papierwerkers: Volume 4: Het Knippen en plakken

The text is not at all clear in places but it seems to me that the first part of the book is about folding squares into triangles and smaller squares then cutting these up to create multiple small pieces of paper that can be used to create mosaic patterns and the second part about the folding and cutting of squares and hexagons to produce rotationally symmetrical patterns. However, none of the final patterns are shown.

The book also contains instructions for making a few other fold and cut designs:


How to crawl through a square of paper / How to Climb Through a Playing Card

Parts of this passage say, roughly, 'Would you be able to crawl through this little sheet? Come, I will teach you this magic, - fold a square in the middle and cut a strip from the open side as if you were removing it but stop so that the strip stays in place. When the whole sheet has been cut with parallel cuts then you make cuts on the fold that divides the sheet in two. Cut all the strips except the bottom ones, they form the edge - and, behold, the sheet ...turned into a chain through which Henri and Ida could easily crawl.'


Vogelkooi (bird cage) / The Paper Cage

This passage seems to be a description of how to make what I call the Paper Cage.

This passage says, roughly, 'Then take another square of paper, fold it diagonally as fig 7. Now bring your two sharp corners to your right corner (fig 8 and 9) until you have a square. Fold this in the middle until you have another triangle (fig 10). Now we cut it from the side with slits ... Now carefully unfold ... put a pin through the middle and carefully draw down the four corners ... We glue the four bottom edges on a sheet of stiff paper of equal size and you have a lovely bird cage.'


Het vischnet (the fishing net) / The Fishing Net

This design is similar to the Paper Cage but using less folds and curved cuts.

This passage, which follows directly on from the one above, says, roughly, 'The fishing net is created in the same way with the difference that the cuts are rounded ... If we fold a square in four and cut off the corners we get a (rounded) edge ... and finally a beautiful fishing net is cut.'


Cutting a Hexagon from a Square

Fig 11 of Plate 1 shows how to cut a hexagon from a square.