I am trying to create a model of a pair of shoes in paper and I've run into a little problem. I'm trying to shape the toe-piece without creating wrinkles or cuts in the paper - I want it to be shaped as smooth as a real toe cap.

I'm using this method. First I create a shape of soft cardboard. I then glue a sheet of paper on top of this cardboard to represent the outside vamp of the toe (on a real shoe the leather of the to cap). This is where the problem occurs. I've created an image below to describe what I mean.

  1. The three-dimensional representation of the shape.
  2. The side-representation of the shape.
  3. The front-representation of the shape.
  4. The top-representation of the shape.

enter image description here

The red line is the centerline of the toe cap and the blue dot is the critical point where the paper becomes excessive and creates wrinkles.

To illustrate this on a real shoe it's the edge of the toe (blue dot) that's critical.

enter image description here

Since the shape isn't flat but bends three-dimensional a part of a paper glued onto it would become excessive at the blue dot. How can I glue the paper onto the shape without creating this excessive paper? I don't want to make a cut in the paper at the red line as I don't want any cut on this surface.

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

  • Super related: crafts.stackexchange.com/questions/1967/… and possibly a dupe
    – Matt
    Oct 1, 2016 at 0:35
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    I read that question before I posted and I don't think it is a dupe. They talk about slices which I don't want since I don't want cuts on the surface. They also talk about different kinds of glue which will not affect the appearance of excessive paper. 🙂 Oct 1, 2016 at 7:04
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    is cut the paper you are using the right size and shape? Have you considered looking at patterns for actual shoes to see how they cut it to fit a pointed toe? Your pattern looks like it would be way too wide.
    – EmRoBeau
    Oct 13, 2016 at 18:09
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    Would the use of Paper Mache solve the problem? You would be essentially 'making' the paper onto the dimensional form, rather than attempting to force flat paper to contour over a dimensional shape without folds or cuts.
    – Laurent R.
    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:31
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    Laurent, your suggestion has merit. If one needs a paper shape that is difficult to create from flat paper, create the paper in place. There are packaging materials that qualify as an answer to this question, although the shapes are more complex. I would add that one could chop up paper in a blender and spray it onto a mold of the shape to be duplicated. Papier-mâché means chewed paper!
    – fred_dot_u
    Feb 15, 2017 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


The material of the shoe has been stretched and shaped. It is made of materials that are more flexible than paper.

Your best bet is to soak the paper, then lay it on the shoe and position it, ever so gently. Allow it to dry in place, and it will be come rigid. If you want it to stick to the shoe after it has dried into the proper shape, you can now spray a sticky adhesive to the paper and hold it to the shoe. However, the shoe surface is likely to resist the adhesive properties, because it lacks sufficient tooth.

Perhaps there is a better solution. May I ask, why are you interested in doing this? What exactly is your end goal?

  • Great idea - I didn't think of that. The whole idea behind this project is to produce a prototype of a shoe model as realistic AND cheap as possible to show investors. Of course it can't be worn but that is not a problem as I want it to be displayed as a prototype for investors while seeking money for producing real shoes... in short. Maybe silly of me but I'd love to give it a try! 😀 Feb 15, 2017 at 20:40
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    In that case, perhaps you could make a cast of the shoe (e.g. Using clay), then pour in jello or something). Or you could cover the shoe with a protective layer like plastic wrap, and then submerg the shoe in a silicon block, which hou spcould easily remove after it gas solidified, and tgen pour a cast into that, etc... Cast molding isn't really my area of expertise, but thies are just a few ideas tgat come to mind.
    – Vasqi
    Feb 16, 2017 at 3:09

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