As summer reaches the halfway point, I have a cheerful paper craft that I am really excited to share with you. I am often drawn to things that use energetic colors, geometric lines and cute motifs and this project features all three! Giant geometric paper ice cream cones! They are perfect to decorate a fun summer party, to hang over your dessert bar or use as a fun photo booth prop. Here’s how they came to life.
It all started as a project to design a summer window display inspired by ice cream. It needed to be big, bright and eye catching. I’ve recently been into geometric folded paper shapes and origami and was curious if it would translate into a frozen confection.
As most things do, it started with an online search which lead me to the amazing Mr. Printables site and this template for paper ice creams (which I am tempted to also make because CUTE!). This design was exactly what I was envisioning but I knew it wasn’t bold enough at normal scale…could I make these super-sized?
I decided to set my sights on making them as large as craft poster boards, since I knew they’d be the easiest to find in an array of colors and I didn’t have to mess around with getting custom paper cut for larger dimensions.
Based on what was available at my craft store at the time I settled on pink, white and ombre poster boards and got creative to make raspberry and mint swirl cones with white paper and finger painting with acrylic paint. For the cone I found an awesome glittering gold and used reflective tape to make the waffle pattern. Using a sharpie and a ruler would be a faster and just as effective option. I painted the posters and taped on the waffle pattern before cutting out my shapes.
It took a bit of math a bit to scale it upwards based on the template. I measured the size of the poster board and created a ratio based on the size of regular paper. 22″ x 28″ poster is 2.5x larger than an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper, therefore when I measured the template, each dimension would be 2.5x larger (ie. a 2″ edge would be 5″ on my version). The cone was pretty easy, it was just a matter of extending the angles outwards from the template piece to the final dimension. The ice cream scoop was trickier because of all the angles and facets. I created a scaled up version of the two styles of pentagon (they are slightly different at the top and on the sides when it’s all folded up) and used those as stencils to trace into the final shape. From there, once I had successfully created one ice cream “scoop” I saved one unfolded piece and used it to trace the remainder.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many progress photos (too much fun folding!) but the assembly is fairly straightforward. Every line is a fold, and is hot glued on the tabs. Start at one side, just gluing one tab at a time and the scoop takes shape until you have one facet left that almost sits open like a lid. Because I knew I wanted these to hang, I thread fishing line through the top panel and glued it in place before sealing everything up. As I was doing this, I noticed this would be a great opportunity for a ice cream pinata, just leave this facet open until the very end to stuff in your prizes.
From here, you can place the scoops into the cones and hot glue around the edges. You can also make double scoops by gluing two of the scoops together in a stack. There are endless color (flavour) opportunities with different poster boards and bedazzling toppings. I used metallic washi tape and sequins as sprinkles and iridescent confetti that sort of looked like frost. If you are ambitious you could use a mini version of the scoop template to make a little faceted cherry on top. This is where I found things really came to life!
It was a spark of an idea that turned this project into one of my favourite things to date. These giant ice creams just invite a sense of play and make everyone who sees them happy. If I had more space I would have held onto them forever, but since that is not the case, I chose my two faves to squirrel away and passed on the rest to friends who could use them for their decor.
I hope you feel inspired to try making something a little larger than life. Enjoy the last weeks of summer and keep cool out there!