One of the things I miss most from before our big move this year, is that Thursday night was always craft night at my best friend’s house. Now it would be way too long of a drive for that, so we decided to start playing Minecraft together online. It’s essentially a virtual craft night, and it’s been so much fun. Well, a few weeks ago, Minecraft launched an update that added the cutest, squariest, fattest, little bees. And she’s in LOVE with them (so am I, obviously). So, now, in my irl craft time, I decided I needed to make her this 3D printable Minecraft bee.
I sent her a picture after I finished the first one. She said she needs 50 of them. I’ll probably start with just three or four for now. But while I started working on that, I thought I would teach you how to make them yourself.
Let’s get buzz-y!
Shortcuts to The Important Stuff:
- 1 Supplies Needed For 3-D Minecraft Bee Project
- 2 Making a 3-D Bee Without a Cutting Machine
- 3 Making the 3-D Minecraft Bee with Cricut Print Then Cut
- 4 Assembling Your 3-D Minecraft Bee
- 5 GET FREE ACCESS TO THIS TEMPLATE IN THE CRAFTER’S RESOURCE LIBRARY
- 6 Like this Project? Don’t forget to share!
Legally, I have to tell you that this post may contain affiliate links, and that you can read the whole boring disclosure policy here. All this means is that if you click and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Now let’s get back to the crafty goodness you came here for.
Supplies Needed For 3-D Minecraft Bee Project
- White Cardstock – One sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ makes one bee
- An adhesive of your choice. I used an Elmer’s Craft Bond Gluestick, for this but I’ve since started using this amazing Crafter’s Tape for my folded paper projects and I LOVE IT.
- A way to cut out your design. You can use scissors and a precision knife if you’d like. I used my very favorite tool – the Cricut Maker!
- Minecraft Bee template/cut file. You can find it in my free Crafter’s Resource Library. Get the password by clicking the button below.
Making a 3-D Bee Without a Cutting Machine
I’ve made two of these little guys so far. The first one was very slow. I cut everything out by hand with a combination of scissors and a precision knife. It’s definitely doable that way. But it’s a little tricky because of the tiny holes for the legs, antennae, and stinger. I decided not to cut out the inner pixels of the wings, which did make it a little easier.
I ended up making a Print then Cut file for my Cricut Explore, and that saved me about 35-40 minutes cutting out the second bee.
If you aren’t a Cricut or Silhouette user, I put a PDF in the file downloads for this project, so you can still make yourself a whole swarm of bees. Other than printing and cutting out the pieces, the directions will all be the same.
Printing and Cutting the 3-D Bee Printable by Hand
Step 1 – Download the file. Extract/unzip it.
Step 2 – Print the pdf document.
If you don’t have a pdf reader installed on your computer, you can use the jpeg or png files, but you may need to resize them to fit on the page correctly. You can also use this option to make different sizes.
Tiny baby bee anyone!?
Step 3 – Carefully cut out each piece with scissors.
The bee has 14 pieces and some of them are pretty small, so make sure to take it slow. Start by cutting a border around each piece (or set of pieces, like the legs, or the antennae and stinger) to make it easier to work with. Since it was printed onto white cardstock, you’ll need to be as accurate as possible with your cuts. Otherwise some of the white will show very brightly against the dark colors on the bee.
Step 4 – Now it’s time to make the knife cuts. But first make sure you’re working on the right surface. Always use a cutting mat when you’re cutting paper with a precision knife. It prevents damage to your work station and can extend the life of your tools.
If you want to add a self-healing cutting mat to your crafting space, but you don’t sew, then I don’t recommend anything bigger than 12×12″. Amazon has this cute little blue one for less than the cost of the knife. And it’s even OLFA, which is one of my favorite brands for cutting tools.
To cut each of the 9 slots in the body, run your knife along the long side, and then again on the other long side. Then, instead of sliding the knife across the short side, just press down and rock back and forth until it releases. Do the same on the other short end.
You may have to trim a little wider if the lines aren’t straight. The legs need to fit snugly into these slots, so shave off as little at a time as possible until it’s the correct size.
Repeat this for all 9 slots.
I chose to leave the inner parts of the wings intact when I made the first bee by hand, but if you want to cut out the middle, you can still cut these out with the precision knife. Just be careful not to cut too far and slice into the wing.
Having problems cutting straight lines with your precision knife?
You should be holding the knife like a pen, which means as you make a downward stroke, you are probably curving in a little. You can fix this by moving your whole arm as you go. Don’t just bend at the wrist.
If you’re still having problems, you can always use a ruler.
Or, if you’re interested in making a lot of
bees paper crafts like this, you might want to consider a personal cutting machine. It will save hours of time and give you more much accurate cuts that you can get on your own.
Keep reading to see just how much easier this project was with my Cricut. Otherwise you can skip to assembly.
Making the 3-D Minecraft Bee with Cricut Print Then Cut
First download and extract the files from the Resource Library.
Printing the Template with Cricut Design Space
Since we are using Cricut’s Print-Then-Cut feature, we will have to prepare the file in Cricut’s free Design Space program first. That way the machine can read where to make the cuts.
Once you get your files properly unzipped, go ahead and open Design Space and start a new project. Then click on the Upload icon. Find your files, most likely in your Downloads folder, then select the PNG file.
It is important to select the PNG option if possible for this file. Because the PNG file has a transparent background, including the slots inside of the template, it tells Design Space that that area is not being printed white, and needs to be cut out from the rest.
When you upload the file, select Complex for the file type. Then check to make sure all the slots are transparent, along with the inner wings. You can easily double check this one the next screen.
You will be saving the file as a Print then Cut image, but take a look at the Cut image section first. If it shows all of the slots, then the file was uploaded correctly. (If not, you can go back and use the tools on the previous screen to deselect anything that shouldn’t be printed.) Select “Save as a Print then Cut image”, name your file if you wish, then hit Save.
At this point you will be taken back to the Upload screen. Select your bee template image at the bottom left, and hit Insert Image.
Next, you will need to resize the image to the size of bee you want. (The smaller the bee, the more difficult adding the extremities will be.) The largest area you can currently use with Print Then Cut is up to 6.75″ wide or 9.25″ tall. You can resize by dragging the corner of the image, or by changing the dimensions in the toolbar.
Once you’ve got it the size you want, the file is ready to go. Click ‘Make It’ in the top right corner. The image should show up all on one mat. Hit Continue and then Send To Printer. Make sure Add Bleed is selected.
Print the design onto white cardstock. Then place it onto a blue or green Cricut cutting mat. Set your machine to Cardstock or Cardstock+, and press the flashing arrow button to load the mat into the machine. Press the flashing C button to start cutting.
Once the machine finishes cutting out the design for you, press the flashing arrow button to unload.
Flip the mat upside down and carefully bend backwards to remove the cut pieces from your mat.
Now it’s time to build your bee.
Assembling Your 3-D Minecraft Bee
Whichever method you used to cut your pieces, we are ready to put this bad boy together. Make sure you have some scrap paper to lay down when you are gluing the small pieces.
Step 1 – Folding The Parts
We’ll start with the antennae. Fold each one in half symmetrically so that it forms an L shape. Fold each end outward to form the tabs that will attach to the body.
Now the legs and stinger. Fold each one in half so the printed side is facing out, then fold a third of each half back over itself to make the tabs. Glue together the sides that are touching to form a T-shape.
There are no folds on the wings, so now we will move on to the body. I find it easiest to make all the folds forward at first (in toward the front of the face), then fold it back (away from the face).
First, fold in each tab. Then fold a crease between each side of the bee. Most folds will be at the corners and easy to tell where they go. The only one not at a corner will be the line between the top and the back sides.
You can easily tell where to make that fold though, by looking at the pattern printed on the bee. The face and butt of the bee are each 7×7 ‘pixels’. The rest are 7×10. Line up the end of the butt side with the 3rd row of pixels on the top side and fold.
Step 2 – Attaching the Folded Pieces
We’ll start with the legs and stinger.
Flip the body upside down so the back (inside) is showing. Press the folded end of a leg through one of the slots until only the tabs are on the inside.
They are made to fit in pretty snug, so you may have to start with one corner and gently press down and wiggle the leg around until the other corner slides in. Repeat for the five remaining legs.
Once all the legs are in place, fold all the tabs in the same direction, and cover them with glue. Fold them all flat in the other direction and add glue to that side.
Press everything down until the glue dries. Since I’m sending mine in the mail, I also added a piece of tape over the tabs for extra security.
Attach the stinger the same way as the legs.
Next you’ll attach anttenae. Since they are an odd shape, you’ll have to push the tabs through from the front. Then glue the tabs down the same as the others.
After all the extremities are secure and the glue is dry, we can move on to the final step.
Step 3 – Forming the Body
Start by gluing the sides to each other. With the template flipped upside down, run your glue stick along a side tab, and press it onto the adjacent side (bottom) of the bee.
Make sure the edges are lined up properly all the way down.
Repeat until all four sides are attached and form an open box. Be careful pressing when the bee is upside down so you don’t crease an antenna.
If you want to be able to hang the bee, now is the time to add a string. Tie a double knot in the end of some thread and push a needle through the middle of the bee’s back from the inside before closing him up all the way.
To close up the last side, you’ll have to glue all 3 remaining tabs at once before pressing them to the butt side. Make sure before you close it, the tabs are facing straight across or even out a little. If they are angled in, they won’t catch.
Hold the bee butt-side down on your work surface until the glue dries.
Now just glue the wings to the top of your bee, and he’s all done!
Except you may need to make him a friend or two!