A DIY Paper Typewriter

Each week there are different themes, words, colors and icons to inspire the CCB Crew.  This week we thought it would be fun to throw out the word typewriter and see what happens.  Maybe a project with type written words, maybe a love letter, but we were blown away with an actual handmade typewriter created by Crew Member, Agnes Kieler.  What a terrific idea for a centerpiece for an author, graduate or old school typist.  Vintage record players are hot and we think a good old type writer is just as cool.  Enjoy the amazing detail and next time you are looking for a creative project or need an idea for a centerpiece for a theme party, consider making it. 

DIY Typewriter
“I love all the vintage pieces you see in the museums and as often as I can I try to recreate them and make little art pieces for my family or friends. This time I decided to make typewriter.  I always amazes me how people can make machines by putting different parts together to create something useful for everyday life and the typewriter is one of those amazing machines.”  –  Agnes Kieler 

how to make a paper typewriter

Materials Used:

Tools Used – Paint brushes, glue gun , double-sided tape, adhesive pads, scissors,

paper type writer

To get started, prepare three boxes to create a base of your typing machine.

– Biggest Box (bottom of the machine) – I used boxes 16cm by 11cm long by 3cm (6.25″x4.25″x1.25″ – these are approximate conversions)

– Middle Size Box (top of the machine)  –  14.5cm by 10cm by 3cm high (5.75″x4″x1.25″ – these are approximate conversions)

– Small Box (front for the keyboard) – 16 cm by 4cm long by 2cm (6.25″x1.5″.75″ – these are approximate conversions)

paper boxes

The measurements are approximate, you can use any box you wish as long as you base will look similar to mine to keep the shape of the machine.

Here is a slide show that will walk you through the process of putting your typewriter together.
After our base is ready, the fun starts 🙂 choose the paper you want to cover your machine, I picked Black and White Life Newsprint paper from Canvas Corp.  The paper is cardstock weight so it was good to cover the base of the machine with.  I covered all the boxes and glued the paper to the bottom and the sides. It might be little tricky to get all the corners right but don’t worry I prepared template for the side of the machine so all of it will look smooth.
covered boxes - life newsprint paper canvas corp
Our next step is to create all the pieces we need to build our machine. Lets start with the key pads. For making it I used Black Chalkstock paper. I cut a strip 12.5 cm long (5″) on the sides of it and I glued metal corners to create nice frame.   On the inside I glue a keyboard printed from the internet or you can make or draw your own.  On top of the keys I used Mod Podge to get little dimensional effects.  In front of the key pad I also added a little metal line made out of the hair pins.
how to make a paper keyboard
So we have the bottom part of the machine ready, now let’s create the top of it.  I printed out from the internet the piece for creating type guide and on top of it I added fine metal lines to make it look more realistic. In front of it I glue metal piece used for hanging blinds at home. On the side of the box I attached straws coloured with white paint and silver sugar mist. I closed the straws with small nails.
typewriter keys
One of the last steps is cylinder which is holding paper in our type machine. I used Vinyl white paper for that piece of paper. I rolled it to the shape and close the sides with parts from milk cartons.  Before I decorated them with cardboard elements and paint it with white paint high impact metallic, silver sugar mist and graphite mist to get the effect of old metal parts.  In front I attached a long wire which will hold our paper.The whole element I attached on top of our straw bars.
type writer wheel
Our last step is to add the front on top of our machine. I made a template for that as you can see in the picture.  I glued it to the side board in the carved hole I glue our type guide and around that pice I glue cord wax cotton. I also attached cut out sides to our machine.
canvas corp template
At the end you can decorate it with any pieces you wish. I added some tape on the side, and logo buttons with the brand name for my type machine. Hope you will have fun to create it . If you have any questions or you need help with something for this projects you can always email me.
you are not old you are vintage
To see more of Agnes Kieler’s work visit her blog.
Happy Creating!!!




Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'A DIY Paper Typewriter' has 1 comment

  1. January 16, 2017 @ 3:47 pm Nancy

    This is the neatest idea! It turned out so cute!! ❤


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.