How to Make a Paper Human Heart

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The human heart begins beating four weeks after conception.
The human heart begins beating four weeks after conception. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The human heart is soley responsible for getting blood around the body. It has four chambers and four valves in total. The arteries carry blood that is traveling away from the heart and the viens carry the blood that is traveling to the heart. The human heart is a magnificent specimen and one that, given the right methods, can be crafted from paper.

Things You'll Need

  • A4 paper
  • Newspaper
  • Cellotape
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive
  • Flour
  • Water

Scrunch up an A4 piece of paper, using your hands, until you're left with a scrunched-up ball. Take another A4 piece of paper and wrap it around the ball. Using your hands, scrunch the paper around the ball until you have a bigger scrunched ball.

Continue to add layers of A4 paper until you get a ball that is about the size of your fist. This section will be referred to as piece A, and it is the main chamber of the heart to which you will attach the other arteries and veins.

Take cellotape and wrap it around piece A so that it covers its circumference entirely. This will help the paper to retain its shape. Do not tape it tightly, as you do not want to squash it, just ensure that the ball remains a simillar size to your fist.

Take a piece of newspaper and roll it into a sausage shape. The sausage shape should be twice as long as the width of the top of your fist. Cut the roll with a pair of scissors to get the correct length. The sausage shape will be referred to as piece B.

Curve piece B so that you end up with an upside down “U” shape. This will form the basis of the aorta. Place piece B on top of piece A so that there is about a 2-inch gap between the middle of the curve and the top of piece A. Using adhesive, glue one end of the roll to the right side of piece A, and take the other end of the roll and glue it to the left side of piece A.

Cut an A4 piece of paper in half and wrap in around your finger. Keep hold of the roll and remove your finger. Cut the roll so that it is only an inch long and secure it with cellotape. Repeat this step twice. You should now have three rolls, these make up the top of the aorta.

Using cellotape, stick the three rolls on top of of piece B in the middle with about 1/2 inch between them. The aorta is now complete.

Cut an A4 piece of paper in half, and wrap in around your first two fingers. Keep hold of the roll and remove your fingers. Cut the roll so that it is 2 inches long, and secure it with cellotape. Repeat this step to create another roll. These two rolls will be referred to as piece C and piece D.

Stick pieces C and D, which will be the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava, respectively, on top of piece A on the left side next to the aorta. Stick piece D on the bottom of piece A, on the left side.

Roll an A4 piece of paper and secure it with cellotape. Cut the roll so it is 2 inches longer than the width of your knuckles on one hand. Roll another A4 piece of paper and secure it with cellotape. Cut the roll so that it is 1 inch long. Stick this roll to the middle of the roll you created previously, so that you have a "T" shape. This piece is the pulmonary artery and will be referred to as piece E.

Push the top left side of the "T" shape through the gap between piece A and piece B. Secure piece E at the bottom with cellotape.

Cut an A4 piece of paper in half and wrap in around your finger. Keep hold of the roll and remove your finger. Cut the roll so that it is only an inch long and secure it with cellotape. Repeat this three times so that you end up with four rolls.

Stick two of these rolls, half an inch apart, on the right side of piece A about an inch below piece E. Repeat this step on the other side for the other two rolls. These four rolls are the pulmonary viens.

Add one part water to four parts flour to a pan or pot on the stove and boil it for three minutes. Add salt to prevent mold. Leave the mixture until it is cool enough for you to handle with your fingers. This mixture is a paper mache paste.

Tear strips of newspaper that are about 1 inch wide and 2 inches thick. Dip a strip of newspaper into the paste and then stick it onto your heart. Continue to do this until your whole heart is covered. Repeat for three more layers. Leave it to dry overnight.

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