How to make a paper sundial

by Damia Soler
v1.0, June 2009

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This page is about Sundials. Sundials are instruments that tell you the time with the shadow of the sun. To design a sundial you need to know exactly where you are going to put it, i.e. you need to know the longitude, the latitude and the orientation of the wall with respect to North.
I have designed this page and integrated Google Maps. It helps you to easily find all the parameters needed and finally produces a printable page with a cut-out paper sundial, that can be cut and folded to give you a vertical sundial.
This page allows you to make your own Cut Out Paper Vertical Sundial customized to your place on earth and the declination of the wall you are going to put it on.

sundial cut out paper

Moreover, you have the possibility to put your vertical Sundial on a window and read the hour from inside the room. In this case the numbers are printed to be read from inside.

sundial cut out paper window

Your sundial can be configured to show civil time or civil daylight-saving time, so that it gives you your country's official time as you can see it on TV or your watch. Furthermore it can be configured to show the natural "true local time" as you can see it on ancient sundials.

What you need

You need to have:

  1. This webpage

  2. A printer

  3. Scissors

You need to know:

  1. Where is the wall where you want to put your sundial on, located it with google maps.

  2. -Zoom in as far as possible.
    -Click once at one end of a long wall.
    -Move to and click again on the other end.
    This draws a red line parallel to the wall, and defines the orientation.

  3. Select the N/S/E/W face desired, from the pull-down menu.
  4. Select your timezone or true local time for solar time
  5. Select if you are Daylight saving time




    Click here to build your custom sundial!!!

    Fill in the form and create your sundial

  2. PRINT THE PDF. To print, please select "shrink to page" in order not to deform the shape of the page.

  3. CUT AND FOLD: Once you have your model printed, you have to cut (RED LINES), and fold (BLUE LINES)

  4. sundial cut fold

  5. PUT ON YOUR WALL. Put on your wall or Window.

  6. ENJOY.

Sundial samples

Some sundial samples:


Consider this page beta, this is the TODO list.

Help to translate to other language

If you wish to have this page translated to your language, and want to do the translation, you only need to translate this document, please contact me.


There are o lot of websites about sundialing and gnomonics. Here my selection:

Thank to

Roger Bailey: Betha testing.
Daniela Bigatti: Italian translation.
Eric Ripoll: French translation.
Teodora Haralanova:: Bulgarian Trasnlation.
Yuriy Reznichenko: Russian translation.
Timm Delfs: German translation.
Josef Chlachula: Czech Trasnlation.
Amauri A. Brandalize: Brazilian Portuguese.
Bogusław Malański: Polish translation.


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