Remember cutting snowflakes out of folded notebook paper when you were a kid? How about the excitement the first time you folded an origami crane on your own? Working with paper brings back childhood memories for many of us. There's a simple satisfaction when pressing a crisp fold into a piece of paper or hearing the crunch of scissors. It's no surprise that paper crafts are trending today. With some card stock or colored paper and few tools, you can create stunning art.
What Are Paper Crafts?
Paper crafts are any crafts created with a base of paper. Some paper crafts, such as origami, require nothing more than a sheet of paper. Other paper crafts, such as die-cutting, require machines costing over $200. Most paper crafts are inexpensive, requiring only a few extra supplies. There are paper crafts appropriate for all levels, from beginners to those who want to push the boundaries of what paper can do. If you search for quilling or paper marbling images online, you will be astonished by the things people can achieve using paper.
What Supplies Do You Need to Make Paper Crafts?
Different crafts required different supplies. The five paper crafts we'll look at in this article require special supplies you can pick up at a craft store or purchase online. Some supplies, however, are probably already in your house. Do you have shaving cream, toothpicks, or old paint chips at home? If so, then you're ready to get started with some of these crafts right now!
The most important supply you need for paper crafts is, of course, paper. If you already have paper that you like and you're itching to do something cool with it, then you're ready to begin. If not, then check out your local craft store. The scrap booking rage has left many crafts stores loaded with paper, and the increasing popularity of hand lettering and handmade greeting cards is sparking an increase in card stock. Check out these departments in your craft store and grab a stack!
Top Trending Paper Crafts
Marbled paper is growing in popularity these days. This craft produces paper similar to the swirled flyleaves you often find in old books. There are many ways to marble paper, but no matter what method you use, the excitement of discovering how your page will turn out is part of the fun.
A common way to marble paper involves floating a mix of chemicals and paint on water. For your first time marbling, consider this method using shaving cream instead. The shaving cream creates a steadier surface for the marbling than water. It's a great way to try out marbling without spending a lot of money on supplies.
If you'd like to have a more authentic marbling experience by using water, but you don't want to shell out for a bunch of paint, alum, and paint thinner, try this approach: mix food coloring and oil in small Dixie cups. Fill your casserole pan with water and drop some of the oil and food coloring mix in random patterns in the water. Since oil can't mix with water, the oil and food coloring will rise to the surface. You can use a plastic fork or knife to move the mix around in the water and create swirl patterns.
Lay your paper onto the surface of the water, then lift it when the food coloring has penetrated the paper. You should have a neat marbled look!
Does your pulse race when you pass the paint chips in the hardware store? There's something about those colors arranged in a spectrum that can really get your creative side rolling. Paint chip art uses these free samples to make amazing creations. The slightly stiff feeling of the paint chips — stiffer than paper, but not quite card stock — makes them more flexible than other types of paper available in craft stores.
This website provides plenty of inspiration to help you get a paint chip project going. One thing you'll notice if you Google "paint chip art" is that the spectrum of colors is used to the artist's advantage. By using chips that move from darker to lighter, or vice versa, you can create an eye-pleasing ombre look.
To get started with paint chip projects, consider these bookmarks. Paint chips' colored rows are the perfect height and width for a bookmark! This bookmark project is easy and makes a great addition to a gift of books or for use as a fun gift tag.
Quilling is a paper craft that uses strips of paper twisted into shapes to make three-dimensional art. Popular in the seventies, it's seen a resurgence in popularity and has become one of the most popular paper crafts today.
It's easy to get started with quilling; all you need are strips of colored paper and something to twist the paper around. There are tools available for this, but you can also use a toothpick. In fact, some people make their own quilling paper by using a paper cutter to cut colored paper into thin strips. If you have paper you like, you can use that method to get your quilling project going.
There's plenty of quilling inspiration online. The first step in quilling is to twist your paper strip around the quilling tool or toothpick. If you want a tight circle, leave the paper on the toothpick, put a drop of glue on the end of the paper, and slide it off the tool or toothpick. If you want a looser, larger circle, let the paper unwind a little. Carefully pull it off of the toothpick or quilling tool and glue the end of the paper. You can pinch this circle into a teardrop shape, an oval, or many other options.
Watch out: rolling quilling paper can be very relaxing; and possibly addicting!
Paper embroidery is a stunning paper craft that's gaining popularity fast. Paper embroidery is just what it sounds like: it's embroidered paper. The texture the embroidery thread gives to the card stock can be very impressive. To get started with paper embroidery, you'll need card stock in a weight and texture you like, a second piece of card stock that's slightly larger to use as a backing, a piece of cardboard or foam larger than the card stock, embroidery thread, an embroidery needle, and a printed pattern to follow.
Place the card stock onto the cardboard or foam. Next, place the pattern over the card stock. Take your needle and carefully pierce holes all along the pattern. The closer the holes, the tighter and more polished your embroidery will look. However, don't make the holes so close you won't be able to get your needle in!
When you have the entire pattern printed in holes in the card stock, you can get going with your embroidery. Depending on your design and the style you want, you may have to divide your thread. Stick with your pattern and sew all the holes, just as you would with embroidery fabric. Tie or tape up the back when you're done and glue to a larger piece of card stock to hide the back of the embroidery and create a complete, polished look.
For more inspiration, check out DMC embroidery thread's page on paper embroidery.
Paper feathers are today's paper snowflakes; they're simple enough for children to make, yet they have the potential to become true art in the right hands. Just choose paper in the color you'd like, cut out a block of paper the length and width you'd like for your feather, and then fold that piece in half. Cut the shape of half of a feather or half of an oval. For your first few cuts, cut straight to create the quill shape of your feather. Then begin to cut fringe all around the oval half. The closer you cut your fringe, the better.
When you've cut fringe all the way around, unfold your paper. Now you have a feather! The magic of paper feathers happens when you have a lot of feathers to assemble together into larger projects. By selecting colored paper in the same color family, but moving in a spectrum from dark to light, you can create the impression of a wing or the entire shape of a bird. The feathers can also be used in jewelry or to add a three-dimensional look to cards and gift boxes.
Paper crafts have been around for ages, and they will continue to be popular because they easily capture our imaginations. Beautifully colored paper or card stock in the craft store (or rows of paint chips in the hardware store) can inspire us in ways that other crafts can't. Paper crafts such as marbling, quilling, paper embroidery, and paper feathers are all easy to pick up and start. With a little practice, you can create beautiful gifts and objects for your home using these methods. Have fun!