Papercraft

Making things out of paper can be as simple or complicated as you like. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Card-making

Making cards for your friends and family is fun and easy. Start off with a plain pack of folded cards with matching envelopes like these or these, then try:

  • Printing your own design (in paint or ink)
  • Painting or drawing a picture -it does not need to be complicated to be effective
  • Sticking on anything you like for a 3D effect – paper or felt flowers, gemstones, ribbons… You can buy all sorts of “embellishments” from shops like Hobbycraft or The Works or see what you already have at home.

Scrapbooking

You can make creative and fun scrapbooks

  • for yourself or as presents for friends and family
  • to mark birthdays (especially “big” birthdays such as 16th or 18th)
  • to record holidays or trips
  • to collect images or words that make you happy

You can stick in anything you like to make a unique and personal record – photos, tickets, leaflets, maps, letters, sketches, postcards,notes. Add witty comments and decorations if you want.

Make sure you’re happy with the arrangement of each page or double page spread before you stick it down.

Black paper makes a very effective background; you can write your captions with a white or metallic pen.

You can buy scrapbooks and paper or photo glue from most stationers, either online or on the high street – as well as fancy papers and embellishments, just as for card-making above.

You might like this YouTube video. You could also have a look at our page on writing a diary if you like combining words and pictures.

Origami

Origami means folding paper so that it makes 3D shapes and sculptures (it is a Japanese word, but is now generally used to describe all paper folding craft). Kirigami is similar, but adds cutting as well as folding.

Some people find it easier than others. This American site is a good place to start, with background information as well as simple projects. It also shows you how to turn any rectangle into a square (most origami starts with squares).Red Ted Art’s easy origami is aimed at children and has some fun ideas including these cute puppies.

You can buy special origami paper (packs of square coloured sheets, patterned or plain) from specialist suppliers or general stationers. You can also buy simple origami or kirigami kits like these Christmas decorations or this fashion collection or these stars, butterflies and bobbles.

Découpage and DEcopatch

These are fun ways to decorate objects such as boxes and vases.

In traditional découpage, scraps of paper are glued onto an object, and the object is then varnished. You can buy ready-made scraps, or cut out own your own from magazines, catalogues, wrapping paper, wallpaper…. You can find a useful beginners’ guide to decoupage here.

More simply, you can decorate books, files, and penholders with pictures you like from magazines or catalogues. You can cover them with clear sticky-backed plastic to protect them, in place of varnish.

Decopatch is a modern development of this, covering whole objects with special papers. This site will give you some ideas.

Have a look at our other craft pages:

Making beauti
Make beautiful things