Paper Crafts

Creativity comes when you look at things from a different perspective. With paper art, you take what is expected, the platform in which art is displayed, and turn that item, paper, into the art itself.

Paper is such a versatile material for art that the possibilities are endless. These five paper crafts are fun and easy and scratch the surface of what beauty can be created with paper.

1. Layered Paper ShadowBox

When you want to create a work of art that is whimsical and a bit mysterious, this project is perfect. When you show the finished product to others, they might sit in wonder, trying to figure out how you pulled it off.

To begin with, you will want a shadow box. The smaller the shadow box, the easier it will be to fill but too small, and you’ll face the challenge of cutting itty bitty pieces for detail. The perfect size is an 8”x8” shadow box.

The only other supplies needed are multiple pieces of white cardstock, an Exacto knife, a bit of cardboard, and a light source. You can use a flashlight, a lamp, or even install an LED light strip to the back of the shadow box.

First, you cut enough cardstock pieces to fit into the shadow box and cut enough thin slices of cardboard to separate each piece.

Draw out the detail of each layer of your scene and cut them out with the Exacto knife. Place your first layer, the details closest to the viewer, and then add two thin slices of cardboard to the sides.

Repeat this process, layering your cardstock images from closest to furthest away, remembering to add the cardboard strips. Once completed, you’ll see a 3D version of your image.

Place the light source behind it, and the image will take on a glow!

2. Paper Feathers

This simple but elegant papercraft has so many uses that it is an excellent skill to have under your belt. All you need is some colored paper and a pair of scissors.

Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Cut at the fold a half shape of a feather. Be sure to include the stem.

Unfold the paper and use the scissors to cut towards the fold at an angle. The point is to make the feather look as natural as possible. To create this effect, you will want to cut very thin slits.

You can create as many of these as you want and use them for decorations on cards, in centerpieces, and all over the house.

3. Butterfly Wall Ornaments

Another simple but gorgeous papercraft, these butterflies can be made in a matter of minutes. All you need is a pair of scissors, some colorful paper, and a pipe cleaner.

You need to cut out one circle and one square. These shapes can be as big or as small as you like. Just be sure that your circle fits inside the area of the square.

Cut these shapes out and then start folding them like an accordion with small, uniform folds. You should begin your folding of the square at one corner, not on the side.

Pinch the middle of both folded shapes together and wrap the middle of the pipe cleaner around this spot.

Curl the ends of the pipe cleaner to resemble an antenna. Then pull out the folds to fan out more like wings.

These butterflies can be used in a variety of ways as well. You can add them to some paper flowers for a full wall art piece. They are perfect for adding to paper globe lanterns, but they also look great on their own.

4. 3D Paper Cactus

Succulents are in, but if you don’t have a green thumb, you might want to opt for these paper cacti instead. They won’t die no matter how much you ignore them.

All you need is a cute little terracotta pot and some green paper. You can add some optional painted details to the 3D cactus when done and some colored rocks in the pot to finish the desert effect.

Cut out two identical cacti shapes and create a mirror fold down the middle of both. Connect the two folded sides that perfectly match each other and glue them together.

If you wanted to add some special touches with paint or markers, now is the time to do this. You can make it look like they have spikes if you add short lines of a lighter color.

Place your cacti inside your pot and glue them down. Surround them with colored rocks or sand, or leave them bare if you prefer.

5. DIY Envelopes

Don’t send boring old envelopes. Make your correspondence stand out by making your own!

You can use old maps, craft paper, magazines, and even doilies to create unique and memorable envelopes that would be a pleasure to receive.

There are so many different ways to fold paper into an envelope. Which template you choose to follow depends on what you are sending.

Check out these eleven different envelope folding templates that you can use the next time you want to send a letter or card to your friends or family.

These projects are easy and cheap to make but produce neat and valuable works of art.

This is just a sample of the things you can create with paper. What’s your favorite papercraft?