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What Are the Different Types of Paper Crafts?

By S. McNesby
Updated Feb 28, 2024
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Paper crafts include any item made from or embellished with paper. The scrapbooking industry offers an almost overwhelming number of supplies for these crafts, with plenty of suggestions and ideas for crafting. Some of the more popular ones include scrapbooks, calendars, greeting cards, decoupage, origami, paper mache, and decorative pieces for display.

Scrapbooks are one of the most popular paper crafts, since they allow creative expression and the opportunity to chronicle important events and milestones in a family or individual's life. Supplies used for scrapbooking are acid free and are designed to last a long time without fading or damaging precious photos. Scrapbooking supplies include printed papers, stickers, rub-ons, three-dimensional embellishments, journaling pads, calendar blanks, die-cuts, and faux florals; these supplies are useful for other paper crafts as well.

Creating custom greeting cards for any occasion, including birthdays, holidays, and events, is another form of paper crafting. From fine art to simple but heartfelt sentiments, paper can be used to create a variety of customized greeting cards for any reason or occasion. Craft and big-box stores stock pre-cut and folded card and envelope blanks, or custom card blanks can be created in any size using paper and simple cutting and folding techniques. Cardmaking is a great way to get started in paper crafting without making a large investment, thanks to the small project size and the minimal amount of time needed to complete a card.

Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, can be used as a standalone project or to embellish another paper piece. Paper used for origami is thin, easy to fold, and designed to crease well. While any square paper can be used to create origami, thicker papers like printed scrapbook paper may be more difficult to fold into complex shapes. Popular origami paper crafts include boxes, animals, dolls, and stars.

Decoupage techniques allow crafters to remove the decorative elements from a piece of paper and permanently adhere them to another surface. Surfaces that are damaged or made from materials that will not accept paint are good candidates for decoupage. This technique is often used for paper crafts designed to decorate the home or for a specific holiday, since projects require minimal skill and are relatively quick to complete.

Paper mache pieces can be made using recycled paper or newsprint. This type of paper craft is used to create three-dimensional pieces that dry to a hard and durable finish. Crafts made with paper mache include pinatas, sculpture, home organizers, costumes, and masks.

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Discussion Comments
By JessicaLynn — On Oct 17, 2011

You know, scrap booking really seems to be a popular hobby these days. I know the scrap booking section of my local craft store is pretty darn huge.

I know there's something people enjoy about the tactile nature of paper crafts. But I have to admit, I wish they would quit it. I think scrap booking and a lot of other paper crafts are just plain wasteful these days!

Maybe these scrap book-happy people should consider designing webpages. It's not that hard anymore! You don't even need to know HTML code. You can make something that will never disintegrate, and best of all, doesn't waste paper!

By JaneAir — On Oct 16, 2011

@KaBoom - Three hundred paper cranes sounds pretty impressive to me. Seems like you should have gotten to make just a small wish after folding all of those.

Anyway, I've never been very into paper crafts. Yarn crafts are more my thing. However, I do have some experience with paper crafts from my time as an art student.

I was a photography major, and we were expected to put together nice looking displays of our projects. Sometimes I took advantage of paper crafts to make my projects look nicer. Once I put together a whole book of my photos and used a decoupage technique to decorate the cover.

It turned out so well that I used that technique to make a few gifts for friends. One of my friend was really into sketching and I decoupaged a hardback sketchbook for her. She really liked it!

By KaBoom — On Oct 15, 2011

When I was younger, I got really into origami. We read that book in school about the girl with cancer who wanted to fold a thousand paper cranes for good luck. (I think it was call "Sudoku and the Thousand Paper Cranes" or something like that.)

Anyway, I didn't have cancer, but I thought it would be neat to fold a thousand paper cranes. Supposedly after you fold that many, you get to make a wish. I've always been a big fan of good luck and especially of wishes.

I only made it to about three hundred cranes before I got bored and moved on to something else. However, during that time I discovered that you can use just about any kid of paper for origami. Including scrap paper and pieces of restaurant menus.

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