Make Your Own Cards & Papercraft Gifts

PapercraftGetting started with papercrafting can be as basic or complicated as you want it to be, and you can soon be making collages, scrapbooks and even your own personalised greetings cards. Just some of the wider applications which are covered under the umbrella term "papercraft" include scrapbooking, rubber stamping, card making, decoupage, paper maché and origami (art sculptures made by folding paper).

If you are new to the hobby, as with anything else it is best to start with basic projects to build up confidence and enthusiasm. Instead of starting with a free-flow idea, which can result in you simply sitting and staring at a pile of paper while wondering what in the world to do with it, you might want to start with a kit which will guide you through the steps to make a particular project. This will help give you a sense of direction as well as familiarising you with some of the common techniques used to make things in the papercraft hobby, rather than simply casting you adrift in unfamiliar territory.

Good starting points for papercraft are greeting card kits or embellished notepads, which are not too daunting and can produce some truly beautiful results without needing an excess of skill or experience. You don't need to worry too much about producing intricate or overly complex designs; instead your first attempt should be an opportunity to experiment and see what kind of results you can expect to get. If you are a complete arts and crafts beginner, you could start with the very basics like stamping or using pre-cut templates and ornamentation to decorate your project. Remember you don't need to be a master artist to get into and enjoy papercraft - it is about making a fun and good-looking project, not winning prizes for the best realistic drawing!

It is actually more than possible to do some outstanding papercraft projects without needing to touch any pens or pencils. Just use cut out shapes, glue and anything else you'd like. As you progress in the hobby you'll probably find that you want to start using some specialised tools like shaped hole punches or paper curlers, but to start with all you really need is some colourful paper and card, a pair of scissors and some creativity.

Finally, it is worth paying attention to the type of paper or card you are using. While there is nothing wrong with starting out using cheap 99p pads of coloured paper from a bargain bin, if you want to make long-lasting projects you will need to invest in some higher quality materials. Specialist craft and hobby stores provide papercraft supplies which are designed to be easier to fold, cut and shape, and certain types of paper will last longer over time without losing their colour or without any inking you put onto them fading.

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