How to Make Paper Crafts

colorful paper crafting designs
  • 1+
  • Beginner
  • 5+
What You'll Need
Paper
Glue
Flour
Water
Tape
Wire
Tissue paper
Scissors
What You'll Need
Paper
Glue
Flour
Water
Tape
Wire
Tissue paper
Scissors

Paper crafts are a great way to get involved with hands-on crafting, no matter your age.

If you’re wondering how to make paper crafts, you must start by selecting your craft. Paper crafts include everything from origami to collages or paper mache. For younger kids, paper crafting may include activities like handprint art.

Origami

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper. This paper craft is likely one of the first activities that come to mind when you think of paper crafting.

To start an origami project, you're going to need origami paper, a tutorial, and a little bit of patience. As a practice, origami can be quite intricate, but there are definitely beginner origami paper crafting projects you can try first.

We recommend starting your origami journey by folding a cube box or a paper crane. Both of these paper craft projects are a good place to start.

Once you've mastered a few beginning projects, level up your skills and try folding something a little bit more intricate. Go slow, and take your time. Rushing through an origami project will leave you with a less-than-lovely end result.

Quilling

Paper quilling is another common paper craft that's loved by makers young and old. The great thing about paper quilling is that it's relatively easy to learn.

Because paper quilling is relatively easy to learn, there is a very low barrier to entry. The supplies for paper quilling are inexpensive, and the skills are quickly acquired.

Paper quilling makes a great project for groups of people with various skill levels because you can tailor the project to your personal tastes and skill level.

To start paper quilling, it's important to understand the basics of what paper quilling is. Paper quilling is the art of rolling paper.

As you roll paper in various ways to complete your paper quilling project, you will often create a pattern, design, or image with your rolled paper pieces.

Text weight paper is the best paper to use for quilling. Cardstock is too heavy and basic computer paper is too light. Text weight paper is sturdy and holds its shape well.

When you begin to glue your quilled papers down, you’ll want a stronger glue. You can use basic white school glue, but extra-strength glue secures your quilling better.

As you begin quilling you may want to follow a pattern or tutorial, but once you master the basics, you’ll be able to create this fun paper craft all on your own.

flower design with quilting curled paper

Bookmarks

Bookmarks make a fun afternoon craft because there are quite a few ways to tackle making your own.

You can use paper to make a basic, rectangle bookmark or you can use origami to create a bookmark that sits on the corner of your page.

The fun part about crafting your own bookmarks is that you can customize them any way you want. Select fun paper, make the bookmark themed to the book you’re reading, or make one as a gift.

When you’re making a bookmark as a paper craft, make sure to use quality paper. Flimsy paper won’t hold up well over time, so using a really structured paper is better.

We recommend using watercolor or acrylic paper, at least as your backing, if you can. It’s also never a bad idea to laminate your paper once you’ve created your bookmark.

Fun additions to paper bookmarks include tassels or personal pictures if it’s a rectangle bookmark or a fun animal face if you opt for an origami corner bookmark.

Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking isn’t just something that your mother did in the 90s, trust us. Scrapbooking is a great way to creatively preserve memories in a hands-on, artistic way.

You can scrapbook however you want. You can scrapbook by event or chronologically, it’s up to you.

As you decide how you’d like to organize your scrapbook, collect all of your pictures and decide which ones you want to include.

Then grab the paper, paper accessories, glue, and anything else you want to add to your scrapbook. We love using a label maker when we scrapbook.

If you want to find some fun crafting supplies, we find that our local thrift store has lots to offer. We recently found several fun scissors and more glue dots than one could ever need in the craft section.

Scrapbooking is a great activity to tackle with friends. We love pulling out the snacks, watching a movie, and gathering around the craft table to create something fun and memorable.

Collage

Perhaps our favorite paper craft of all—collage. Collage can be as bold or simple as you want, so long as you’re cutting up paper and giving the images you cut a new life.

Collaging is a great activity to help you visualize your goals, create home decor, make a zine, or simply practice artful mindfulness.

Great collages are a combination of lots of different things, so start collecting now. Use magazines, papers, old books, and other nicknacks or paper pieces that you’ve collected.

Collaging can be a great creative exercise for people of all ages, which is another reason why this paper craft is one we love so much. Sit down as a group, cut out lots of images and words, and then share and swap all of the fun cutouts.

If you don’t feel like hunting for lots of cool cutouts, you can purchase books of images designed specifically for collaging. Use these books on their own or to supplement your own cache of images.

When you're finished with your collage display this fun paper craft around your home on its own or in a frame.

Party Decor

Party decor tops the list of our favorite paper crafts. Not only does making your own party decor give you the option to customize your party, but it's a very practical paper craft.

The options are endless when it comes to creating your own party decor on paper, we've done everything from crafting banners and buntings to 3D hot air balloons and jungle vines.

When crafting with paper for parties we do recommend using very sturdy paper. Cardstock is great for party decor paper crafts, but there are other types of paper you can use as well.

If you want to personalize your paper craft, you could use something like watercolor paper. Watercolor paper will be more tricky to fold, but you will be able to paint it and customize it.

We recommend using cheap watercolor paper because it will likely be much easier to work with. We've used watercolor paper with watercolor paints and with acrylic paints, so you have options there as well.

Another great thing about making your own party decorations out of paper is that you have unlimited options when you get a little bit creative. Find inspiration online to get your ideas churning.

A word to the wise when it comes to creating your own party decor out of paper—it takes longer than you think, and you probably need more decorations than you think.

You need to budget for supplies and time when it comes to creating party decor. Along with quality paper, you're going to need lots of scissors and glue, tape, and staples.

The majority of the time we do recommend working with hot glue so that you are crafted party decor stays nice and assembled through the duration of the entire party.

If you have a paper-cutting machine, you can definitely use this as part of your paper craft supply list. While a lot of the time paper crafting is done by hand, there's no shame in letting your Cricut do some of the heavy lifting.

young person painting paper mache pumpkin

Paper Mache

Paper mache is another age-inclusive craft that you can enjoy as a group or individually.

Using strips of paper and a flour/water substance, and a form, paper mache essentially allows you to sculpt with scraps of paper.

The best ratio for making your paper mache paste is one part water to two parts flour. You can use regular, all-purpose flour.

Some methods of making paper mache require that you boil your flour and water substance, but we found that that's unnecessary as long as you ensure the substance has blended together very well.

You don't want any lumps in your flour and water mixture, so use a blender or hand mixer if necessary.

Combining flour with water, you should come up with a thick, paste-like consistency that you can then dip your strips I've torn up newspaper in and lay over your form.

Some forms of paper mache will require something stronger than flour in water, that's when you'd want to use some sort of glue or paste.

To kick your paper mache project off, decide what you'd like to craft and find a form that you can build off of. Lots of people use something like a latex balloon as the start of their form.

Latex balloons work great for something like this because there's some versatility in the shape, and they're very lightweight. You can also pop the balloon once you're mache project has dried.

After you selected a form, you're going to want to rip up lots of strips of newspaper. Newspaper works best because it's very thin and can easily layer as you build.

Then create your paste, and get to work. It's important that you let your project dry for an adequate amount of time between layers, and before you paint it.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Tissue paper flowers are a fun paper project to tackle in an afternoon. To start, you’ll need tissue paper, glue, wire stems, and scissors.

There are tons of different ways to fold tissue paper flowers, but anyway you fold it, you’re going to need more tissue paper than you think. Each paper tissue flower will likely use at least eight sheets.

To start with the simplest flower, lay eight to ten sheets of tissue paper on top of each other and fold them accordion style. Then fold the accordion in half so the two ends meet up.

Secure the middle fold with a wire and then begin fanning the tissue paper folds out. Spread the folds around and begin cutting the paper down until it forms a bloom.

You’ve just folded your first paper flower.

You can use glue to secure portions of the paper and wrap the wire stem with more tissue paper to cover it up.

From here, you can start making more advanced flowers. Because tissue paper is delicate, you’ll still need to go slow and be patient though.

Traditional paper flowers are often made using tissue paper and crepe paper.

kids playing with a home made boardgame

Kids Paper Crafts

Kids' paper crafts can be as simple or as complex as you'd like them to be. The great thing about paper crafting is that you can scale the project to the age of the participant.

For little kids, our favorite papercraft to start with is tracing the hand and then cutting that hand out and turning it into something else.

Usually, this craft is most commonly seen with Thanksgiving turkeys, but you can do this year-round and turn the hand into lots of different things.

Turning the hand into a dinosaur is relatively easy, and folding a few fingers down on the hand turns it into a bunny very quickly.

This kind of hands-on activity is great for kids because it stimulates their imagination and allows them to practice some coordination and scissor-cutting skills.

While fine-tuning their gross and fine motor skills, you can also help your kids get expressive through their art, allowing them to deck out their paper hand however they like.

If you have some older children who are interested in paper crafts, another fun thing to do is to fold boxes.

Take the time to select some fun paper or decorate paper and then together, fold the box using a tutorial. We recommend folding two boxes, one slightly larger than the other so that you have a top and bottom to your box.

Then your kids have an art project that can hold a few treasures for them.