Paper Crafts 101 Introduction

Creating beautiful paper crafts can be as simple or complex as you want and has many applications. From scrapbooking to rubberstamping custom cards, finding the best tool and technique for your desired effect is the key to successful paper craft projects. This site provides tips, tricks, techniques, and, hopefully, ideas for your paper craft and rubber stamp creations.

Cover Card at Paper Crafts 101

Our goal at Paper Crafts 101 is to provide a clear and simple basic paper crafting site. Most papercraft sites quickly evolve into complex sites covering a multitude of tools, techniques and projects. However, most people start out looking for a simple hobby. Paper Crafts 101 aims to be a paper craft site that sticks strictly to the basics and will be primarily of interest to either beginners or advanced paper crafters who need a reminder about how simply a beautiful greeting card can be created.

At Paper Crafts 101, we discuss a few ways to turn an ordinary piece of paper into a personal work of art. However, you will get the most impressive results when you start experimenting and allowing your creativity to show through. You may not think you have a creative bone in your body, but you will probably prove yourself wrong. Whether by design or accident, if you are crafting on a regular basis, at some point you will either decide to try something a little different with an old technique, or spill some dye in a particularly artful manner.

A favorite for people who either do not believe they have creative abilities, or who have little spare time, is rubberstamping. We focus on rubberstamping because it is a great beginning point for creative paper projects, allowing you to quickly add color and dimension to paper without having to draw freehand. Rubber stamps are wonderful because of their quick application, especially when you want a uniform repetitive design in your project.

While they may seem archaic in this digital age, rubber stamps offer some flexibility that printed digital media does not. Color ink jets and laser printers do not leave a wet imprint to which embossing powder will stick. Standard printers often jam on good heavyweight card stock. Sometimes it is difficult to accurately judge the layout of the card before printing, requiring a draft to be printed on regular paper. Don't get us wrong, we appreciate printing images for craft projects, but we focus on good old rubber stamps with dye inks and pigments.

By the time you have explored just the few tools and techniques we discuss here at Paper Crafts 101, you may have discovered that you do indeed have a creative bone in your body and you do indeed have time to be creative. Once you have tired of rearranging other people's designs in your crafts, you can always start creating your own rubber stamps. You may especially want to create your own stamps if you plan to sell some of your projects and cannot find just the right image from an Angel Company (Angel Companies generally allow their images to be used for resale in handcrafted items--individual company policies vary, so always check).

But before you start gathering your supplies, you need to think about how long you want your creation to "live".

Archival vs. Non-archival

If you want your paper crafts to last a lifetime, use archival quality products only. When we say products, we mean all the products. If you use archival paper but non-archival inks and adhesives, your paper may last but a non-archival element will fade and/or disintegrate, taking the paper to which it is attached with it. Archival products are acid-free and will not discolor or deteriorate the way non-archival products will. If you do not need your project to last a lifetime, do not worry about whether all the products are archival quality.

For a beginning, start by making a simple greeting card. Select an item from the left to get an idea of the basic tools and techniques you may want to use. Make a short list of supplies you will need. Visit your local scrapbook, rubber stamp or craft store to gather some basic cardstock, rubber stamps, dye or pigment inks and watercolor markers or pencils to get started. Or shop the web. Now let your creativity flow!

Spread Your Wings Mosaics Portraits in Glass and other works of art.

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