PAPER BEATS ALL!

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“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
From ‘The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath’

 These words seem to resonate for me. As someone who would consider themselves a creative soul (yes I did just say that) I find truth behind this sentiment, and I feel that all creative people should harness their talents in such a way that renders them free from insecurity and uncertainty, in order to create the best things that they can.
Having said that, perhaps taking a leaf from Sylvia’s book isn’t the most sensible thing – a woman that entertains the idea of asphyxiation perhaps shouldn’t be trusted. But I do still feel her statement is worth considering! For all the arty people among you, you will be familiar with painting, drawing, collage, and are maybe looking for some crafty activities that differ from the norm. In other words, I encourage you to ‘think outside the box’ in order to create/produce/invent things using basic objects and tools.
For those of you who don’t possess this mythical box but instead think outside an oval, a cone, or a hexagon, or for those of you who simply refuse to believe in the very existence of the box, here are three different examples of using basic objects and tools in a simple way in order to create; all three are cheap and easy paper themed inventions!

1. PAPERMAKING

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Hand papermaking isn’t especially complicated and an activity that can be done at home. Before the invention of paper, there was Papyrus, made using the pressed and dried stems of the papyrus plant in Egypt circa 2400 BC. Papermaking technology was then introduced by T’sai Lung in China for the Chinese Emperor around 105 A.D. By making your own paper, you can go on to make cards or envelopes, and a variety of materials can be in cooperated into your paper for more original effects such as herbs, flower petals and even spinach for a splash of colour. To get started in the paper making process you will need a deckle, a blender and blotting paper. During my fascination with papermaking I discovered Fairegarden blog and read about how to make handmade paper. The wonderful images and easy instructions will entice your creative minds and ignite papermaking inspiration!

If this tickles your fancy then papermaking workshops and classes could also be ideal. They are beneficial if you are more comfortable being creative in a group or with the support of others. Glasgow based PULP are a paper arts workshop that provide evening classes, courses and summer schools.


 
2. PAPER PHOTO FRAMES

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So yes, Christmas is always fast approaching, but the gift-giving frenzy is never over during the year too with presents to organize for birthdays or anniversaries and even weddings. But fret not my fellow creatives, for I have a trick or two up my sleeve to help with this dilemma! Photo frames can be a sentimental gift for a friend, lover or family member and a great way to personalize this gift is by making your own! Using long strips of paper (about the width of a ruler) roll them up individually and glue them onto thick card to make a frame. You can make the frames as colourful/wild as you like by painting/drawing/collaging over the paper beforehand. It’s as simple as that! This personalized frame can be a gift, or just a cool way of jazzing up your décor in the house!

3. DIY DRINK COASTERS
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Photograph by Melody Melikian

 

Do you happen to have any unused scrapbook paper, colourful napkins or wrapping paper lying around the house? If so, their current seemingly redundant state of existence could be transformed into vibrant sassy drinks coasters! This site, Cream de la Craft, talks through the steps on how to make them – it’s simple quick and easy and a perfect pass time. By using the simple ingredients (ha!) of paper, tiles, scissors, felt and glue you can make your own coasters, to be used for all occasions – flowery summer ones, moody winter ones, or you could use pages from your favourite novel – your steaming cup of hot chocolate could be nestled on the wondrous words of Oscar Wilde.


Hopefully your creative juices are flowing: by using paper based recipes you can create interesting and unique gifts and art, so get into the craft and serve as a crafty inspiration!

Mina Green

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Posted in DIY

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